What started as a viral facebook post in the summer of 2019 to Storm Area 51 later morphed into two events: Alienstock in Rachel, NV and the Storm Area 51 Basecamp event at the Alien Research Center in Hiko, NV.
The Rachel event was organized by Matty Roberts, the creator of the viral facebook post and by event organizer Frank DiMaggio. They expected a crowd of up to 50,000 for the event. A large group of Rachel residents were opposed to the event, mostly concerned about the safety of visitors and local residents. Their concerns were amplified by the lack of communication from the Little A'Le'Inn, the local bar involved in organizing the event in Rachel. A full list of their concerns, voiced at the Lincoln County Commissioners Meeting on August 19, 2019 can be found here.
On Monday, September 9, 2019 Roberts and DiMaggio cancelled the Rachel Alienstock event. They cited concerns similar to those of the Rachel residents: Security for the visitors, lack of transparency on the side of the Little A'Le'Inn and the lack of infrastructure in Rachel. Instead they decided to support the Area 51 Celebration in downtown Las Vegas where the needed infrastructure already existed.
On Thursday Sep 12, 2019 the creator of the Alienstock event sent a cease and desist letter to the Little A'Le'Inn to stop the Rachel event altogether. The Inn ignored the order and put on a much smaller event regardless.
The Rachel event attracted about 2,500 visitors to a less than organized event site. It was essentially a dusty dirt lot with amateur bands playing on a makeshift stage and a couple of food vendors. There was very little infrastructure but fortunately most visitors came prepared. Many of them chose to camp on surrounding public land instead of paying for a camp site. All weekend long increasingly annoyed local residents were bothered by tourists racing through town on the dirt roads because the Inn not only failed to hire a security company but also failed to set up road blocks as required by the special events permit. Rachel was a dust bowl and visitors put up signs like "No Alienstock" and "Go Home".
According to the Little A'Le'Inn's web site parking/camping spots sold for $60-$140 each. According to various news articles they sold at least 2,000 spots. In the 9/3/19 commissioners meeting Connie West of the Little A'Le'Inn stated they had sold 700 spots. Plus income from merchandise sales, food and beverage sales, vendor commissions and significantly increased business in the months before and after the event. Unfortunately the county did not do as well. By official statements this event cost the county upward of $250,000 for EMT, rescue units, overtime for local law enforcement and cost for calling in various departments and agencies from out of state. On top of that is cost for equipment, meals for first responders etc. This will likely result in an increase in property taxes in Lincoln County next year. As one Rachel resident put it, we could have all just handed the Inn $1,000 each and skipped the event.
Actually Rachel would have been better off that way. After the event ended the town was left with trash blowing all over town and along the highway.
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