August 22, 2016
Crowds will flock to Wyoming’s Wind River Country/Fremont County. NASA will be watching us. The sky will go dark in the middle of the day. The countdown to the Wind River Eclipse has begun. How have you prepared for Aug. 21, 2017?
From about 10:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will pass over the entire county, from Dubois to Moneta. The Wind River Eclipse will draw an estimated 10,000 people to the region to witness this celestial phenomenon, making this a business opportunity as well as an astral opportunity. It’s time to prepare your business for the big event.
As we near the one-year mark, many lodging providers, guides and tour operators have accepted reservations from around the world and are well into making preparations and booking business. Business owners across the county are finding they are believers in the magnitude of this event where they were skeptics mere months ago as their rooms are booked, their services reserved and their phones ring with calls from across oceans.
“We have been contacted almost daily by people from all over the world about the coming eclipse,” said Wind River Hotel and Casino Marketing Director Jackie Dorothy.
Some of the disbelief is born of the question, “why here?” But the real question may very well be, “WY not here?” Avid eclipse chasers and the Wind River Visitors Council (WRVC) have learned that NASA named the high-altitude prairie between Casper and Moneta one of the best viewing locations in the nation as the Great American Eclipse sweeps from West Coast to East Coast on Aug. 21, 2017.
“The altitude of Riverton is itself a barrier to the Plains moisture … From a climatological point of view, the centre line between Riverton and Shoshoni is probably the best location in Wyoming to wait for the eclipse,” according to Eclipsophile, a website dedicated to climatology and weather for celestial events. Historical weather data shows that Riverton has only an 8-percent chance of experiencing cloud cover of any sort on that day.
Furthermore, the elevation of Wind River Country provides a thin, clear atmosphere ideal for witnessing and photographing a solar eclipse during the two-hours the moon passes before the sun and the 2 minutes, 30 seconds it fully blocks it. Finally, the vast, unobstructed views that make Fremont Country the true “big sky country” make for unrivaled viewing opportunities for what will be many, many visitors.
What have you prepared to pair with the big, solar show? The WRVC is prepared to help.
The WRVC hired an eclipse expert to produce an Opportunity Analysis Report and build a Business Planning Guide for local business owners and organizations. Pick up your copy of the Business Planning Guide at your chamber of commerce or by contacting the WRVC at [email protected]. The domain windrivereclipse.org is a tool for both visitors and locals, providing free advertising of local packages and events (email yours to [email protected] if you haven’t already) as well as helpful tips for guests. Finally, the WRVC is leveraging the resources of the Wyoming Office of Tourism to ensure eclipse fans around the globe discover Wind River Country and the packages, events and deals local businesses are offering.
“We have the opportunity to turn this 156-second event into a four-day windfall, if businesses make the most of this attraction,” said Paula McCormick, WRVC Marketing Director. “Furthermore, the better impression Wind River Country makes on all of these visitors, the more likely we are to see repeat visits and benefit from word-of-mouth reviews.”
For tips on adding value and themed eclipse products and services to your business before next August, browse windrivereclipse.org and the WRVC’s Eclipse Business Planning Guide, contact the WRVC at [email protected] or (307) 332-5546 with questions or ideas, and compare notes with your neighbors. The countdown to the Wind River Eclipse has begun.
*Don’t forget to use the hashtag #windrivercountry when you share your Wind River Country memories on social media.
For a complete calendar of events go to www.windriver.org/calendar. To request a vacation packet, please visit us at Wind River Country or call 800-645-6233. Pioneer your own adventure in Wind River Country!
About the Wind River Visitors Council
The Wind River Visitors Council’s mission is to stimulate tourism by increasing awareness of, and encouraging visitation to, the unique destinations, activities and events in Fremont County/Wind River Country, Wyoming. The Wind River Visitors Council (WRVC) is a Lodging Tax Board responsible for promoting the travel and tourism industry in Wind River Country through expenditures of the Lodging Tax. WRVC Board members represent our communities and the county and are appointed by local City Councils and the Fremont County Commissioners. Learn more at windriver.org.