-- Bud Light is flying 1,000 visitors into Crested Butte, Colorado, just as Emily Rothman, a resident of 20 years, says she is skipping town, turned off by the giant blue beer bottle, King Kong, and cowboy boot now on display in the small community with a population of 1,500.
"A lot of people are leaving town, because they don’t want to hear the noise," Rothman said.
Bud Light chartered its first ten flights today, according to Bud Light spokesman Nick Kelly. About ten of the 1,000 people selected to attend declined the beer company's offer after being given about 48 hours' notice to drop everything and hop on a flight. But the company found others to invite instead, spontaneously selecting people in bars across the country last night to Whatever. The age range of guests who will attend? It's mostly 21 to 27 years old, according to Kelly.
"I don’t want my 12-year-old to see this and think it's okay," Rothman said.
"He knows all about it. He knows how we feel about it," she added. "Some of his friends think it’s cool."
Bud Light first approached town officials about the idea around the spring. After two town council meetings that publicly addressed Bud Light's proposal lasted late into the night, the council voted unanimously Aug. 28 to approve Bud Light's plans.
"The citizens were not given the opportunity to vote on this or voice their opinion about whether we wanted our town taken over in this way," said Rothman, a graduate student and Pilates instructor.
Kevin McGruther, another resident, already left town with his son.
"This whole thing is a complete snafu from start to finish," he told ABC News. "The community members are very stressed out and many are turning on the event and each other."
As a token of goodwill, Bud Light is donating $500,000 to Crested Butte, doubling the company's initial amount of $250,000. The town council has not yet announced how it will use the funds.
Former Colorado Sen. Tim Wirth, a resident of Crested Butte, called the originally proposed $250,000 donation a "paltry and insulting sum," and advocated for a donation of $10 million.
"This is our home -- a beautiful mountain paradise -- and this is a disgrace," Rothman said. "The $500,000 is not commensurate for inconveniencing and taking over our town, especially considering what the corporation is worth."
"What the Bud Light brand suggests is not compatible with our town," Rothman said. "We are about environment, nature and educational institutions -- not weekend-long beer bashes."
Kelly declined to say what the total bill for the extravaganza would be.
Kelly said the town council and campaign's secrecy was for the safety of the town.
The event is at capacity at 5,000 people, and even locals who weren't in line early enough to get a wristband will be turned away. This concerns Rothman, who said people posting on social media about crashing the event, and ultimately turned away, may lead to traffic problems or even riots.
David Ochs, executive director of the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce, has argued that the event will bring significant amounts of extra cash to local businesses and the town coffers, plus long-term tourism benefits.
Rothman said she "seriously" doubts that the 1,000 guests will be return visitors.
"I think it’s a three-day injection of cash and that’s why people support it, but I don’t think they’re thinking of the precedent set by our town council," Rothman said. "It’s a short-sighted view. The long-term question is: do we really want to be associated with this kind of marketing and event?"