The social and dating app is trying to make its presence felt in Aspen—but why?
The Bumble Powder 8 Championship held on Aspen Mountain
This winter, it was tough to miss the bright yellow presence of Bumble around town. The social networking app—which launched in 2014 and now also has a friends and a business component, Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz, respectively—has made a point to be as many local places as possible. It staged a yellow gondola in Gondola Plaza; dispersed branded swag at bars around town; and created a social media frenzy when it flooded Instagram with images of influencers shopping at Frame, dancing at Caribou Club and drinking Champagne at Cloud 9 during a winter trip hosted by Bumble.
However, the buzz—pun intended—around town has been one of confusion. Why would a dating and social app spend a considerable amount of time and money securing a presence in a town so small and so social that finding a date or a friend can be as easy as getting on the chairlift or heading to one of Aspen’s bars? The answer may be that Aspen is simply a
The seemingly newfound devotion the company has for Aspen relates to various employees’ affection for the town, including Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, says Alex Williamson, Bumble’s chief brand officer. “We have a deep-rooted love for Aspen,” says Williamson. “[Wolfe Herd] met her husband [Michael Herd] there; they have a home there, and so many people who are a part of the Bumble family have spent time there since they were kids.”
Williamson also says that, despite Aspen’s small size, it casts a large shadow, which helps explains Bumble’s desire for a presence. “Aspen has the most influential people living there,” she says. “They are trendsetters and people we respect and admire. For us, it makes sense to have Bumble show up there. If we were a clothing brand, we would want to have a store in Aspen, no question.”
Thomas Roennau and Jim Schanzenbaker won the Bumble Powder 8 Championship and $10,000.
Bumble’s presence has come in the form of sponsored happy hours around town over the holidays; on-site activations at X Games; and deals for app users at businesses around town, including Theory, SoulCycle and O2. It also manifested in the Bumble Powder 8 Championship, which took place on Aspen Mountain in February with a prize purse of $10,000. A portion of the registration fees benefited Challenge Aspen, although neither the nonprofit nor Bumble would disclose how much. Additionally, while Bumble employees mention that Wolfe Herd is involved in other local charities, they were unable to share which ones.
And while Bumble shows no signs of pulling back on its investment in Aspen, it is still a little unclear on the return. “Bumble is a connections hub,” says Williamson. “One of best ways for Bumble to connect people is [linking] visitors with locals, helping them integrate into the community so they can see what makes Aspen so special. It’s almost challenging to understand the magic of a community like Aspen unless you’re a local.” Finally, a fact everyone can agree on.
Photography by: bumble