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Local businesses experience variable influx during total solar eclipse weekend



Little Rock, Arkansas – Not as many people as anticipated initially flocked to the state yesterday to witness the total solar eclipse.

On Sunday, which is typically their slowest day, the hotels were happy with the number of reservations they had, according to Jeff Chastain of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Chastain said that there were sizable crowds in the entertainment districts, where the eclipse celebrations were taking place, but the official statistics won’t be available until mid-to-late next week.

According to Nexus Coffee and Creative’s owner, Amy Counce, their figures are record-breaking.

“We were surprised,” said Counce. “We didn’t know what to expect so for us to hit a record day like that was pretty amazing. We feel very grateful. We got to meet a lot of folks that we would not have had that opportunity if we were not in the totality of it.”

According to Counce, the majority of visitors were from outside the area.

“We had a lot of those travelers and tourists coming through,” said Counce. “We always enjoy a story from someone that is out of state and doesn’t get to come here often or not at all. We feel really lucky to be sort of right in the middle of everything and I think it helped us out a lot.”

Across town, Certified Pies was forced to close early on Sunday, and the same could not be true.

“We prepared to just be really busy and maybe even double than what we normally would,” said Samantha Stewart, Co-owner of Certified Pies. “It was kind of that normal crowd. Sunday it was really dead. There was nobody. It wasn’t just us but there was just nobody out.”

Stewart remarked that although Monday was a little better than Sunday, they were ready to return to normal. Sunday was a bust.

“I think it did make a lot of local people nervous with people being out on the road,” said Stewart. “We were able to kind of get some sales and that was good for us because we are usually closed on Monday. We were able to get some experience on Monday night so all is not lost but we are glad the locals are back out today.”

Following the eclipse, a few of those guests chose to extend their stay by one day.
As of 3 p.m. on April 9, 411 visitors from 26 different states have visited the Museum of Discovery, according to a social media post by Kelley Bass.

This is in response to 171 visitors from six states who came on the same day in April 2023.








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