Polk County company offers unique view of total eclipse - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Polk County company offers unique view of total eclipse

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POLK COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

If you'd rather see next month's total eclipse from open waters rather than from land, the Ocoee Inn and Marina is offering a unique experience. 
Manager Ryan Cooke expects visitors from across the world.

"We have people from Venezuela coming. I think that's the furthest person traveling to us. We have some people coming from Puerto Rico. Some from Milwaukee and Chicago," says Cooke.

He and the rest of the staff have been preparing for the total solar eclipse since last autumn, trying to attract visitors through social media and word of mouth. Cooke says the appeal of the area's beauty helps, and sets it apart as a premier location.

"It's not a commercialized area," explains Cooke. "We're in the middle of the mountains with wide open view on the lake."

For $50 you can raft the Ocoee River, then paddle Lake Ocoee to see the total eclipse, special eclipse viewing glasses are included. The total eclipse will last for about a minute and a half at this location. If you'd rather trade your raft for another mode of transportation on the lake you might be able to reserve a space on a pontoon boat. Kayaks and paddle boards are also available.

 Cooke says lack of cell service here makes this a special place for people to connect in person during this rare occasion.

"They can come and truly relax and have family time," adds Cooke.

The area hasn't seen an event this big since the river was used during the 1996 Olympics. Cooke isn't worried about people not coming. The challenge will be getting them to come back after the thrill of the eclipse fades away.

"We'll definitely hand them a brochure and tell them to think about us in the future and that we would love to host them down the road," says Cooke.

If you pay for a spot and you stay in one of the few rooms left at the inn, your package will also include Eclipse gum, Milky Way bars, Moon Pies, and other treats.

Spaces are limited, so reserve yours soon! The total eclipse is only three weeks away on August 21. To book your spot, contact the Ocoee Inn and Marina.

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