Best place to watch the solar eclipse in the Tri-State

Best place to watch the solar eclipse in the Tri-State

HOPKINSVILLE, KY (WFIE) - The best place to view the solar eclipse in the Tri-State is in Hopkinsville.

The whole town is getting ready for the huge crowds in August. Hotels are filling up and campsites are getting booked for the long weekend.

"We're going to literally have thousands upon thousands of people from all over the world," said Mayor Carter Hendricks. "This event like no other is truly bringing us to people who have never heard of Hopkinsville, western Kentucky or Evansville, Indiana for that matter."

Mayor Hendricks expects the weekend of the eclipse will be a major economic boost.

"We've seen some numbers in the $30-million range just for the four or five day weekend of the total solar eclipse," he said. "That's using the multiplier effect of the spending in hotel rooms, spending in restaurants, spending in local stores and how many times that turns over in the community."

Local businesses are already cashing in.

The owner of Milkweed designed eclipse T-shirts, catching the eye of shoppers.

"People who wouldn't normally come in here and get a bag of tea or some handmade soap, but they've seen the solar eclipse T-shirts and  they're like, this is the coolest T-shirt I've ever seen, and we've had a lot of sales," said Julie-Anna Carlisle with Milkweed Health and Harmony Emporium.

You won't want to waste any time finding a place to stay.

"We've been getting phone calls since 2012 for people requesting reservations," said Comfort Suites Manager Justin Whitehair.

Whitehair says those calls are coming from all over the world.

"United Kingdom, Australia, China, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand."

Rooms there are going for around $500 bucks a night, with a three-night minimum. But the hotel will donate some of that revenue to local charities.

Justin Whitehair/Comfort Suites General Manager
"We're not just taking it in for us," said Whitehair. "We're also giving back to the community."

If you're on a tight budget, campsites are also being set up all over town.

The 2 minutes and 40 seconds of darkness put the heart of Hopkinsville in the spotlight.

"We have a great chance to showcase what makes our community and our region so special, and hopefully put Hopkinsville on the map for decades to come," said Mayor Hendricks.

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