Monday, August 14, 2017

Solar Eclipse Causing Insane Hotel Prices

Like many of you, I am going to drive towards the latitudinal center of the country in order to see the upcoming solar eclipse next Monday.  I've never seen a solar eclipse, and so before I depart this mortal world, I think it would make a nice little check box on my bucket list.

There's just one problem.

It seems everybody else in the US is doing the same.

Numbers are impossible to estimate, but if hotel prices are any indication it seems the entire country is going solar eclipse crazy.

St. Joseph, Missouri, originally where I aimed to view the eclipse has NO VACANCY in the entire 76,000 person town.

If I'm willing to drive two states over and one up, I can find lodging in Casper, Wyoming for around $1,500.

 But if I'm willing to go over one more to scenic Idaho Falls, Idaho, I can find much more "reasonable" accommodations for around $700 per night.

About the only place I could find somewhat affordable lodging was in Knoxville, Tennessee, but with a 94% vacancy rate, I doubt there will be any rooms left in the inn for procrastinators.

If you had plans to see the solar eclipse it looks like it's time to start couch surfing with buddies. And for those of you savvy enough to avoid lines and traffic jams, it might prove wise to view the eclipse from some small remote town in America's farmland rather than the larger metro areas which promise to be zoos.
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Karl said...

Tell your readers that they can send me $100 and I will provide instructions on how to go into a room with no windows and turn off the lights for 20 minutes.

I made my reservations a week ago and have kept it under $100/nt, but at the cost of driving over 6 hours to a remote location.

To see a shadow.


Anonymous said...

I booked in Omaha NE a couple weeks ago. Hour-and-a-half drive to Beatrice NE for the event. still has rooms < $100.

Anonymous said...

We located hotels outside the eclipse zone, but in commute distance. But this was in the Midwest, and I think out west, population is lower, so eclipse traffic stresses infrastructure more.

Janene said...

B said...

Capitalism at it's finest crossed with Supply and Demand.

I love it.

minuteman said...

I don't know that much about eclipses, but I don't think it is going to be that spectacular. The moon was full a few days ago and is now waning. By next week the moon will be well off full.

Kristophr said...

Sleep in the car, or a tent.

I reserved a camping site at a BSA/Cheyenne Astronomical Society event for exactly $0.

Tucanae Services said...

Dude, think outside the box! For the prices quoted in the post you could rent a nice RV for the week. Drive to some quiet spot in the country in the path of the eclipse, pop a good bottle of bubbly and enjoy the show.

I have seen two of those eclipses. Its kinda like porn, plot is the same and the end is kinda anticlimactic. But yeah, if you never, do it at least once. Cheers!

Tracy said...

I booked my room in St. Joseph a year and a half ago. I got very good rates. Like many things in life, planning ahead of time has it's rewards.

heresolong said...

In Oregon people booked their hotels over a year ago and then had then canceled last month when the hotels realized that they were missing out on the big bucks. I hope it's a breach of contract and they lose their shirts in court.

Anonymous said...

There might be someone in your blog roll who could put you up ...

It wouldn't surprise me if you could find one starting alphabetically -- I doubt you'd have to make it as far as G, actually.

Look at a map, think about your blog roll, and make a few calls.

Anonymous said...

High hotel prices in the summer are never a problem. I'm sure you have a tent.

Faithless Cynic said...

No problem! Tent, air mattress, Coleman stove, sleeping bag, list of state and federal parks that offer low cost camping. The only casualty will be your hygeine if you camp in a park without showers. I camped on the beach in Maryland in January. I washed up in the outhouse using water heated on my Coleman stove. Problem solved for cheap :-) You could also rent a large van and camp at Walmart if you had to. Been there, done that.

Anonymous said...

Go see it, no matter how you work out the finances. (I'm thinking bedroll in a field on a side road.) It is worth it, believe me!

By the way, make sure you have the right kind of protective eye wear. The good stuff is ISO certified.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

How about "Hotel? Trivago"?

TroperA said...

Real bummed that I couldn't manage an eclipse trip this year. There IS another eclipse in seven years, though, so it's not like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I've still got a chance (barring unforseen diseases or accidents.)

Blackwing1 said...

Hah!. Got a room in a motel in Grand Island, NE about 6 months ago; paid up-front with a credit card with no possible cancellation/refund. Grand isle is durned near on the centerline of totality. We're taking the truck down and even if they give away our room we'll just sleep in the damned truck.

I've never seen a total eclipse, and if my luck runs the way it has been for the last couple of years it'll be raining and overcast, but I'll be damned if I won't give it a shot.

Not quite Carly Simons' , "You flew your Lear jet to Nova Scotia, to see the total eclipse of the sun" (driving a pickup to Nebraska doesn't have the same ring to it) but it'll be off my bucket list.

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