Area 51 raid: Belize Tourism board is offering Rachel, Nevada, residents free vacations to escape the madness

Dillon Thompson
·2 min read

More than 2 million people have joined the viral Facebook event page to storm Area 51 and "see them aliens" on September 20. There's just one problem though: there's nowhere for those people to stay.

The town of Rachel, Nev., which houses the government facility long rumored to hold extraterrestrial life, has a population of just 54 and only one hotel.

That's where the Belize Tourism Board comes in. To help Rachel escape the madness, the organization is offering free vacations to the town's residents during the weekend of the Area 51 raid.

Each vacation includes a round-trip flight and a three-day, two-night stay at a hotel in the seaside nation. The tourism board values each prize at approximately $2,000.

RELATED: Take a tour of the small town that houses Area 51

"Unlike UFOs and aliens, this offer is 100% verifiably real and not a hoax," the tourism board said in a press release.

There's just one catch: only 10 of the town's 54 citizens will actually receive vacations. Rachel residents have through August 8 to apply, after which the tourism board will randomly select 10 winners.

The giveaway will likely be a welcome retreat for some townspeople, many of whom are bracing for the September 20 event.

Kerry Lee, the sheriff of Lincoln County, which contains both Rachel and Area 51, told CNN that the area typically sees just a few hundred tourists during that time of year.

"Heaven forbid the number is 5,000 people where you almost double the size of the county," Lee told CNN.

Little A'Le'Inn, the town's one hotel, has already booked all 14 of its rooms, according to CNN. Beyond that, it's unclear where visitors will stay.

Belize, meanwhile, is used to dealing with visitors. The Central American nation has a population of less than 400,000, but in 2018 the country welcomed roughly 1.6 million tourists last year.

The tourism board is just the latest group to join in on the Area 51 phenomenon. Last month, Bud Light announced it would offer free beer to any aliens that attended the event. Celebrities like Guy Fieri and Lil Nas X have also chimed in.

Anyone interested in the sweepstakes can email, making sure to attach proof that they are in fact a legal Rachel resident. Participants must be 18 or older.