‘Bring it’: Businesses rush to cash in on Storm Area 51 joke as founder feels ‘spooked’
The alleged creator of the world-famous viral Storm Area 51 event is concerned that people might be missing the joke, but business, local and otherwise, are less concerned and happily cashing in on the phenomenon.
“I posted it on, like, June 27 and it was kind of a joke,” Matty Roberts said of the moment it all kicked off. “And then it waited for like three days, like 40 people, and then it just completely took off, out of nowhere. It’s pretty wild.”
He said he was mostly concerned that as the event became increasingly popular the FBI would actually show up at his house. “It got a little spooky from there,” he admitted.
However, plucky businesses large and small wasted no time in cashing in on the internet craze.
“We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” the tongue-in-cheek event description said.
Connie West, the co-owner of Little A’Le’Inn, the closest lodging to Area 51, says she’s fully booked on the day of the ‘event.’ She also has 30 acres of camping grounds people can book for $15 a night and so far 60 people have booked their spot.
“Bring it!” West said. “It will be an experience. We’ll figure out how to deal with it or we won’t.”
She’s also hoping that at least some of the 1.7 million attendees decide to pick up a memento (T-shirts, bumper stickers, coffee cups and keychains) of the event at the inn’s gift shop.
However, many local Airbnbs are reportedly still largely available for the night in question, should any attendees still be on the lookout for a bed.
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Amid the torrent of memes, Rapper Lil Nas X also released an animated music video for his already viral hit ‘Old Town Road,’ which features him and animated versions of country star Billy Ray Cyrus, rapper Young Thug, famous Walmart yodeling sensation Mason Ramsey, and immortal good guy Keanu Reeves storming the facility.
The video has already accrued 5.8 millions views since it was released on July 16, and is monetized for ads on YouTube.
The people behind the viral event have set up a website, teasing a special announcement with the line: “Something big is coming.” For the time being, however, it’s just a platform to hawk some merchandise about “clapping alien cheeks.”
ProjectorGames has created a video game about the event, an early access version of which is already available on the video game platform Steam.
Cashing in on the virality of the whole shenanigans, Bud Light said it would be giving away free beer to any aliens that escape from Area 51. To mark the occasion, the company also unveiled its newly designed Area 51 Special Edition can. Following stern warnings from the USAF, however, the company unequivocally stated that it would not be sponsoring the Storm Area 51 event in any way.
Local business owner and one-time candidate for local mayor, George Harris, has hired bands, shipped in an acre of artificial grass and will be screening alien and UFO films around the event in the hopes of turning the viral meme into an annual festival named ‘The Swarm.’
“If they’ve got 1.2 million people at a minimum – at the bare, bare, bare minimum – at least 2,500 people will show up to do it, and if it’s really crazy then we might have 25,000 people show up,” Harris rather optimistically proposed.
More realistically, however, Harris also explained that would-be alien hunters might be underestimating just how long they’d have to run for. According to his estimation, it’s three miles from the back gate to the guard shack, from there it’s 28 miles to the dry lake, then another six before taking a sharp left and running a further nine-and-a-half miles to reach the base.
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