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Want to See the Solar Eclipse? Book Your Hotel Yesterday

Jul 06, 2017

A swathe of small towns across middle America will be rolling out the red carpet for people clamoring to see the total solar eclipse on August 21—the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the U.S. since 1918—only visible from a few places.

The result? Hotels and Airbnb homes are jammed in towns like St. Joseph, Mo., which will close its airport for a viewing party with 100,000 people. In Carbondale, Ill., a local football stadium will become a viewing center. Even Hopkinsville, Ky., will rename its city Eclipseville for the day. Nightly rooms at the Sheraton Grand hotel in Nashville start at $359, but includes a penthouse viewing party, and in Jackson Hole, Wyo., the well heeled will take a gondola up to the top of the ski mountain for a viewing party at 10,450 feet, complete a resident astronomer, telescopes and mimosas. The cost: $375 per person.

“This thing is huge, massively huge,” says Dan McGlaun, who as founder of Eclipse2017.com has seen 13 eclipses. “Eye protection is vital, but when you see it, you’ll be taken by its beauty.”

A version of this article appears in the July 1, 2017 issue of Fortune with the headline "Total Eclipse of Hotel Availability."

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