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Motel rates as high as $699 on the eve of the 2024 total solar eclipse in Arkansas



Little Rock, Arkansas – The Great North American Eclipse, as it has been termed, will occur on April 8, 2019; Arkansas is the best place to view it.

The eclipse will occur in less than a year, but time may be running out for those who wish to locate lodging or camp to view it.

The best locations to view the total eclipse are in a narrow strip of Arkansas extending from the state’s northeastern to southwestern extremities.

Some hotels in the most desirable locations are already entirely booked for the eclipse date. In Russellville, you can observe the phenomenon for four minutes and twelve seconds, but if you’re traveling from abroad and need a place to stay…you may have to pay a tremendous price.

As of May 25, only two motels in Russellville were advertised as having rooms available on the eve of the eclipse: Motel 6 and American Inn & Suites, both of which have increased their prices to $600 for April 7.

Motel 6 is $500, whereas American Inn and Suites is $699…not including 14% tax.

The enormous number of out-of-state travelers expected to swarm into the state for the eclipse is driving up demand.

“The expected number right now is about 1.5 million people,” said Shealyn Sowers, Chief of Communications for the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism, “we’re just basing that on the number of visitors that were in South Carolina and Wyoming during 2017’s eclipse.”

Even state sites have not been spared the reservation surge.

“When we opened up our reservations for state parks on April 8, 2024, we were booked pretty quickly. Every park in the path of the [total eclipse]–they’re booked,” Sowers said.

“So we are now directing people that are interested in coming and staying in Arkansas to other places around the state that may not be in the totality path but are still close and they’re open.”

Reservations alone indicate that the eclipse will bring an unprecedented amount of tourism to the state of Arkansas.

“This is going to be a very, very historic event for Arkansas,” Sowers said. “We’re looking at it as a way to bring in visitors that may not come to Arkansas and this may be their first time visiting. So, we want to be able to give them a trip of a lifetime whether they are looking for an art scene or a food scene or a culture scene, or of course our outdoor adventure scene. We want to make them repeat visitors.”



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