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Syracuse readies for eclipse

Poster with writing about solar eclipse and Syracuse skyline
Designed by Tyler Nordgren
Visit Syracuse
Syracuse tourism officials expect the total solar eclipse to bring more visitors to the area.

Syracuse tourism officials are predicting good things for local businesses thanks to the eclipse on April 8. While Syracuse won’t see the longest period of when the moon will block out the sun, tourism officials are trying to get people to stay and eat in the Salt City even if they choose to travel elsewhere.

President and CEO of Visit Syracuse, Danny Liedka, says the conservative estimates say that the total eclipse should be good for the local economy.

“It’s going to be easier to tell you that after that fact but on paper today, easily at least a million dollar impact locally, if not more,” Liedka said. “We’ve seen hotels where their strategy is to encourage people to come in on Sunday night or perhaps Tuesday night, so we will get the benefit on Sunday and Monday instead of just Monday.”

Liedka says another thing in Syracuse’s favor is that lodging is limited in the North Country and around Rochester, so Syracuse could be a great location for those traveling to view the eclipse in those other locations.

Planners are also discussing how roads will be impacted by eclipse travelers, and state transportation officials tell Liedka drivers could see delays on highways.

Liedka says it's important for people to know they shouldn't pull over on the interstate, but should go to a safe area to observe the eclipse – and to fuel up, especially if they're heading down from the North Country when it's over.

"The lack of fuel stations up there," said Liedka, means that if there's post-eclipse traffic, "there could be cars that break down without fuel.”

Liedka is hoping that Syracuse could be a stopping point for those travelers. Locally, he says there are several activities throughout the region, but he encourages people to either make reservations or leave for their event or location early.

Bob Beck, a veteran media professional, currently serves as a part-time editor/host at WAER Public Radio and an adjunct professor at Syracuse University. Beck retired as News Director at Wyoming Public Radio in 2022 after 34 years. During his time, Beck won 5 regional Edward R. Murrow awards and 5 Public Media Journalists Association awards for reporting. He also won 11 PMJA awards for the news and public affairs program Open Spaces. He was awarded the Wyoming School Bell award for education reporting and was part of two Emmy Award winning television productions. You can find him on X under the name @butterbob.