With the influx of visitors for the eclipse, Hillsboro wants to make a lasting impression

Posted at 8:02 AM, Apr 05, 2024

HILLSBORO, Texas — At Overflow Coffee and Café in Hillsboro…

“I’ve seen people from Chicago who never been to Hillsboro," said Stacey Hunt, owner of Overflow Coffee and Café.

A taste of the world coming to a small city…

“From California, Seattle… last week two men flew in from Ireland that are here to watch the Eclipse," Hunt said.

Owner Stacey Hunt is serving up a warm welcome for eclipse watchers.

“I’m hoping that people will come here for the first time and fall in love and be like I loved that like quaint town in Hillsboro, Texas," Hunt said.

The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce is expecting the population of less than 9,000 people here to more than triple for the eclipse.

“We’re expecting an economic impact. The hotels have been full for about a year now. We have nine hotels, an inventory of about 600 rooms in Hillsboro," executive director of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, Lynette Hearrell said.

The city has been planning for the last year to make sure people have a good time here — safely.

“The long-term impact we hope is that people will take notice of Hillsboro that we did a really good job planning how hospitable we were, and that way professionally planned a safe experience for people that are really literally coming from all over the world," Hearrell said.

So, like many business owners, Hunt started stocking up. Ordering 6,000 coffee cups — just in case.

“They're telling us 25,000 to 60,000 people well, even if I just serve 1% of that population, that's kind of how I arrived cups in ordering that many," Hunt said.

While businesses like Overflow Coffee prepare for overflow from the eclipse, they’re hoping to leave behind a sweet memory for visitors who make the journey here.

"I think we’re kind of a hidden little gem along I-35. And when you know people pull off the bigger cities but we have a lot to offer here," Hunt said.