According to Travel Market Report, April 8, 2024 is poised “to be the biggest mass travel event ever in the United States.” To understand how campground owners can make the most of this special event and what eclipse resources might be available, Campspot invited Doug Arion, professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at Carthage College and Executive Director of Mountains of Stars, to join us for a webinar series. Read the full blog post on preparing for the solar eclipse here. Here’s a peek at what we learned:
What Can Campgrounds Do to Take Advantage of the Solar Eclipses and When Should They Start?
It’s not too soon to start planning for the 2024 total eclipse, and certainly the 2023 annular eclipse. The best way to take advantage of the crowds these events will draw is to decide now what type of package you want to offer—if any. Here are a few examples and considerations that were discussed.
If April 8 is sooner than your usual opening day, decide if you want to open earlier in 2024 (weather depending) or only open for that weekend and resume regular operations in May. Offer day passes for viewing if overnight accommodations will be too much to manage.
Since April 8, 2024 is a Monday, consider putting a three-night minimum in place to ensure weekend traffic or a discount for guests who want to extend their stay into the following week days.
Decide how you will adjust your rates for this special weekend or leverage Campspot’s dynamic pricing tool.
Consider selling unique souvenirs to mark the memorable occasion, such as branded and dated t-shirts. You can also sell certified safe eclipse viewers and glasses or even affordable telescopes (more on that below!)
There are many related groups you can partner with to enrich the guest experience. Charter a bus to transport guests closer to a direct-path viewing site. Connect with your local astronomy club or university to bring an expert guide/speaker on site.
Because the actual eclipse will only last a few minutes at most, expand the event to include other local attractions at your property, such as a food truck, post-eclipse fireworks, or Pink Floyd tribute band.
Eclipse Glasses and Additional Resources
- Suppliers of safe solar filters and viewers
- Mountains of Stars – astronomy education programs and eclipse information
- American Astronomical Society (AAS) – downloadable photos, posters, and other eclipse resources for promoting and planning ahead.
- AAS upcoming webinars
- Interactive map where you can enter your exact coordinates and see the type of eclipse (partial vs. whole) that will be visible from your property and the estimated eclipse duration
- Galileoscopes— a low cost, high quality telescope kit that was invented by industry experts, including Doug
Watch the Webinar for More Revenue-Driving Tips and Eclipse Resources
To watch the full webinar recording from March 22, click here.
Provided by Campspot.com