OGDEN -- Was the mysterious big tipper in Ogden this month actually British tycoon Sir Richard Branson?
That is the rumor, according to a British newspaper.
The Daily Mail reports that the Virgin chairman was in the Ogden area Aug. 17 to meet with representatives of the Summit Series, a business networking firm that purchased Powder Mountain ski resort earlier this year. At the same time a patron at Brewski's, Alleged and Wolf Mountain in Ogden Valley left tips totaling $7,000 to servers.
The newspaper cited no sources confirming Branson was the source of the three monster tips. In fact Alleged owner Jared Allen, when contacted by the newspaper, denied that Branson was in the bar the night the large tip was dropped. But Allen did say the famous billionaire was in town that weekend.
The newspaper reported Branson may have been in town as part of the planning for the Summit Series, an annual conference for entrepreneurs. He was a keynote speaker at the 2011 conference.
The big spender at Brewskis on 25th Street paid for a $214.75 bar tab with his American Express, and included a $5,000 tip.
Then at Alleged, a patron left a $1,000 tip on a $49 bill -- paying with an elite American Express Centurion card.
Proprieters of Brewskis have declined comment on the tipping incident there; word on the street is that the windfall may have caused hard feelings among some members of the bar's staff.
Over at Alleged, the tip was so big that the bar's computer software for its cash registers wouldn't permit the transaction.
"It only allows patrons to tip up to 100 percent, and he was wanting to tip, like, 2,000 percent," said Allen. "So he tipped 100 percent, and then had us list the rest of the tip as a purchase."
Allen said another $1,000 tip was reported while the party was golfing in Eden.