NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee State Parks Department says many of their parks are already full for the historic eclipse in August.
“We’re seeing an exponential increase in occupancy,” Morgan Gilman told News 2. She’s the marketing manager for the Parks Department.
“We’ve got people coming from all over the country and all over the world,” she added.
The department raised rates for camping and lodging over the eclipse weekend for 12 state parks that fall within the “path of totality, or where people will be able to view the eclipse the longest– up to 2 minutes and 42 seconds.
The Parks Department says the increase in rates will mean increased tax revenues for the state. The number of tourists headed to Tennessee will also positively impact the economies for local towns and cities along the path.
“The parks are going to be full, so it’s going to be really good that all of these people are coming at a time that the local economies wouldn’t maybe be busy,” said Gilman. “It’s going to be really good overall for the state.”
For example, Fall Creek Falls is one of the parks closest to the path of totality. Their cabins are completely full, their campsites are 95 percent full, and their hotel rooms are 84 percent full.
However, there is still room at other parks like Henry Horton and Montgomery Bell that are further from the path.
With so many people, the parks department says they’ve been planning for this event for about a year. They’re working with TEMA, TDOT and the Department of Homeland Security to make sure from the car to the campground, every observer is safe.
“We all see the importance of this for Nashville and know how big it’s going to be,” Gilman said. “So we’re talking everything from events, to logistics to traffic and safety just to make sure that Music City is ready for the eclipse.”
Click here to book a campsite or reserve a spot in one of the parks eclipse-related activities.