Monday, July 31, 2017

Would You Pay $1,000 A Night To See The Aug. 21st Eclipse?

See Authorities are Treating August's Solar Eclipse, the First in 99 Years, Like it's the End of the World by Meredith Rutland Bauer of Newsweek. It looks like supply and demand is at work. Big demand for the date and fixed supply. Excerpts:
"The path of totality, the area where the sun is completely blocked out, stretches from Oregon to South Carolina."

All of those visitors are expected to clog interstates, along with state and local roads, for days before and after the eclipse, much like the rush during emergency evacuations, says Brad Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics for the American Red Cross. “Some of these places are never going to see traffic like this,” he says. In some areas, “the population will be double or triple.”

Once visitors arrive, they’ll need bottles of water, lodging and restrooms. And, of course, solar glasses. In Columbia, South Carolina, the city’s main museum has bought 5,000 bottles of water for thirsty eclipse viewers, and the city government plans to send out trucks to frequently refill planned water stations. In Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park staff have rented an extra 200 portable toilets to accommodate “their busiest day in history, meaning past or future,” says Kathryn Brackenridge, eclipse coordinator for the town of Jackson, Wyoming.

She was hired earlier this year to organize details regarding emergency preparedness and marketing related to the solar eclipse.

Merritt McNeely, director of marketing for the South Carolina State Museum, called a local portable toilet company six months ago to reserve its services. She’s worried about a national port-a-potty shortage.

National Construction Rentals, which rents portable toilets across the U.S., hasn’t seen a spike in demand, but “there most likely will be last-minute requests as the date approaches,” says the company’s sales and marketing director, Scott Barley. “We advise customers not to spend too much time in our portable toilets on the actual date of August 21, or they may miss this very brief but memorable event.”

And don’t expect lodging to be available, experts say. Hotel rooms along the eclipse route were mostly sold out as of June, and Airbnb rentals in the path of totality are reaching $1,000 a night in some cities."

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