(NEW YORK) — The residents of a small town in Alaska were disappointed to learn Thursday that advertisements for a new Taco Bell were a hoax.
Yellow flyers had been posted on bulletin boards around Bethel, Alaska, population 6,000, advertising employment at a Taco Bell restaurant. The flyers included a fake website and phone number, and caused a buzz in a town that has no fast-food restaurants.
Bonnie Bradbury, administrative assistant at the Bethel Chamber of Commerce, said, “I think it caused a stir of excitement. We probably have a dozen mom-and-pop type restaurants. The only chain we have is Subway.”
Bradbury admitted to checking the bogus website herself, noting that the page resembled the Taco Bell site but didn’t give any contact information. The phone number on the flyers belonged to a private resident, who’d enlisted Bradbury’s help in stopping the deluge of phone calls.
Denali Foods Inc. has confirmed that the flyers were a hoax. “I repeat, Bethel is not getting a Taco Bell,” said the announcer. Denali Foods Inc. operates all of the Taco Bells in the state.
“It was an excitement, but I don’t think anybody put too much thought in it really happening,” Bradbury said, adding, “it would be nice” if Taco Bell came to Bethel. McDonald’s could not set up in Bethel because of food codes.
Residents can get fast food only a few times a year, when they place their McDonald’s order for charity and have it delivered.
Anchorage, the location with the closest Taco Bell to Bethel, is 400 miles away.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Sara Weber, Deseret News
Cristina Alesci Seth Fiegerman and Charles Riley, CNN
Tara Bench, KSL.com
Jeff Peterson, Deseret News