storm area 51

(Gai Phanalasay/FOX5)

A big bill is left over for all of the extra emergency services used in Lincoln County at Area 51 weekend.

LINCOLN COUNTY (FOX5) -- The Area 51 invasion is over. 

Thousands of people drove out to Rachel and Hiko for two alien-themed music festivals over the weekend. 

Lincoln County Emergency Manager Eric Holt called the weekend a success. He said they spent a lot of time preparing and planning so they were ready. It turned out to be a manageable size crowd which Holt said helped. 

About 100 people jokingly "stormed" the gates of Area 51 early Friday and Saturday morning, but most people just hung out at the festivals. 

Holt said at it's peak on Friday, there were about 3,000 people camping at Alienstock. Plus, hundreds of other people who drove out for day trips. 

"It's beautiful what's going on out here," said Connie West Wednesday night,  before Alienstock officially kicked off. 

West hosted Alienstock behind her motel, The Little A'Le'Inn. 

On the phone Monday afternoon, West said the event was "fabulous, absolutely fabulous." 

She said she would do it again next year if allowed. 

"I don't necessarily think we need to do it again," said Joerg Arnu. 

Arnu lives in Rachel. He was against Alienstock from the beginning. He voiced his concerns to Lincoln County Commissioners in the beginning of September. 

Now that it's over? 

"We are relieved and happy that everybody had a good time and there were no incidents," Arnu said. 

Arnu said heading into the weekend, he was especially worried about trash. 

"It's not as bad as we had feared but you know stuff gets away from people. It's not as if they want to litter but you know plastic wraps get away from people, they fly all over the place so there is some litter," Arnu said. 

Lincoln County is now left with a $200,000 bill. Holt said that's what it cost to bring in about 300 officers and supplies to support them all weekend. It's left than the county expected and budgeted for, but it's still $200,000 they don't have. County Commissioners are taking money from the "Land Fund Act" to pay the bill. 

The county deployed an emergency declaration back in August. Holt said he is sending a letter of intent to the state this week to try to get up to 50 percent of the money reimbursed. 

It's a length process. Holt said they won't see any money for at least a year. 

Other people lost money too. West said she's down about $40,000 and yet she would still want to host another festival next year. 

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

FOX5 Multimedia Journalist

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(1) comment

Steven

It was an exercise in stupidity.

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