SC agency looks at sun’s eclipse for green it generated

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) — South Carolina wants to shine a light on about how much money last month’s total solar eclipse generated for businesses.

The state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism has commissioned a survey to find out about travelers’ planning, preferences, length of stay and money spent for the eclipse weekend.

Agency director Duane Parrish says the results are expected by mid-September.

Until then, we won’t know just how much this historic impacted the state.

Meanwhile, the department is taking note of some interesting indicators, many of which exceeded their expectations:

— Hotels in the markets within the path of totality were sold out or nearly sold out for Sunday and Monday nights, including major destinations like Greenville, Columbia and Charleston, and off-the-beaten path places like Newberry, Santee, and Clemson. Additionally, Airbnb reported its biggest night ever in South Carolina on Monday, Aug. 21, with more than 10,600 guests.

— Ticketed venues are reporting sell outs or record sales, including the South Carolina State Museum’s eclipse day events, which welcomed 3,500 guests, and the SC State Fairgrounds’ tailgate party hosting 14,000 people.

— Admissions revenue for state parks grew by 483% for a third Monday in August, as many of the parks reached carrying capacity before noon and had to close their gates. One-day retail sales were 475% greater than the year before.

Parrish says South Carolina hosted people from multiple states and countries and engaged in social chatter, including an Instagram challenge between Gov. Henry McMaster and Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon. All of which helped strengthen the brand of South Carolina as a great destination for vacations.

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