Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson Has a Beef with South Dakota
I know Dos Equis beer wants us to think that the guy in their TV ads is the 'most interesting man in the world'. But for my money, it's no contest - Richard Branson is the coolest dude on the planet.
This 68-year old Brit is part entrepreneur, part activist, part thrill seeker, part philanthropist, and part celebrity.
The founder of Virgin is worth $4 billion and for the past 19 years has gone by Sir Richard after being knighted by Prince Charles in 2000.
He's not exactly the kind of guy you would think cares about what goes on in South Dakota - if he even knows where South Dakota is.
But Sir Richard has the Mount Rushmore State on his mind these days for something we didn't do.
Nearly five years ago, in December of 2014, Branson launched Virgin Voyages, a Virgin-owned and operated cruise line. Since then, travelers from every state in America have booked a trip on one of Virgin Voyages' ships - except one.
You guessed it - South Dakota.
That hasn't gone unnoticed by the boss.
Branson and Virgin Voyages have even rented billboards in South Dakota to get the message out.
He's now sweetening the pot for someone from the Mount Rushmore State offering the first resident who books a cruise a prize package that includes $605 in Sailor Loot to use on-board the Scarlet Lady; two first-class tickets from South Dakota to Miami, a one-night hotel stay in Miami; and limo transfer to the ship in Miami.
So who is going to be South Dakota's first customer?