Madras recuperating after successful eclipse weekend

The city estimates over 100,000 people visited during eclipse

Flags fly above Solar Town in Madras the day before the solar eclipse, August 20, 2017 (KOIN)
Flags fly above Solar Town in Madras the day before the solar eclipse, August 20, 2017 (KOIN)

MADRAS, Ore. (KOIN) — The madness in Madras is over but left the small town of 6,000 people with a memorable business boom over the eclipse weekend. 

The city estimates over 100,000 people camped, lodged, dined and shopped over the weekend and into Monday.

Small businesses, restaurants and shops were slammed with customers. Now, city leaders hope some of those out-of-towners will come back and realize what Madras has to offer.

“We heard that our community was friendly and welcoming. That there was more here than they expected, and just things were more organized than they expected and we are happy about that,” eclipse coordinator Lysa Vattimo told KOIN 6 News.

The eclipse in the small town led to some businesses doing 20 times more business in a weekend than they might see in an entire year, and some of those businesses plan to reinvest the money for upgrades and expansion.

Jennifer Schaffner, owner of Wild Blue, said her business saw people all the way out the door and out onto the sidewalks.

“We’ll be able to use some of that money to pay forward things that we want to add like some outdoor fire pits. We’d like to add a flat screen for football games for the fall. We’d like to create a patio area that’s more inviting when it’s cold, so we’re grateful for the flush of money to reinvest back into the business.”

While the next eclipse may not pass through Madras, the city is extremely pleased with how the weekend went.

“The whole community did it,” Vattimo said. “The whole team rose to the occasion and we got our chance to say, ‘Here we are, look at us!’ and it was wonderful.”

Before the city can decompress from the historic weekend, they’re preparing for the next big event – the Madras Air Show starts on Friday.