'It's a Frenzy': Communities Near Area 51 Brace for Influx of UFO Tourists - NBC Southern California
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'It's a Frenzy': Communities Near Area 51 Brace for Influx of UFO Tourists

A Facebook event encouraging people to "Storm Area 51" has ramped up alien-hunting buzz to an unprecedented level in Lincoln County, Nevada

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Be the Toast of the Breeders’ Cup
    John Locher/AP
    In this July 22, 2019 photo, Grace Capati looks at a UFO display outside of the Little A'Le'Inn, in Rachel, Nevada, the closest town to Area 51. The U.S. Air Force has warned people against participating in an internet joke suggesting a large crowd of people "storm Area 51," the top-secret Cold War test site in the Nevada desert.

    More than two million people have RSVP'd to a Facebook event, titled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” threatening to storm the top-secret base in Nevada, NBC News reported.

    Tourism drawn by talk of extraterrestrial activities has been a part of the economy for decades in the small towns that dot the valleys near Area 51.

    The boom began around 1989, when Bob Lazar, a self-described engineer, claimed to a Las Vegas television station that he worked on extraterrestrial aircraft that were housed at Area 51. Since then, business owners and residents have welcomed tourists hoping to get a peek at the military facility or spot a UFO in the sky.

    If the event brings the masses it’s promised, many in the area are excited for the potential extra business.

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    "It's a frenzy," said Connie West, who co-owns a motel, bar and restaurant called Little A’Le’Inn with her mother in Rachel, a tiny town about 50 miles from Alamo.