For sale: Frozen Dead Guy Days

(Image: Matt McClain/New York Times)

With Mile High Stadium now named for a family of mutual funds and a basketball facility in Minnesota named for a utility company, it should come as no surprise that the folks in Nederland also want to cash in. That’s right, Frozen Dead Guy Days is for sale.

Who wouldn’t want to own the rights to a 3-day party that draws up to 20,000 people a year to this sleepy mountain town west of Boulder?

The marketing opportunities alone could be worth considerable cold cash. How about the SubZero Frozen Dead Guy Festival? Or the Coors Frozen Dead Guy Days. You’d know the party was ready to start when the Coors logo on the coffin turned blue. The possibilities are endless.

Believe it or not, this is not merely a colorful little local story. It made the cover of today’s New York Times:

As a business opportunity, Nederland’s frozen dead guy is pretty hot right now. Well, technically, of course, he’s still frozen, packed in dry ice in a shed outside town, as he has been for going on 20 years.

But the concept and the rights to the name Frozen Dead Guy Days, the gleefully ghoulish late-winter bacchanal of ice and death and beer — that’s up for grabs. The Nederland Area Chamber of Commerce here in the mountains northwest of Denver owns the registered trademark to all things Dead Guy and has put those rights up for sale.

“It has grown out of our grasp,” said Blue Hessner, the chamber’s president. Mr. Hessner said that the board would consider all offers, with no pre-set price, and that depending on the buyer, “it could become a little more commercial.” He said discussions were under way with two potential buyers, but he declined to name any names.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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