In solar eclipse’s ‘path of totality,’ souvenir sales soar
Hotels have been sold out for years. Eclipse viewing glasses are back-ordered on Amazon. People are charging thousands for a onenight stay in their homes. There are T-shirts, mugs, 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 travelling to see the historic Aug. 21 solar eclipse, companies and enterprising individuals sense 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.
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. All prices US.
The eclipse market is not only limited to viewing glasses and apparel. Frey Vineyards in Redwood Valley, Calif. — which isn’t even in the path of totality — has released an Eclipse 3-Pack Special that includes a bottle of sparkling wine, a bottle of organic Zinf andel and a bottle of organic Chardonnay for $88.
“It is a tradition to pop a cork after an eclipse that goes well,” says Jonathan Frey said.
American Paper Optics pesident John Jerit looks at a display of solar eclipse glasses in Bartlett, Tenn. They’re ready for the Aug. 21 eclipse.