Red Oak: Texas Prepares for Total Solar Eclipse with Eyes on the Prize

Eclipse tourism projected to generate more than $1 billion for Texas’ economy

In just under two weeks, Texas is bracing for one of the biggest events of the year: a total solar eclipse. It’s estimated that more than a million people will descend on the state to witness this historic event, which promises to infuse billions into the local economy.

One city that’s preparing for anything but a normal Monday is Red Oak, where the eclipse will cast darkness over the city for approximately 4 minutes and 13 seconds on April 8th. Local businesses are gearing up for the influx of guests by adjusting their menus and bringing in additional staff, including high school students.

Philip Hughes and his sister Michelle Bezanilla, co-owners of Gravy restaurant in Red Oak, are no exception. They’re strategizing how to ensure their business is ready for the influx of customers during the eclipse event. They plan to bring in additional help and adjust their menu to accommodate the expected overflow of customers. The economic impact of the eclipse is estimated at nearly $1.4 billion for the entire state of Texas, with more than $13 million expected in Ellis County alone.

Clint Woodward, President and CEO of the Red Oak Area Chamber of Commerce, is advising local businesses to ramp up staffing, increase inventory and encourage residents to stock up on essentials ahead of time. He emphasizes that preparation is key and businesses should be ready for the influx of visitors and capitalize on it as an opportunity to attract new customers. At Gravy, Philip and Michelle are focused on making sure their guests have a great time during this unique event by introducing themselves to potential future customers with special offerings and festive atmosphere outside their restaurant.

In just under two weeks, Texas is bracing for one of the biggest events of the year: a total solar eclipse. It’s estimated that more than a million people will descend on the state to witness this historic event, which promises to infuse billions into the local economy. One city that’s preparing for anything but…

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