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Eclipse can be good for Keizer

There has been news from across Oregon about how communities are preparing for this summer’s total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

Reports have included news about hotels cancelling reservations (some made years ago) and re-booking rooms at many times their current rates. A thousand extra camping spaces are being made available after every site in the eclipse’s path between the Oregon coast and the Snake River had been reserved months in advance. There is a gigantic festival slated for Madras—Oregon Solarfest, just a few miles from another festival—Moonshadow.

All around Keizer communities and organizations have been planning and seen their hotels and campgrounds get completely booked. Those who planned ahead were able to secure a spot at the coast, in the mountains, on a lake or a river. Eclipse-viewing fans who did not plan ahead will be able to experience the solar event here in Keizer.

A handful of volunteers and civic leaders are working feverishly to prepare Keizer for the expected onslaught of visitors who can’t find space anywhere else along the eclipse path.

We don’t mind if Keizer is not the first choice for visitors from outside the area, but as the choices become limited Keizer can take full advantage of the situation.

More than 150 RV and tent camping sites will be prepared for the event.  The city, the Keizer Parks Foundation and KRA—which operates the Keizer Rotary Amphitheatre—are planning events and concerts for visitors to enjoy.

Keizer’s business community—especially those that sell food and daily needs items—should also be planning on how they will attract a captive audience. Organizers of Keizer’s solar eclipse event will bring them here, it’s up to the rest of us to turn it into a positive for our bottom lines.