Hunting season is ramping up in Colorado and one fast-food chain is celebrating by opening a one-day-only pop-up restaurant atop a mountain on the Front Range that will serve a special offering.
Arby’s launches its new Big Game Burger at restaurants nationwide on Sept. 12, only the second burger in the restaurant’s history, said spokesperson Ellen Rose.
The name, as you might have guessed, refers to what’s in the patty: A blend of elk, venison and ground beef that’s topped with Swiss cheese, crispy onions, pickles and a dark cherry sauce.
Since the product is likely to attract adventurous eaters, Arby’s decided to commemorate its debut with an adventure in the Rocky Mountains.
“There’s a big passion point between people who love the outdoors, people who love to hunt and Arby’s,” Rose said.
The restaurant chain said it partnered with a private land owner near Denver to offer 40 locals the opportunity to hike to a remote location – up near 10,000 feet in elevation – where diners can try the Big Game Burger fresh from a “hike thru” window.
“We started talking about this several months ago and we were like, can we actually pull off making a restaurant in the woods to serve people food?” Rose said. “Turns out, yeah you can.”
Starting Thursday, Denverites can sign up to attend the hike on Sept. 12, which is about 4 miles through the wilderness, but with refreshment stations along the way, Rose said. She declined to say where the excursion would take place beyond “the outskirts of Denver,” but said those who register will receive all the details they need to join the hike.
There’s no cost to sign up at arbyshikethru.com, she added. Hikers will pick up their “trail pass” at a lower elevation Arby’s prior to the event.
Boulder’s Upslope Brewing runs a similar promotion every fall called Backcountry Taproom, during which people can hike to the top of a mountain and enjoy Upslope beers for an afternoon from a remote, makeshift taproom.
This isn’t the first time Arby’s has offered handhelds made with game meats. The company previously sold venison, elk and duck sandwiches as specialty offerings. The venison, which was tested in just a couple of markets, proved so popular Arby’s rolled it out to its roughly 3,400 locations nationwide, Rose said.
In 2017, Arby’s tested the elk sandwich in three states, including Colorado.
The Big Game Burger ($8.79) will be available for a limited time at Arby’s locations throughout the U.S. starting Monday, Sept. 11. If you don’t land a spot on the hike, you can buy themed merch such as Arby’s hiking socks, hats, jackets and water bottles at arbyshikethru.com.
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