A Bethel Taco Ball wasn't happening, isn't happening, and will not happen in the future- that didn't stop the Alaska town residents from believing it was a possibility, though. The hoax claiming the popular fast food restaurant was coming to town has folks disappointed, to say the least.
Bethel's Taco Bell hoax began when someone began posting yellow flyers around the 6,200-town advertising the coming restaurant. Included on the posting was an announcement that Taco Bell needed applicants to fill positions at the new store.
For Bethel residents, who currently have only one fast food store- Subway's- the discovery was a blessing. Unfortunately, about a week later, their hopes were dashed as they found the posters were nothing more than an elaborate prank.
"I repeat: Bethel is not getting a Taco Bell," local radio station KYUK broadcast to its listeners. "Sorry folks, you won't be able to munch on cheesy gordita crunches or grande nachos."
The flyer even directed those who were interested to call a number or visit a website. Both were fake.
"We got excited, because we don't have any fast food chains out here, and the idea of Taco Bell coming in?" Bonnie Bradbury, director of the Chamber of Commerce, told the Los Angeles Times.
"I called it too," Bradbury admitted. "They said 'Of course this is not Taco Bell.' They he kept getting phone calls, and he asked me if there was any way to stop the phone calls, they would appreciate it."
The solution for KYUK was to call Taco Bell operator Denali Foods, who confirmed that there were no plans to bring the restaurant to Bethel.
For the sleepy town, which is accessible only by boat or plane due to its location off Alaska's road system, it's a "letdown." The Anchorage Daily News called it an "evil hoax."
"Having grown up in rural Alaska I know what a letdown that would be!" commented nemrac39 on the Anchorage Daily News blog. "Not only for the potential jobs, but the FAST FOOD!!!!!"
Some good could come of the hoax though: now companies know that Bethel residents would "go crazy" for fast food.
"You bring a McDonald's or a KFC, people will go crazy out here," Tatiana Dotdot, who works in the local AC store, told the LA Times.
For now, though, the closest Taco Bell for Bethel is in Anchorage- about 400 miles away. The trickster who pulled the prank remains unknown.