Solar eclipse to bring economic boom to Ohio


This April 8, Ohio will be one of the few states to experience a total solar eclipse. With a 124-mile-wide path of totality, Ohio is expecting an influx of tourism as people travel from all over the country to come witness this rare phenomenon.

A solar eclipse is a celestial event that occurs when the moon casts its shadow across the Earth as it travels between the Earth and the Sun. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon appears to totally obscure the Sun, blanketing the sky in complete darkness. The last appearance of a total solar eclipse in Ohio was in 1806, and the next total solar eclipse is not expected to visit the state until 2099.

This year, the total solar eclipse will be visible in Ohio from 3:08 p.m. to 3:19 p.m., with a partial solar eclipse beginning at 1:59 p.m. Much of the state is expected to witness totality, with many cities preparing for a major tourism boom. Cleveland, Dayton, Toledo, Bowling Green and Akron are just a few cities inside the path of totality that have already began to witness the economic impacts of the total solar eclipse.

According to a Columbus Dispatch article from last June, experts say this eclipse’s economic impact on Ohio could exceed $100 million. When it was in the path of totality in 2017, South Carolina saw millions of new visitors, resulting in an estimated impact of $269 million.

With travelers expected to spend money on hotels, food and dining, transportation, retail services and more, many businesses across northwest Ohio are preparing for a surplus of new customers. The state is anticipating a boom in tourism that will have substantial economic impacts across Ohio.

This spectacular event is a once-in-a-generation experience, so it is crucial to find the most optimal viewing location for this remarkable sensation. Many places within the path of totality are expecting large crowds, so make time to enjoy all that Ohio has to offer before, during and after the eclipse.

As cities prepare for the new tourists traveling to witness the total solar eclipse, many businesses are hosting events to allow for their customers to have the best viewing experience. See the list below to learn more some of the exciting events happening throughout the state for the eclipse.

• Toledo: The Toledo Zoo is hosting a “Total Eclipse at the Zoo” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. where guests can enjoy fun activities and learn about animal behaviors during an eclipse.

• Sandusky: Cedar Point is opening for the earliest time ever for their “Total Eclipse of The Point” from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

• Cleveland: The Cleveland Museum of Art will be showcasing the new exhibit “Barba Bosworth: Sun Light Moon Shadow.” Rock and Roll Hall of Fame “Solar Fest” from April 5 to 8 will include live music and activities for all visitors to enjoy.

• Akron: The “Total Eclipse of the Zoo” at the Akron Zoo welcomes guests to visit the animals while enjoying fun crafts and learning about the eclipse.

• Dayton: The National Museum of the United States Air Force will have food trucks and educational activities for visitors to enjoy the day of the eclipse.

• Cincinnati: IKEA in West Chester is hosting a “Solarbration Pre-eclipse party” with limited-edition IKEA Solar eclipse glasses available each day while supplies last.

• Columbus: The Solar Eclipse Solar-Bration at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will provide eclipse viewing glasses and invites guests to enjoy the eclipse while learning about the science behind wildlife research.

Steve Stivers in the president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

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