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Millions of People Are Traveling to See the Total Eclipse. Hotels, Motels, and Skydiving Operators Are Making Bank on It. The eclipse economy is booming.

By Shubhangi Goel

Key Takeaways

  • Millions of tourists are expected to boost economies in Texas and New York during the eclipse.
  • Hotels, an eyeglasses manufacturer, and even skydiving companies are preparing for increased business.
  • One study predicts that the eclipse could benefit the US economy by nearly $1.6 billion.
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
A map shows where the moon's shadow will cross the US during the April 8 total solar eclipse.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

As millions of Americans get ready to watch the total solar eclipse on Monday — an event NASA has described as rare and "spectacular" — the phenomenon also stands to lift local economies.

Various industries are poised to benefit from the millions of tourists flocking to cities in Texas, Ohio, and New York, which are on the eclipse's "path of totality" and offer the best views of the ring around the sun.

According to NASA, this year's eclipse is set to last three to four minutes, longer than the last solar eclipse in 2017. People who miss this one will not be able to see another in the contiguous US until 2044 or 2045, the agency said.

Up to 3.7 million people are slated to travel to the path of the eclipse, joining the 31 million people already living along the stretch, according to predictions by eclipse-tracking website Great American Eclipse.

Visitors are expected to spend big: They'll shell out up to $1.6 billion on lodging, activities, food, and gas, Texas-based economic consultancy Perryman Group estimates.

Here are some of the industries seeing big boosts from Monday's eclipse.

Hotels and Airbnbs book out

The budget hotel chain Super 8 has over 300 locations within the path of totality, per the New York Times. About 100 of these hotels are sold out for Sunday or Monday, according to the hotel chain's website.

One two-star Super 8 branch in Grayville, Illinois, is advertising rooms between $765 and $949 from Sunday through Tuesday. On most days, the rooms typically cost $80, the Super 8 website shows.

Higher-end hotels are also seeing similar spikes. A JW Marriott in Dallas listed a standard room for $1,039 for Sunday night. It typically costs between $355 and $482, the website said.

Visitors are flocking to Airbnbs, too. As of March 25, occupancy rates for April 7 soared to 88% across 110,000 active listings on the path of totality, according to vacation-rental data company AirDNA.

The biggest glasses manufacturer has sold out

People can permanently damage their eyesight by looking straight into the sun during an eclipse, so NASA recommends specific solar-filtering glasses.

Former President Donald Trump looks up at the Solar Eclipse without glasses, with first lady Melania Trump, from a balcony at the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, Aug 21, 2017.

Former President Donald Trump looked up at the solar eclipse without glasses during the last eclipse. Jabin Botsford for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The eye-protection guidelines translated into huge sales for some glasses manufacturers.

Tennessee-based American Paper Optics, the country's largest producer of protective eclipse eyeglasses, has seen a big jump in sales, compared to the last total eclipse in 2017.

The company started taking eclipse orders two years in advance, John Jerit, the company's founder, told NPR on Friday. The glasses sold for $1.50 to $2 a piece.

"We've shipped already about 70 million glasses, and I suspect I'm going to approach right at 75 million by the time next week comes," Jerit said.

American Paper Optics sold out of glasses this year, after producing about 30 million more glasses than it did for the total solar eclipse in 2017, according to a sales figure on the company's site.

Eclipse skydiving attracts thrill-seekers

Some adrenaline junkies seeking a novel vantage point are planning to jump during totality to enjoy the darkness from the sky.

A group of 30 skydivers plans to jump in northern New York on Monday, Fox News reported. Tickets for the dive, hosted by local company Skydive the Falls, sold out in seven minutes after they went live in January.

"We're going to jump one minute prior to totality, so we can enjoy totality in full under our parachutes," Jason Berger, the co-owner of Skydive the Falls, told Fox News.

A similar event in Dallas sold out its $249 eclipse skydive tickets, too.

For sun observers on the ground, restaurants are making the most of the celestial phenomenon with eclipse menus and specials. Establishments like Smoothie King, Applebees, and Sonic are offering special eclipse-themed smoothies, margaritas, and "blackout" drinks to mark the occasion.

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