LINCOLN COUNTY (FOX5) -- Now that the permits are officially approved, event organizers said they’re ready to sign checks and finalize plans for two alien-themed festivals near Rachel, Nevada.
“This is the most unknown event I’ve ever dealt with in my life which is exciting and terrifying all at the same time,” said Keith Wright.
Wright is helping plan Storm Area 51 Basecamp at the Alien Research Center. He said 250 people bought a ticket so far but they’re expecting a lot more people to show up.
Wright said they’re capping it at 5,000 people.
“The good news is we already have the entertainment lined up, we have the speakers lined up,” said Wright.
They’ve also mapped out the venue. So what’s next?
“I have to build a city off in the middle of no where,” he said.
Wright said they’re putting $80,000 toward building infrastructure like restrooms, water, security.
“Elated, and I’m shaking inside. You know that just means it’s even realer than it was,” said Connie West after the Lincoln County Commissioner meeting on Tuesday.
She’s transforming 30 acres behind the The Little Al’e’inn.
Alienstock is expected to be free except for camp site parking. West said she doesn’t know how many people are going to the festival but 700 people have bought a camp site. Each camp site pass holds up to eight people.
“Now I can get a check written to pay for this security and not stress so much,” said West.
The stress is still there for some neighbors like Joerg Arnu.
“The infrastructure in Rachel is non-existent. There’s no gas station ... the highway is not designed for that amount of traffic,” said Arnu.
Arnu said he’s worried for the safety of residents and visitors.
“There’s going to be a lot of very unhappy people because they won’t find what they’re expecting and will turn against the town,” he said.
Arnu said he spent more than $1,000 preparing his house.
“I put up temporary fencing, my property is fenced, I put up a lot of lights,” he said.
“Still pretty concerned knowing we don’t know how many people will be coming,” said Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee.
Lee said it’s difficult to plan for the unknown. As of now, they’re bringing in more than 300 police officers and first responders from around the state.
Now the real work begins.
“We got to figure out how we’re going to get all those agencies to talk to one another and communicate that back to our 911 center and to make sure everything flows because in any large incident, probably the biggest downfall has always been communication,” said Lee.
Officers from Las Vegas are on standby if they need help. Sheriff Lee said mutual aid will help pay for the extra resources.