Some folks making a buck off 'doomsday' prediction
BUGARACH, FRANCE (CNN) - December 21st, 2012 is a key date in the Mayan calendar. Some say Friday marks the end of the world. Others say it's the beginning of a new era.
The peak of Bugarach has always been an asset to the people who live at its base, but the urban myth connecting it to the Mayan calendar and the end of the earth has certainly given a boost to the local economy.
Or at least hopes for the local economy, since apocalypse believers claim the mountain will protect the village on doomsday.
It's not just the stones from the mountain selling for 3 euros each.
Or the Bugarach Alien Wine for 5 euros a bottle or the water for 15.
It's also the local property owners who have been putting their houses and land up for sale at asking prices double the previous sale prices.
However, the mayor, who is against the profiteering, says the optimistic sellers are not finding buyers.
"Because of that publicity over the past two years with regard to the end of the world, on the 21st, they thought people would be coming here to buy land to protect themselves from doomsday. So they have multiplied the sale prices of their homes at least by two....but nothing has been sold!"
What the end of the world myth has led to, the mayor says, is the theft of the city's sign," (three have been stolen) "replacing them," says the mayor, "costs a lot of money!"
Still, the village of less than two hundred people stands to make something off its fame.
Already, journalists are flocking to the town, and the guest houses and camp grounds are booked up.
With all the media attention, few want to talk in specific terms about the money being made, but the rumor around town is that a guest house has rented its rooms for 1500 euros for the week and that campsites are going for as high as 350 euros; still, it seems like a bit of an exaggeration, since some, like Susan Harrison, are letting people camp on their land free,
"There are going to be many people. There are lots of media coming and lots of police coming so they'll provide business. And this is the hotel that's aready booked up for the end of the world...What are you expecting? For me....normally winter is very boring here, and for me it's entertaining. I like meeting people anyway so I'm open to it all," said Susan Harrison.
And this tiny village lost in the foothills of the Pyranees mountains is likely to see it all as the date for the end of the earth approaches.
The only local restaurant is putting up a tent to accomodate the expected crowds. Clearly some expect that there is money to be made from the end of the earth, and are at least a little confident they'll be around to spend it, even after doomsday.
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