I have been wondering since we first hit Roswell, New Mexico if there are other towns like this unique place that have built an entire tourist business on an incident alleged to have happened here. I have not travelled broadly enough to report on that but, will keep looking. The purported 1947 alien landing or more accurately crash in Roswell has put this town on the map and most businesses here seem to capitalize on it.
Entering or leaving the town there are welcoming signs of the third kind. Every store, business or important entity has shared in the fun and spread the word about what they are-the all- important spot where Alien beings had some motor trouble. Some believe it is just a myth.
Of course you have the official places like the museums that give their side of the controversy in much detail and add a great deal of credence to the story. They offer factual materials, testimonies and documents. They actually are the worlds’ best research library and it is located right at the international UFO Museum.
Dan and I are believers in such things but, even if you aren’t you need to believe in the theme being good for the town and businesses must all agree since most display their own token alien and spaceship in some form. I mean even the laundromat, one of our first stops featured a huge mural of the aliens and their spaceship along with really cute alien decorated signs as to how to how to keep your children safe at the Laundromat.
The number of gift shops specializing in UFO items has been reduced from the 15 originally capitalizing on the theme and now it is closer to half that number. Consider some names like Alien Zone, Star Child, Roswell Landing, UFO Gifts, Weirdest Gift Shop in the Galaxy and Extraterrestrial Souvenir Shops. Many of the town business names are indicative of the theme as well.
Whatever you think about UFO’s. They must be doing something right in Roswell, New Mexico as it attracts about 250,000 tourists a year. Not bad!
All photos courtesy of Dan Wentzel.