Local Q&A Announcements

Is the City going to close down certain streets/ the Strip? If so, how will this impact my regular business (if located on those streets)?

The “Strip” (S. Illinois Ave.) will not be closed, however, South Washington Ave will be closed between the intersections of Walnut and Elm St. The second closure is expected to be West Hospital Dr. between S. Illinois and S. University Ave. The closures will provide the additional space needed for entertainment.

What citywide events will be going on? Days/Times?

In addition to the Washington Street Music Festival, First Mid-Illinois Eclipse Marketplace, and the Town Square activities, other events are still being finalized. If you are a business that is hosting an event we would love to advertise your event to the public by adding it to our calendar. Simply email info@carbondaleeclipse.com.

What can I do to have higher sales/revenue?

Planning is key! Think about having modified menus, being open and staying open for longer hours, and having outdoor stations. You will need all hands on deck to ensure efficient turnover.

How is the City coordinating with eclipse events held at SIU?

SIU and the City of Carbondale are working together to compliment one another. Members of each organization are communicating on a regular basis to ensure there are activities for all.

If I have special events/promotions for that weekend - Monday, how will visitors know about it? How can I drive traffic to my business during the eclipse weekend?

Register for your free account on the regional website here or notify Carbondale Tourism to have your information shared with everyone! Carbondale Tourism is able to give your business a greater presence by publishing your information on multiple sites such as Carbondale Eclipse, Carbondale Tourism, Enjoy Illinois, Guest Quest, and WDBX community calendar.

Current visitors have mentioned that they cannot find lodging. Are there still options available for them?

Yes, options are available. Roughly all of the hotels in our area have 10-25 vacancies with the exception of Super 8 who is sold out. Carbondale Tourism checks the room availability on a weekly basis to be well informed. In addition, lodging facilities contact their office in the event of cancellations. If you need help finding lodging call Carbondale Tourism at 618-529-4451.

Can I rent out a room in my house or offer RV's a place to park?

You can utilize AirBnB, VRBO, & Hipcamp.com however, we advise checking your homeowner’s insurance and understand your liability coverage. You should also inform your local municipality for the purposes of emergency services and safety inspections. For RV’s you need to ensure proper sanitation and meet requirements of Jackson County Health Department.

Where can I park and get around town?

Street closures, parking, & shuttle buses are still being configured.  Safety is our number one priority but it is our intention to create an Eclipse Map to help you identify all eclipse areas & activities during the weekend.

What advice do you have for businesses? How can they plan an eclipse event?

Several of our Carbondale businesses are closed on Sunday’s & Monday’s. We highly advise BEING OPEN if you cater to tourists. We also recommend dining establishments to offer limited menus to provide optimal turnover. As far as planning an event, do what you are best at! This is not the time to try or test new products & offerings. Stick to your specialty, consider the extra expenses in your fiscal budget, & pre-plan for extra food deliveries and storage.

How many people are expected to come for the Total Solar Eclipse?

Southern Illinois estimates as a region we will encounter up to 100k people. The city of Carbondale expects up to 50k for just our area.  Consequently, if the weather is not conducive for viewing, we will experience a significant decrease in the number of attendees.

If the city passes ‘fair days,’ what does this mean for me as a business?

Fair days will not be passed, however the city will allow for open containers. More details on this temporary ordinance can be found here.

Have a question not listed? Contact us and we will be happy to answer!