Posted: Dec 19, 2012 8:32 AM by Victoria Fregoso - MTN News
BILLINGS - Despite the failure of several previous disaster prophesies, businesses in Billings are seeing a rush of customers prepping for this Friday, both from partiers and survivalists worried about predictions the world will end based on the Mayan calendar.
At the Billings Army Navy Surplus store, owner Eddie Schmidt said customers come in on a daily basis and stock up on everything from survival gear to food.
"We've kind of been seeing it for a year or better, a lot of people get a little nervous, either at election time or this time is for the Mayan calendar," Schmidt said.
Lanterns, tents, ammo cans and wool blankets are just some of the items in high demand. But topping that list are MREs, Meals Ready to Eat. Some customers have even purchased them by the pallet.
"The military meal always is an easy way for people to eat and they're self heating so they don't require any outside heat source," Schmidt said.
Party America is also seeing some of this doomsday traffic, said Billings Party America owner Lisa Gouveia. The store is running low on end of the world decorations that read "Party like there is no to-maya."
Party organizers are going beyond the end of the world theme by throwing luaus, playing dress up and taking a trip back in time to the 1920s.
"I think the people coming in here are just having fun, I mean it's just a reason to have a party," Gouveia said.
The last rush of "end of the world" party throwers happened in 1999 for Y2K. The store sees this upcoming end of the world prediction as an opportunity for party lovers to have one party after the next.
"You get to have two parties this year, hopefully, the Friday one and then on New Year's Eve," Gouveia said.