Solar eclipse tourism could bring more than $1 million to Columbia

3 months 23 hours 38 minutes ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT August 23, 2017 in Eclipse Impact
By: Daniel Litwin, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – The solar eclipse has come and gone, and Columbia is saying the once-in-a-lifetime event brought around $1.36 million into the city.

For now, Columbia’s Convention and Visitors Bureau can only approximate based on two city-sponsored events Monday at Gans Creek and Cosmo Park.

The bureau reached this estimate by calculating the number of cars at each event, which gives an idea of how many people were in attendance.

“We had about 2000 parking spaces full at Cosmo Park. If you put those numbers together, about three and a half people per car, that’s roughly about 8000 people,” said Convention and Visitors Bureau director Amy Schneider. "At Gans Creek we had about 250 spaces full. That’s about 875 people."

The bureau's multiple marketing effectiveness studies shows people spent around $537 this weekend.

So that figure combined with more than 2500 vehicles, and it appears Columbia did quite well during the eclipse.

“What we’re looking at when we talk about a party spend is lodging, any restaurants they may have gone to the day before, retail, gas spent,” Schneider said.

This estimate doesn’t take in to account the city's 470 Airbnb rentals or attendance at any other events.

“From conversations, I know city parks were filled as well as multiple other events with visitors that also contributed to the economic impact in the city,” Schneider said.

Hotels in Columbia were just as full as the city's parks and events.

"It's just like a graduation weekend," said Steve Bales, general manager of the Wingate Hotel.

The Wingate Hotel was 100 percent booked for the eclipse weekend and made around $18,000. Bales, president of the Columbia Missouri Hospitality Association, said hotel managers across the city were so booked, they were "banking on no-shows."

"[Managers were] asking 'hey, do you guys have any rooms available in case we have to walk some people,' because a lot of them oversold for the event," Bales said.

Though this is just the first estimate, Schneider said she’s not complaining from the result.

“Anyone would think $1.3 million is good,” Schneider said. “We didn’t know what to expect, so we were very pleased with the numbers that were there.”

"Events like this help us support all the hoteliers, the restaurants, the taxis. It's good for the economy," Bales said.

Final numbers for the solar eclipse’s economic impact should be available in late September after sales and lodging taxes are calculated.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia police arrested three men Tuesday in connection with the robbery at McDonald's on Smiley Lane. Detectives... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 9:28:00 AM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri wants you to help feed families in need this holiday... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 9:26:00 AM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police detained six people early Tuesday following a shots fired call on Clark Lane. Officers went to... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 8:52:00 AM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The heavily traveled road Ballenger Lane has raised concern to homeowners and travelers due to its lack of... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, November 21 2017 Nov 21, 2017 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 2:20:00 AM CST November 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia education leaders are concerned Gov. Eric Greitens is playing partisan politics with the state's board of education... More >>
2 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 11:21:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
BELLE - The mayor of Belle, who is also a volunteer firefighter, crashed into the back of an ambulance that... More >>
2 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 10:32:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
BELLE - Abatement Officer Tony Baretich is under investigation for 13 complaints that were formally filed against him after he... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 8:16:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in Target 8
COLUMBIA - The city council met Monday night to hear the Visitors Bureau proposal to change the city's current definition... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 6:12:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The state of Missouri has announced an increase to the state's minimum wage Monday. Businesses will... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 6:01:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
FULTON - Police arrested a woman after she allegedly attempted to steal a car from a shop, then broke into... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 3:23:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Jack and Katie Hanney know probably better than anyone else that life can throw curve-balls when least expected.... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 3:03:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Mayors from across Missouri met in Columbia Monday to discuss a variety of policies they say are negatively... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 2:13:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - As videos surface of package thieves targeting many neighborhoods, residents are talking about the need for security cameras.... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 2:11:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The owner of the Broadway Hotel still plans to request a TIF from City Council for a $20... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 2:00:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors charged an inmate at the Boone County Jail with damaging the facility after he allegedly flushed his... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 1:53:33 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal investigation will look into possible civil rights violations by police in the St.... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 1:44:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
FAYETTE - The special prosecutor in the case against a woman accused of bullying a teenager has filed more charges,... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 1:06:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - With the holiday season upon us, more people will be traveling, and Columbia Regional Airport announced another way... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 12:51:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 46°
10pm 41°
11pm 40°
12am 40°
1am 40°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:20p
Sunday Night Football Thanksgiving Special
10:30p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
11:05p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
Seinfeld
10:30p
Rules of Engagement

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football Thanksgiving Special
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Arrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld