Exceeding Expectations: Hamilton County Celebrates Outstanding Success – Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana traffic

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – Nearly a month after the total solar eclipse, central Indiana communities are still reeling from the lasting impact of this once-in-a-lifetime sight.

Ahead of the event, cities, towns and counties on the path to totality tried to prepare for a huge rush of skywatchers but found it difficult to make confident predictions.

The Great American Eclipse estimated that the state could receive between 131,000 and 522,000 visitors.

Hamilton County leaders say that while the state's location was a huge advantage, it also made it difficult to make predictions and tally totals after the eclipse. They say that unlike previous eclipses that passed more remote areas, the path of the total eclipse of “our” eclipse was perfectly positioned, allowing visitors from all directions to travel for a day rather than booking flights in advance, which is relatively easy to do counting would have been ahead of time.

The weather on the day of the blackout also made the situation uncertain – Indiana's weather forecast was far better than most other states on the path to totality, making it an attractive last-minute moving destination for eclipse devotees.

The numbers and highlights are now in from Hamilton County Tourism, Inc.:

  • 89,600 total visitors
  • Average stay 7.6 hours
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – peak visiting time
  • 97% hotel occupancy
  • 276 holiday apartments (more than three times the April 2023 numbers)
  • 50 states represented by visitors
  • 150,000 Eclipse glasses distributed
  • 1 marriage proposal

The district is also reporting huge increases in traffic to its website and social media engagement.

The numbers could prove helpful for plans and predictions the next time a total solar eclipse crosses Indiana, although planners may want to put the facts and figures in a time capsule; the next one in Indiana is still 75 years away.

Anna Harden

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