Most people would not think twice if they saw crowds and long lines winding around Washingtonâ€™s Sportâ€™s Bar and Grill on a Friday night.
But Friday was no ordinary night in Fort Collins because Angelina Pivarnick, of the â€œThe Jersey Shore,â€ invaded Old Town with bronzer and fist pumps, the likes of which her showâ€™s fans have come to expect.
When Pivarnick entered Washingtonâ€™s at 11 p.m., attendees described the scene as out of this world.
â€œAbout a month of planning goes into an event like this,â€ said Ryan Lewakowski, whose event company, Sick Productions, played a part in bringing Pivarnick to Colorado. â€œThe other half is spent hammering out marketing and promotions.â€
Washingtonâ€™s drew in more than 1,000 guests throughout the night, according to Sean McCarthy, event promoter and coordinator. People came from Fort Collins and Denver, thanks to buses organized for the event.
Pivarnickâ€™s appearance comes on the heels of a visit by Paul (DJ Pauly D) DelVecchio â€“â€“ another Jersey Shore cast member â€“â€“ to Denverâ€™s Beta nightclub in early September.
â€œThe two events were significantly different,â€ McCarthy said, noting however, that both shared â€œthe â€˜Jersey Shoreâ€™ fever.â€
Appearances from the showâ€™s cast members have become hot ticket items across the country, usually requiring large sums of money and special treatment for each visitor.
Reality stars like Pivarnick can demand anywhere from $7,500 to an upward of $15,000 for an appearance. Other stars like Mike (The Situation) Sorrento, known for his catch phrases and stints on â€œDancing With The Stars,â€ can receive up to $30,000 per appearance.
For some, the explosion in popularity of these stars is no surprise.
McCarthy said that young professionals and college students are able to identify with reality TV characters.
â€œThese shows catch on so quickly with the younger demographics to the point that sayings like GTL (gym, tan, laundry) can be identified by most college students,â€ McCarthy said. â€œEven if they havenâ€™t seen the show.â€
Fort Collins is no stranger to MTV reality stars.
Andrew Woods, who formerly worked at Washingtonâ€™s and as a Collegian cartoonist, saw a large rise in noticeability after his stint on â€œThe Real World.â€
Media experts like Brian Ott, a former CSU and current CU-Denver professor, note that although the obsession with these stars may seem like a trend, audiences have given reality stars mass attention which prolongs their â€œ15 minutesâ€ throughout history.
CSU students like Olivia Mastronardi, a senior communications major, were surprised by Pivarnickâ€™s down-to-earth and genuine nature.
â€œShe was different from what I had anticipated from the show,â€ said Mastronardi, who equated talking to Pivarnick with talking to a friend.
Pivarnick was candid with Mastronardi about her experiences on the show, particularly what is edited and the behind-the-scenes action audiences donâ€™t see.
Both McCarthy and Lewakowski believe they can continue to draw crowds like those seen at Washingtonâ€™s on Friday by bringing musical act Hyper Crush to The Aggie on Nov. 17.
Staff writer Sean Bucher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.