Special event permits were approved Aug. 19 at the county commission meeting for two events in conjunction with the Storm Area 51 event planned for the weekend of Sept. 20-22.
One event is Alien Stock at the Little A’Le’Inn and the other is the Storm Area 51 Alien Palooza Day at the Alien Research Center on SR375 near Hiko.
George Harris of the Alien Research Center and Connie West of the Little A’Le’Inn say they’re planning a couple days of concurrent activities that include music, food and various vendors.
Both events are intended to discourage people from going out into the desert with the hope of trying to storm the Air Force facility.
Harris and West want their events to stress “fun over frenzy,” but at the same time be prepared.
Harris said, “Safety is of the utmost concern. We are going to have a 55-foot truck with bottled water from Real Water come from Las Vegas. We will also donate a pallet to the sheriff’s department.”
He told the commission board he is hoping this entire function, if managed well, could generate a lot of money for Lincoln County. He noted the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota each August nets about $12 million.
Harris said he is anticipating around 8,000-15,000 people. “But they are going to come no matter what we do. We just need to be prepared.”
With that in mind, Harris said he has hired a man who has 20 years of experience in managing large events, including outside events sponsored by Caesar’s Palace World of Entertainment.
He has also hired a 10-man security team, “mostly ex-military and active officers from Vegas Metro, highly experienced in understanding crowd management. And Guardian Ambulance Service will bring up an ambulance and two EMTs.”
Several acres of land will be set aside for parking at the Alien Research Center including one acre for tent campers.
“Our entire property will be fenced and a person will have to go through one of five guarded entry points,” Harris said.
“Our event will be more of a family-oriented UFO studies seminar. We will have speakers and book signings. I’m comfortable with what we have going on to make our event go off correctly.”
He said those who come should bring their own food, water, power generators and should not expect network Wi-Fi and cell phone service. The local networks will be jammed quickly and will be unable to handle the overload.
Meantime, Harris said he is seeking to negotiate a deal “to rent some satellite time, to have our own streaming and cell phone ability.” He admitted, “It is an expensive venture.”
Connie West of Little A’Le’Inn said her event will have fenced-in boundaries and a concert stage. A water truck with bottled water and ice will be available. A backup truck will be stationed in Tonopah or Las Vegas.
At an earlier commission meeting she said the restaurant will be closed Sept. 20.
One point she emphasized was that no backpacks or purses will be allowed in the fenced-in music festival grounds, “and we completely discourage anyone from going on BLM land.” A special area is being prepared for parking vehicles, RVs and campers.
When questioned about visitors plugging into the Lincoln County Power grid, she said, “No. Nobody is going to be allowed to do that.” A limited number of electric generators will be made available for vendors.
West said she has been contacted by a satellite provider interested in setting up Internet capabilities at the event.
On medical and security staffing plans, she requested the county ensure “that there be one law enforcement officer for every 100 attendees.” Also, “Contracted medical teams will be roaming during the event as well as a stationary facility, but we don’t know at all how many to plan for.”
In addition, no campfires will be allowed at campsites, “Only at specifically designated areas, because it will be chilly at night. Security will be posted at the designated firepits.”
Issuing of the conditional permits requires the organizers to submit final plans for security, insurance, medical, parking plans, water and sanitation, etc. at the next commission meeting Sept. 3. If not, the permits could be revoked.