CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - With less than three months until the eclipse, businesses in Carbondale are gearing up for potentially one of the largest crowds the city has seen.
"It's going to be a great bump, IT's going to be a great bump, it's going to be hectic because SIU moves in right before, which we have always handled. But now, not knowing if we are going to have 20 or 50,000 extra people in town. It's definitely an opportunity and I'm just taking a positive attitude," said Roxanne Conley, owner of Attitude Designs.
According to the city of Carbondale, the historic August 21st eclipse is a big opportunity. It held a series of workshops to let business owners know about the rare opportunity.
Conley attended those workshops and says she will have a big inventory of shirts and a bigger staff.
Conley said that crowd is her only concern.
"I'm not worried competition, I'm not worried about someone taking something from me. I'm more worried about keeping up and just being able to service everyone...it's kind of a good problem to have...having too much business," she said.
Conley said her company is able to create custom designs around the eclipse on t-shirts, mugs and many other promotional materials.
"Restaurants are going to be crazy busy getting enough more product into them to prepare and sell. It's going to be a challenge for them as well," Conley said.
Restaurants are beefing up too. Global Gourmet, an area owned business at the end of town, is preparing for the eclipse. Tippy, the co-owner, said he's excited for the big crowds.
"This will boost the economy in the area...and we are ready for it," Tippy explained.
Tippy's focus is mainly the people and entertaining.
"I'm cashing in every time we open the door, that's what businesses are for…that's what businesses are made for. I'm also here to entertain, feed and give people a good time," he said.
Global is prepping by ordering more food, extending hours and even serving specialty drinks.
"Eclipse drink, full moon drink, a sunshine drink."
"As an individual business, bring it on, I'll take anything I can get," Conley explains.
Carbondale Main Street is working with downtown businesses and exploring possibilities for downtown restaurants to share a refrigerated trailer for extra food storing purposes.
Contact Carbondale Tourism at 618-529-4451 or visit www.CarbondaleEclipse.com for any questions related to the Carbondale Eclipse.
If you have an event you'd like Carbondale Tourism to include on the Carbondale Eclipse events calendar email, email@example.com