Thousands expected for solar eclipse, hotels filling up
A total solar eclipse is going to cross the United States for the first time in nearly 100 years this summer.
It's going to go right over Idaho, so it's excepted to bring in thousands of people to the state, but hotels are filling up fast.
The Idaho Department of Commerce says there isn't a definite way to predict the number of people we can expect, but based off of past eclipses they say we can see an influx of anywhere from 10,000 to 300,000 people.
"If they are not already 100 percent booked they are very close to being booked," Aly Swindley from Visit Sun Valley said.
The Department of Commerce says hotels and other places for lodging in the path of solar eclipse across Idaho have been selling rooms specifically for the eclipse well in advance. For example, the department found some international tour groups have booked hotels as far as two years in advance.
"Well, when the news first came out that it was coming over Idaho we, like I said, had a couple of groups try to book the entire hotel," Tim Mott, the assistant manager of the Knob Hill Inn, said. He said the Sun Valley hotel just didn't have enough rooms. Right now, he said about 65 percent of the 29-room hotel is booked.
Staff at the Boulder Creek Inn in Donnelly said they're completely booked during the eclipse and have been for a good four months, with guests coming from all over the world.
Some hotels and resorts in the region are doing more than just providing lodging. Tamarack Resort is offering an eclipse viewing. According to their website, 400 people can purchase tickets to take the lift to Tamarack's summit to view the eclipse.
Other Idaho towns and cities are holding festivals. Weiser is having a five-day long festival leading up to the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.