I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream. The organizers of the famous Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert have been faced with a bizarre demand from U.S. land managers that the counterculture event supply special lodging, ice cream and other amenities to their staff working at the event. This includes 24-hour access to Chobani Greek Yogurt and a standalone freezer with Drumstick and Choco Taco ice cream for members of the United States Bureau of Land Management. The federal agencies have been steadily tacking on costs on the events and increasing the fees from $1 million in 2011 to an anticipated $5 million this year. The special compound for federal employees have been estimated to cost as much as $1 million.
Members of Congress have complained in letters that the demands are excessive and self-serving. Burning Man is now a major attraction for state businesses, bringing 70,000 people to the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada — with an estimated $35 million to the local economy each year.
The Bureau also demanded a so-called Blue Pit lodging facility that would have restroom trailers with flushable toilets, a washer and dryer room for laundry, and what have been called VIP accommodations in so-called “container apartment” units.
U.S. Representative Mark Amodei, a Republican representing the district, called the demands “the Black Rock Desert version of the Four Seasons hotel.” The Bureau has not responded.