Preparing for the Total Solar Eclipse: How Texas is Ready to Capitalize on Millions of Visitors and Infuse Billions into Local Economies

Eclipse tourism projected to generate more than $1 billion for Texas’ economy

More than a million people are expected to visit Texas in less than two weeks to witness the total solar eclipse. This event is predicted to infuse more than $1 billion into the local economy while visitors are in the state. In Red Oak, they are preparing for anything but a normal Monday as the eclipse will cast darkness over the city for approximately 4 minutes and 13 seconds on April 8.

Clint Woodward, President and CEO of the Red Oak Area Chamber of Commerce, anticipates a significant increase in revenue for the community during the eclipse event. He emphasizes the importance of preparation, advising local businesses to ramp up staffing, increase inventory, and encourage residents to stock up on essentials ahead of time. The eclipse is expected to be a multi-day event, starting as early as Friday and continuing through the following weekend.

Phillip Hughes and his sister, Michelle Bezanilla, co-owners of the restaurant Gravy are strategizing how to ensure their business is ready for the influx of guests during the eclipse event. They plan to adjust their menu and bring in additional help, including high school students, to accommodate the expected overflow of customers. The economic impact of the eclipse is estimated at nearly $1.4 billion for the entire state of Texas with more than $13 million expected in Ellis County where Red Oak is located.

Woodward stresses that businesses should be ready for the influx of visitors and capitalize on this opportunity as an event attract new customers. At Gravy, owners Philip Hughes and Michelle Bezanilla are focused on making this unique experience enjoyable for all guests while hoping to use it as an opportunity to introduce themselves to potential future customers. They plan on celebrating this special occasion with special offerings outside their restaurant and creating a festive atmosphere inside their restaurant too

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