Solar eclipse will impact economy as tens of thousands come to region

1 month 1 week 3 days ago June 14, 2017 Jun 14, 2017 Wednesday, June 14 2017 Wednesday, June 14, 2017 6:28:00 PM CDT in Eclipse Impact
By: Carolina Brigagao, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Local business in Columbia are preparing for a sizable increase in tourists in August.

Columbia is within the Ribbon of Totality, the path of the total solar eclipse through the United States. The center of that ribbon is called the Ideal Line, and Columbia lays in that path. 

"This is one of those truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. We don't get to say that very often," said Megan McConachie, communications manager for Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).

CVB estimates that during the weekend of the eclipse, the city will get more then 100,000 tourists from all over the the world. She said it is "a great number for that time of year."

McConachie said the CVB is expecting the eclipse to have a big impact on the local economy.

"This influx of people is going to really affect our tourism-related businesses, our hotels, our restaurants, our shops downtown, gas stations. All of those places are going to see a big influx of visitors. And so that has a really strong economic impact on our community over a very short period of time," she said.

Some local businesses heard the news of the solar eclipse years ago, and decided to plan big-scale events. That includes Andrew Sharp, co-founder of Logboat Brewing in Columbia. 

"I think there is a lot of excitement building," he said.

The brewery is hosting 'Sip with the Eclipse,' a three-day event with music and a new signature black ale. 

"We have a pretty big party planned, with some of our favorite bands and new release of a black ale. So, we are expecting, I think right now, we have over one thousand people interested in the event on our Facebook page. We have high hopes," Sharp said.

Serenity Valley Winery in Fulton started prepping for the eclipse as soon as it heard of the event more than a year ago, according to its co-owner Regina Ruppert.

"I had calls from Minnesota, from Chicago, Wisconsin, quite a few different locations," she said.

Paul Huesgen, bar manager at Flat Branch Pub and Grill, said the restaurant plans to make the eclipse an extension of another event in July. 

"We will kinda take a continuation of what we are doing for the Fourth of July. Right across the street, is where they shoot off the fire works. So, we got the best seat in the house. So, we figured it's going to be the same for the eclipse. We will probably fence off the parking lot. I think our brewers have some specialty beers in the works, and our chefs are working on some sort off features for that day," he said. 

Lakota Coffee Co. manager Andrew DuCharme said he is already thinking about what the shop is going to do. 

"I think it will be huge. We are going to have a huge influx of people in town. People are going to need to be eating going to be drinking," he said. "We do have some plans. I haven't decided yet what we are going to do. But we will definitely be doing something for sure." 

McConachie said local businesses, especially those downtown, should be prepared.

"All those local businesses are going to be making sure they have additional staff on hand. We have a lot of hotels that are seeing lots of reservations for Sunday and Monday night in August. It's pretty unique. And so we are already seeing some of those benefits of this eclipse tourism as we are getting closer," she said.

As if the heavy flow of tourists isn't enough, that week will be the start of a new year for many schools.

"The universities, both at Mizzou and William Woods and Westminster, are staring back to school that Monday. So, that influx of people, plus those who are coming specifically from out of state or even throughout Missouri for the event is going to be impressive I think," Ruppert said.

CVB is using its crowd estimates as it plans several eclipse-related events. But, McConachie said the predicted number might change if Columbia doesn't have a good weather forecast for that day.

"Of course, a lot of it depends on the weather, if Columbia is going to be sunny that day, if the sky is going to be clear," she said. "However, if the weather is not ideal that day, there are going to be people moving along that line of totality trying to seek out a clear spot."

The bureau has been preparing for the eclipse for more than a year, with events planned for Bear Creek Trial and Cosmo Park.

"Starting on Sunday, there is a 5-K, there is a bike ride, a music festival. So, we want to make sure we are getting people out to the park on Sunday, and then on Monday of course," McConachie said. "And for our eclipse enthusiasts, we are directing them down the Gans Creek Recreation Area, where there will be fewer services but also fewer people and it's a little bit closer to the ideal line of totality."

 

See complete Show Me Eclipse coverage all summer at komu.com/eclipse and every Wednesday on KOMU 8 News at Six. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Conservation is encouraging eclipse viewers to visit the state’s conservation areas Aug. 21 to... More >>
4 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 6:45:00 PM CDT in Eclipse Events
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives of the man who died during a shootout with police al ong a Missouri interstate... More >>
6 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 5:23:14 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have passed legislation to impose new regulations on abortion and give the attorney general... More >>
7 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 4:32:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Some residents have received an email from a phony city traffic collections department, the City of Columbia Parking... More >>
7 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 4:29:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After a tragic accident that took the lives of two Jefferson City residents this past weekend people... More >>
7 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 4:06:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - COMO Connect will propose budget cuts to the city council headlined by the possible cancellation to three different... More >>
7 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 4:04:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri referred a case of possible misappropriation of funds by a former staff member from... More >>
7 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 3:37:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Summer road trips are going to be cheaper for Missouri drivers this year. According to AAA, the... More >>
8 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 3:15:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri woman has reached a settlement in a lawsuit she filed against a former neighbor... More >>
12 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 11:13:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Authorities have identified the victims of a triple shooting at a St. Joseph apartment complex... More >>
15 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:32:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- The Mizzou International Composers Festival began its series of concerts Monday night with a free show at Whitmore Recital... More >>
15 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:00:00 AM CDT in News
FLORISSANT, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a custodian for a St. Louis suburb took photos under the skirts of female... More >>
16 hours ago July 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017 Tuesday, July 25 2017 Tuesday, July 25, 2017 6:57:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - On Monday, Mayor Carrie Tergin presented her approved budget to the city council. Tergin calls the... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 9:08:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College has seen drastic growth in enrollment and will spend $20 million to expand its campus. Columbia... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 6:16:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Fulton Medical Center announced the hospital will be closing no later than September 22 and the announcement comes... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 5:13:00 PM CDT in News
ARNOLD (AP) — Investigators said a motorist who died after a shootout with police along a busy Missouri interstate had... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:21:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — More than 28,000 people in the Kansas City metro area remain without power after weekend storms... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:17:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Democrats voiced concerns over a veto by Governor Greitens after a public hearing Monday morning. The... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:08:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
12am 78°
1am 77°
2am 76°
3am 75°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
11:00p
Rules of Engagement
11:30p
Rules of Engagement
12:00a
Raising Hope

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:01p
World of Dance
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld