The April 8 total solar eclipse that will darken North America promises prosperity, parties and celebrations, and brisk business for hotels.


About 32 million people live inside the 120-mile-wide path of totality. Millions more are planning to flock to rural areas, small towns and big cities in Mexico and across the U.S. from Texas to Maine and Atlantic Canada to experience the midday darkness peaking at 4 minutes and 27 seconds.


A total solar eclipse can be a once-in-a-generation or even lifetime event. After April 8, it will be 20 years before another total solar eclipse comes to the United States. And it’ll be 375 years before a total eclipse takes the same path across North America.


Cities like Hillsboro, Texas (now dubbed “Eclipseboro”), Russellville, Ark., and Vincennes, Ind., are planning festivals, mass weddings and concerts, and prepping for the influx of tourists. The eclipse will be visible from places like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Niagara Falls and Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.


The Perryman Group, a Texas economic forecast firm, predicts that the eclipse will provide a “substantial economic stimulus” for the Lone Star State. 


Solar Eclipse economy

“Because of the unique nature of the upcoming eclipse, more than one million people are expected to visit Texas to witness the phenomenon,” the group wrote. “From small towns to large population centers, the numbers of visitors are projected to be unusually large. These travelers will spend money locally for accommodations, meals, gasoline and retail items.”

Texas is likely to see an increase in direct expenditures by visitors of about $427.7 million, the report said. With the multiplier effect, the total economic impact could be almost $1.4 billion.


Here’s a sampling of where people are celebrating.


Eclipse path


Small-town Texas 

Hillsboro, a city of 8,500 about 60 miles south of Dallas, has a designated “eclipse coordinator.” Allyson Cliett and her team put together a carnival and four-day music festival called Cosmic Cowboy at the town’s soon-to-be demolished outlet mall. The mall parking lot will be open for day-of eclipse viewing at $50 a car.


 “Eclipse over Ennis” features special sales at downtown shops, while the city is selling t-shirts and other commemorative items. The city of 23,000 south of Dallas expects to see 50,000 to 200,000 visitors. Hotels are completely booked, and the city said people are traveling from as far away as New Zealand, France and China.


Eclipse marriages 

Wedding Palooza will be held in downtown Vincennes, Ind., with an ordained pastor officiating and a florist offering free bridal bouquets to the first five couples.

Tiffin in Seneca County, Ohio is holding “Elope at the Eclipse,” with couples signed up from as far away as New York City and San Antonio. Destination Seneca County will supply wedding cake, a champagne toast, live music, a photographer and a judge who will marry everyone at the same time during totality.

In Russellville, Ark. hundreds will marry at “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” billed as a "unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Astro-loving partners" to get married and declare they love each other "to the moon and back."


Falling for the Eclipse

Niagara Falls on the Canadian side will be lit up specially for the eclipse on April 7, and there will be live music on April 8. The Niagara Symphony Orchestra will play a prelude to the eclipse and resume when the moon fully covers the sun.


Eclipse on the Beach 

In Mazatlán, Mexico, the Portal Eclipse Festival is four days celebrating spiritual growth and consciousness with yoga, workshops, speakers and uplifting music. Many tour groups are offering trips to Mexico to view the eclipse on the beach and several cruise lines are offering Mexico eclipse cruises. 


Solar Eclipse


ALHI Experiences 


One of the biggest beneficiaries of eclipse mania will be hotels, and ALHI hotels are getting in on the action. Some of the events planned for ALHI properties in the path of the eclipse range from viewing parties to themed food and drink menus.


  • La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio partnered with the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Department of Physics and Astronomy to bring telescopes and educational presentations to overnight guests. The resort has added themed culinary offerings and even a program for kids to introduce them to the wonders of the night sky will be part of the celebration. “We learned about the path of totality in 2022 and knew that San Antonio would be a hot spot for viewing the eclipse, so we quickly created an experience that would highlight this natural phenomenon,” said Michelle Robertson, director of marketing and public relations at the resort. “We’ve worked with the University of Texas San Antonio before on some wellness programming and they have a wealth of experts on many topics - including physics and astronomy - which will bring a rich educational experience to our viewing party on April 8.”


  • Horseshoe Bay Resort near Austin is hosting hundreds of astrophysicists who will be observing the eclipse. Meanwhile, golfers at the resort’s courses will also be given ISO-certified glasses before teeing off to protect their eyes.



  • The Omni Dallas Hotel is hosting “Solarbration” on its Pegasus Lawn with live music, food from nearby restaurants, themed treats and an exclusive Casamigos Pop-up with giveaways.


  • The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas has “Teaclipse” in its French Room. There’s a three-course menu including Vanilla Moon Cookie, Solar Eclipse Pie and Galaxy Cupcake paired with loose-leaf teas.


  • The Crescent Hotel Fort Worth is partnering with the nearby Kimbell Art Museum for eclipse views. Hotel guests will have access to the lawn of the Kimbell. After totality, the Crescent’s Circle Bar is offering an eclipse happy hour with a $50 food and drink credit.


  • The Peabody in Memphis will celebrate on its famous rooftop with eclipse-inspired entertainment with a disc jockey. 



Solar Eclipse


Potential Challenges 


But the influx of visitors could pose some challenges.


Good luck getting a rental car – and if you get one, you’ll likely pay a premium.


Hertz is reporting a 3,000% increase in advance bookings nationwide on April 6 as eclipse tourists make the event into a long weekend. Enterprise Mobility, parent company of Enterprise, National and Alamo, said some areas of Texas and Oklahoma have double the number of bookings as the same time last year.  


And, for instance in Dallas, the Dallas Morning News reported that Mondays are usually low-demand days for rental cars. The average price in the area is $95-120 on those days but it’s $306 on eclipse day, hospitality and travel software company RateGain said.


Hotels are not quite as scarce, but they will be full. Average hotel occupancy for Dallas-Fort Worth, Little Rock, Ark., Poplar Bluff, Mo., Paducah, Ky., Evansville, Ind., Cleveland, Ohio, Erie, Pa., Buffalo, N.Y., and Burlington, Vt., will be up an average of 12%  from April 1 to an average of 69% on April 7, Hospitality Upgrade reported. Smaller towns like Erie and Burlington have occupancy approaching 90%. The study also predicted hotels will see a 196% increase in rates when comparing April 1 to April 7.


At least three counties in Texas and the Niagara region in Ontario, Canada, have issued disaster declarations in case something goes wrong. Major concerns are for people who want to leave at the same time after the eclipse ends, leading to traffic jams and possibly fuel shortages and problems responding to emergencies.

“I-45 is likely to come to a complete standstill,” said Ennis, Texas, City Manager Marty Nelson at a town hall meeting to discuss the eclipse.


Kaufman County is one of the counties that declared a disaster. Officials said they have tried to plan for every scenario, including the overuse of porta-potties at eclipse viewing events in their county southeast of Dallas. Portable toilet suppliers in North Texas report they’ve rented all units ahead of the eclipse.  

“My message to you all would be, be as patient as possible,” Ennis Police Chief Dustin Munn told the town hall attendees.


How to View the Eclipse – Safely 


Never look directly at the sun without eye protection like eclipse glasses or solar filters – these are a must. Here’s the American Astronomical Association’s guide for making sure your eclipse glasses are safe.


The weather forecast for some areas of the eclipse, especially in Texas and other southern states includes clouds and a chance of rain on April 8. If that’s the case, watch the eclipse online. NASA is hosting a livestream, as is