Tourism officials in Oregon are preparing for one of the largest influx of visitors to the state in decades. On August 21st, most of Oregon will darken for two minutes in the middle of the morning as the Moon passes across the Sun.
A total eclipse of the Sun has not been witnessed in Oregon for more than 40 years. According to astronomers from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the solar eclipse will be a major boost for regional tourism. Oregon Business, a local publication dedicated to the state enterprise, recently reported that campgrounds are being reserved at a frenzied pace months before this cosmological event.
Oregon State Park administrators are preparing for a massive arrival of campers from around the world. In fact, park rangers are hoping to create campgrounds in nature reserves that are normally closed to the public or used by researchers.
Amateur astronomers are analyzing weather patterns to figure out the best spots to watch the eclipse. Some hotel operators have explained that rooms have been booked years in advance for this event, and the favorite city thus far has been Salem. For many Oregon hoteliers, seeing this high demand is highly unusual in the month of August.
The eclipse will be visible from Ontario all the way to Lincoln City on the Central Oregon coast. The best bet for travelers who have not made reservations yet is to look for vacancies in the eastern portion of the state, closer to the Idaho border.