In case you haven't heard, a total solar eclipse will occur above portions of the Channel 3 viewing area on Monday, August 21 between 1 and 4 p.m.. But people from outside the region who want to come see it and spend the night are running out of time to find available spaces.
The eclipse will be visible from Spring City in Rhea County for the full two minutes and forty seconds. But as far as traditional lodging goes in the town of only a couple thousand, the Howard Johnson hotel is the only game in town. Owner and Rhea County mayor George Thacker says he'll have to turn down anyone else wanting to stay here for the eclipse.
"We've been booked for over two years," exclaims Thacker. "We've got people from Australia, all over the place. It's hard to say that they're coming from one specific area. They're coming from all over the place."
The celestial show will be a big boost to the local economy.
"This will be big because you got the water, you got the lake. There will be people all over on boats. Then you've got parks up here. We're expecting tens of thousands of people," adds Thacker.
He says hotel and motel spaces in Dayton, just 20 minutes south, are becoming scarce. The Chamber of Commerce in Cleveland, about 50 minutes south, says rooms there are hard to come by, too.
Krista Graham and her husband, Kevin, have a one-time offer. They're in the process of selling their spacious home of nearly 5,100 square feet, located a couple of miles outside Cleveland, but are willing to rent it to you and several of your closest friends for the special event.
"On the main floor we have one master bedroom and bathroom and we have the kitchen and dining area," says Krista. "Upstairs there's four bedrooms and there's two bathrooms that connect two bedrooms."
It also includes a big basement apartment as well as separate, private entrances. There's also a backyard view of the eclipse that should be visible here for about a minute. The Grahams are planning to take in the views from their camper to make room for renters.
"We do want to watch the eclipse. It sounds very interesting and exciting," adds Krista.
If you want to rent the Graham's home or know anyone who does, call them at 210-837-2337. If you're interested in taking in boarders or renting your home during the eclipse weekend, contact Spring City City Hall at 423-365-6441. Also, eclipse viewing glasses will be available for sale for guests at the Howard Johnson.