WAPAKONETA, Ohio (WDTN)- Being only six months away from the first total eclipse in the Buckeye State since 1806, Wapakoneta and surrounding areas are in the prime spot, seeing an influx of reservations for the event.
It is only fitting that the hometown of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, gets to be in the direct path of the first total solar eclipse in the state in over 200 years. The small city located on the Auglaize River with around 10,000 residents will transform to nearly 40,000 people in Wapakoneta, boosting sales at local shops.
“Well, as you can imagine in the springtime, this is not necessarily the retail season. So having the eclipse happen in April is so good to the local economy or the state has been working with us for over a year and we’re preparing for four times our population,” said Jackie Martell, executive director, Wapakoneta Area Chamber of Commerce.
Prairie View Golf Club was approached by an astronomer from Detroit about using their parking lot and charging to see the event, providing a DJ and games to play while enjoying the eclipse, while supporting a local business in their offseason.
“It’s just another way of financially just trying to bring in some revenue. That’s the only idea. That’s what anybody goes into business for. Bring in revenue. And with yeah, like I said, April, who knows if we’re even going to be open,” said Doug Spencer, owner of Prairie View Golf Club.
Even a half year out, it may be hard to find a place to stay in Wapakoneta on April 8th.
“The lodging end in Wapakoneta proper is almost sold out which is wonderful for our lodging industry. From our hotels to our campgrounds as well as the Airbnb’s,” Martell said.
You can find more information on all the activities in and around Wapakoneta here.