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

3 years 1 month 3 weeks ago Wednesday, June 14 2017 Jun 14, 2017 Wednesday, June 14, 2017 6:28:00 PM CDT June 14, 2017 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 Columbia Police Department is asking for help in locating a Columbia man who was last seen on... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 9:16:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —Despite ongoing uncertainties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, several business owners have opened up shop in the North Village... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 6:57:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge has ordered a halt to evictions in St. Louis through the end of August,... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 6:23:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA —Tax Free Weekend usually sees a rush of parents buying everything they need for their kids for the upcoming... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 5:32:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. This... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 5:30:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — State Rep. Jon Carpenter is the likely winner of a Democratic primary for a Clay County... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 5:13:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA — The SEC has announced two more games of the 2020-2021 football season. Mizzou will play Alabama in... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 4:12:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —American Outdoor Brands partnered up with The Job Center Staffing in order to make applying for jobs accessible during... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 4:01:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Over the past two weeks, MU has laid off an additional 13 employees and furloughed 34 according to... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 3:51:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —Local artist and MU alum David Spear finished his newest project on the wall outside of Harpo's: a tiger.... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 3:26:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — MU's College of Engineering has been producing face shields for professors to wear on campus this fall since... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 3:07:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY— State senators on Friday passed a bill proposed by Republican Gov. Mike Parson to address a surge... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 3:00:27 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
PETTIS COUNTY — A group of eight Pettis County residents filed a petition for declaratory judgement against the Pettis County... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 2:13:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Lawyers representing citizens across Missouri argued in Cole County Circuit Court Friday that the proposed ballot title... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 2:13:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS — Friday's Cardinals game against the Cubs is canceled after an additional Cardinals player tested positive for COVID-19,... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 12:55:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — Back to school shopping? This weekend, sales tax won't apply. From Friday through Sunday, certain back to... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 11:10:00 AM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
( Missourian ) - Longtime Columbia physician Elizabeth Allemann is leading an effort — joined, so far, by 49... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 10:01:51 AM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Three organizations received $1 million each through the U.S. DHSS to "continue fighting the opioid crisis in... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 9:50:33 AM CDT August 07, 2020 in Continuous News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
2am 74°
3am 74°
4am 72°
5am 71°