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Tiny Nevada town at the center of 'Storm Area 51' internet craze

Posted at 10:59 PM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-09 19:45:12-04

RACHEL (KTNV) — A small town in the middle of the dusty Nevada desert feels more like the center of the universe after an internet craze to "Storm Area 51" has gained attention from around the world.

Connie West, owner of the A'Le'Inn, says her phone has been ringing nearly nonstop since last week.

"I have no rooms on [September] 20th" said West.

On a typical day, West is busy helping run her family business, which consists of a restaurant and a few motel rooms.

ORIGINAL STORY: More than 400,000 want to storm Area 51

Even in Rachel Nevada, which has a population of just 56 people, the usual visitor crowd can be a tall order to handle.

"One million said they were interested and another million said they were coming," said West about the Facebook event which has gained traction in recent days.

"It just spread like wildfire," said Connie's son, Cody West.

Just down the road lies Area 51, which is considered a fortress of government secrets and military might.

PHOTOS: Rachel preparing for 'Storm Area 51'

"It's going to be interesting, very interesting," said Linda Looney at the nearby Alien Research Center.

Looney said the center is preparing for an invasion, fearing authorities could close down the nearby road if thousands of people try to rush Area 51.

"I hope there's not that many people that are saying they're going to be here," added Looney.

RELATED: US Air Force warns against joke event to 'storm Area 51'

The small town is now concerned about the invasion of people needing food and shelter for the September weekend.

West knows she doesn't have enough burgers and beds to go around.

"All we can do it what we can do," said West.

"Nothing more, nothing less," she added.