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Area 51 events in Nevada prompt emergency crowd planning

• https://apnews.com

The elected board governing the county with about 5,200 residents conditionally approved two events Monday for tiny desert towns near the once top-secret U.S. Air Force test area known in popular lore as a site for government studies of outer space aliens.

"Oh, we're taking this seriously," Lincoln County Commission Chairman Varlin Higbee told the Las Vegas Review-Journal . "With the possibility of 35,000 to 40,000 people showing up, yeah, this is serious."

County officials are concerned that a surge of visitors will crowd campsites, gas stations and public medical, internet and cellphone services. Officials count just 184 hotel rooms in the county nearly twice the size of the Connecticut.

"The cellphone system is going to go down," Higbee said. "You get more than a couple of hundred people there, and it's going to crash. Cell service won't be available."

The Little A'Le'Inn in the community of Rachel, population about 50, is scheduling a three-day music festival Sept. 20-22 dubbed Alienstock. Hotel co-owner Connie West has said she's expecting 10,000 people.

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