In Solar Eclipse’s ‘Path Of Totality,’ Rooms Go For $1,000 And Vendors Sell Every Trinket Under The Sun

By Rachel Spacek
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) U.S. Cities in the path of the Aug. 21st Solar eclipse are expecting a windfall of business for hotels, restaurants, gas stations and retailers, even Porta-Potty rental companies.

Los Angeles Times

Hotels have been sold out for years. Eclipse viewing glasses are back-ordered on Amazon. People are charging thousands for a one-night stay in their homes. There are T-shirts, mugs, posters, books, iPhone cases, pillows and leggings.

The Great Solar Eclipse is coming, and there’s money to be made.

With more than 12 million people living in the so-called path of totality, and millions more traveling to see the historic Aug. 21 solar eclipse, companies and enterprising individuals are sensing opportunity.

“Of course people are taking advantage,” said Jaci Hill, who is helping her mother rent her Idaho Springs, Colo., home on Airbnb for $1,000 on the night before the eclipse. “It is definitely a situation of supply and demand.”

Economists say it is difficult to gauge how much revenue will be generated from the eclipse because it is such a rare event, it’s the first total solar eclipse to traverse America in 99 years, and the first time the path of totality will eclipse only over the contiguous U.S. Cities from coast to coast are expecting a windfall of business for hotels, restaurants, gas stations and retailers, even Porta-Potty rental companies.

Merchandise sales have been brisk on GreatAmericanEclipse.com, said Polly White, the website’s business manager.

“It’s smart to get your supply before eclipse day to beat the inevitable shortages!” the site warns. There are $20 glow-in-the-dark “Occupy totality!” T-shirts, an $8.95 pack of temporary tattoos, a $6 embroidered patch and a $3 luggage tag.

One item, called the Advice From a Solar Eclipse Magnet, reads: “See the total picture. Be moved by beauty. Live in the moment. Be naturally phenomenal. Lighten up!” It costs $4.50.

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