WTF, Fruita? Controversial slogan wears out its welcome

WTF, Fruita? The Western Slope town already has a festival devoted to Mike the Headless Chicken, so was it such a stretch to put out a WTF welcome mat? But before the debate was over -- how welcoming was it, really, to greet tourists with a hearty "what the fuck?" -- even Time online had picked up the story.

The campaign started innocently enough: Locals Steve and Denise Hight printed 500 stickers with the slogan "WTF" in bold letters and "Welcome to Fruita" beneath, then handed them out to local businesses.

Their popularity inspired Fruita officials to think about turning WTF into an actual tourism campaign, and they posted two hypothetical billboards with the edgy welcome on the Fruita website, and asked for input:

The City of Fruita is in the process of developing a marketing strategy to attract more tourism to our area, and part of that strategy entails the design and production of promotional materials that will appear in fixed locations such as highway billboards, bumper stickers, and the like. We can't do it alone, however, so the City is requesting feedback from citizens on some different ideas.

Some citizens thought this edgy campaign went over the edge -- and late last week, before all the comments had been collected, the town nixed the idea.

The Hights' plan to distribute an additional 1,000 stickers with the slogan, and then put it to rest -- although they might want to consider adding another chapter to the 128-page history of their town they wrote last year. WTF?

A festival devoted to Mike the Headless Chicken? That's only the beginning of the weird tourist attractions our state has to offer. Learn more in "The Colorado Music Hall of Fame isn't the state's only claim to fame."

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