Taco Bell Comes to Bethel for a Day
Air-dropped taco van makes up for prank
BETHEL - Bethel got a taste of big city life this weekend, with a little help from a popular fast food chain.
The city of Bethel is known for it's quiet rivers and fish camps. 400 miles of wilderness separate the residents here from the nearest highway.
The 6,000 residents here have learned to live without big box stores and fast food chains, but many of them still crave a taste that can't be found anywhere in Western Alaska.
“Every time I go to Anchorage, people ask me to bring back tacos from Taco Bell, because everybody out here loves Taco Bell,” said Bethel resident Joyce Straight.
And for a few days this spring the town thought they were getting one.
But it turned out not to be true. “When I heard it was a hoax, it made my heart sink,” Straight said, laughing.
News of the great taco letdown eventually made it to Taco Bell executives. “I know what it is like to crave something and then have it not show up, it'd be like me promising my five year old ice cream, and then not deliver - I couldn't let that happen to these people,” said Brian Niccol of Taco Bell.
So with a hundred people at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Taco Bell made the trip north, assembling 10,000 tacos to feed the lines of hungry people lined up outside the Cultural Center.
They didn’t have to fly into the city to get their tacos this weekend, because the tacos are flying to them.
For people here, it was worth the wait for a taste of mainstream America. Even if it was just for one day.
Air travel to Bethel was provided by Era Aviation.