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Erie's Total Solar Eclipse - Resources for Businesses

Erie is in the path of totality for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse! As we prepare to welcome potentially unprecedented crowds to Erie County for this once-in-a-lifetime event, please utilize the resources below for your planning. 

Pennsylvania is expected to see between 52,00 and 207,000 visitors according to GreatAmericanEclipse.com and the majority of those visitors are expected in Erie County. Please share your plans with VisitErie so that we can get the information to the correct groups to ensure our community is prepared to offer a safe and memorable event! 

If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out to Janice Friedrichsmeyer at (814) 454-1000. 

Submit Eclipse Events     Share Other Eclipse Plans and Offers

Eclipse Stats and Resources for Businesses

Communities across the country learned so much from the last Total Solar Eclipse to sweep the United States in 2017. The information below was pulled from a variety of case studies from 2017 Eclipse destinations, as well as best practices from eclipse experts. You can utilize a full library of resources at eclipse2024resources.com

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Impact Data

Data from "Being in the Shadow" White Paper by Dr. Kate Russo

  • Path of totality crossed more than 1,000 communities in 14 states
  • An estimated 88% of the US adult population (216 million) viewed the eclipse either directly or indirectly
  • It was the largest recorded audience for any scientific, athletic, or entertainment event
  • In Wyoming, an estimated 261,000 visitors spent $63.5 million in eclipse-related travel

Data from "A Case Study in Preparing Small Town, USA for a Super Bowl-Like Event" by Brook Kaufman, Visit Casper

  • Visitors staying in hotels/motels spent an average of 3.7 days and $412 per party per day. The average party size was 2.9 people
  • The Wyoming Eclipse Festival generated more than 225 million media impressions

Read both resources and other 2017 impact data here 

Planning considerations for 2024 Total Solar Eclipse
  • Regions along the northeastern part of the path, including Erie, will draw large numbers based on proximity to major population hubs, even given less favorable weather predictions 
  • This eclipse is likely to break all preceding live and online audience viewing records
  • Consider full staffing and perhaps bringing in extra help
  • Lodging establishments should consider opening reservations earlier than usual, and setting a three-night minimum, including the night of Monday, April 8, to help prevent post-eclipse traffic jams
  • Plan for potential supply chain issues with tents and port-a-potties
  • Schedule deliveries and shipments before April 6 or after April 8 to avoid eclipse-related delays
  • Provide trash receptacles to eliminate potential littering around your business
  • Consider entertainment to attract patrons during the weekend leading up to the eclipse and to encourage them to stay for at least several house after the eclipse

Read the full list of recommendations from the American Astronomical Society Solar Eclipse Task Force here

Eclipse Preparedness Checklists by business type, created by VisitErie, are available for download below.

Food and Beverage   Attractions and Business     Events     Retail     Accommodations

 

Planning Eclipse Related Events

If you're planning an event as part of Erie's Total Solar Eclipse, keep the following in mind: 
  • Make a plan for ISO-Certified Solar Viewing Glasses. Before you order, make sure they are certified safe for eclipse viewing. Check a list of approved vendors here
  • Ensure you have ample bathrooms, parking, food and water planned ahead of time.
  • Be mindful of parking and capacity. Be detailed in your own event promotions and marketing, making it clear whether the event will be ticketed or not, and whether you will cap the number of attendees based on capacity and/or available parking.
  • Create a backup plan for inclement weather. If possible utilize indoor and outdoor space for eclipse event programming. 
  • Reset automatic lights for things like buildings, parking lots and street lights if possible. Totality will be best experienced in the dark.
  • Be mindful of timing: the moon begins to cover the sun at 2:02 p.m. in Erie County, with totality starting at 3:16 p.m. When totality ends at 3:20 p.m., the public will largely begin to leave. During totality, pause your entertainment so that visitors can enjoy the spectacle. Develop a plan to keep visitors on site after 3:20 p.m. to assist in minimizing traffic issues.Read a full list of tips for planning your eclipse party from NASA here
  • Let VisitErie know what you're planning! Developing comprehensive lists of events is not only important for visitors wondering what to do, but it's vitally important for our traffic and emergency management officials as they develop their safety plans.
  • Events on April 8 are great - and so are events April 6-9! Many visitors will be in town for the full weekend. Share with us any plans you have for the whole weekend so we can provide a weekend's worth of fun to our visitors.

Selling Eclipse-Related Merchandise

If you're planning to sell merchandise as part of Erie's Total Solar Eclipse:
  • Include the date and location on your merchandise. Taking points from past cities in the path, visitors want to remember where they were during the event. 
  • Take post-eclipse merch sales into consideration. Visitors will buy even after April 8, 2024. 
  • Utilize your own branding, or "The Ultimate Sunblock" on your merchandise. To get a variety of "Ultimate Sunblock" files for use in your own signage or merchandise, email Emily Biddle

Creating Eclipse-Related Packages and Specials

It's not a matter of if people will travel to Erie for the Eclipse - it's a matter of how many. When deciding how to welcome visitors, consider making the experience extra special with an eclipse-related package, special menu, or off-season access to an amenity or location that's typically not open in April. 

Examples include: 

  • Including space-themed treats in visitor rooms at accommodations
  • Opening or offering special access to off-season attractions, like an eclipse sail or ride
  • Eclipse themed menu or specials on Monday, April 8
  • VIP access to a unique experience

If you're planning something special to commemorate Erie's Total Solar Eclipse, submit the details using the form below. We'll reach out with any questions, and will compile the information to share with visitors. 

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