Casa Bonita, for so many reasons, is one of South Park’s greatest episodes of all time. Kyle plans a birthday dinner and is told he can invite three friends — Stan, Kenny, and Butters. When Eric Cartman learns that he’s the odd man out, he convinces Butters that a meteor is headed toward Earth and coaxes him into hiding in a bomb shelter to survive…just long enough to miss Kyle’s birthday dinner so that Cartman can go in his place. By the time the whole crew gets to the fabled restaurant, the entire town has been looking for Butters for several days and the police have pieced together that Cartman was behind the whole thing just so he could enjoy the cliff divers, some sopapillas, Black Bart’s cave, and the mariachis, to name just a few things.
The episode, and everything about their infatuation with the Casa Bonita restaurant, are all so hilarious and ridiculous that you’d be forgiven for thinking Casa Bonita was just some made-up fun land for a cartoon. But it’s actually a real place that the show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, wrote into the storyline because all the things that seemed so ridiculous to plop into the middle of a Mexican restaurant — cliff divers and all — were actually fond memories from going there as kids. The episode actually infused a wave of business back into the old Denver staple, and almost 20 years after they made the place the setting of their season seven show, Parker and Stone announced that they were buying the eatery. They’ve reportedly pumped more than $40 million into it as part of a grand reopening earlier this year and the Denver restaurant now has a pretty robust offering of merchandise, from tee shirts and hats to…a custom snowboard and custom skis. How’s that for marketing?
The custom skis are running for $1,249 with the snowboard at $995 from Meier, a Denver brand that sources their wood locally in an effort to produce sustainable skis and boards. The design on each features the famous pink castle of Casa Bonita itself. If you want either of these as an ice breaker on the chair lift, they’ve announced they’ll only be making 500 total units with each being hand-numbered. They’re also selling each as wall art pieces for $849 and $649 respectively.
Now I can’t get “Woooow, awesome” out of my head.