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'It was just overhyped': Waco businesses react to sales after solar eclipse

Posted at 6:01 PM, Apr 09, 2024

MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — Thousands of people from all over the world came to visit Central Texas to watch the sun go dark.

For many, the total solar eclipse met their excitement, but did it meet our local economy’s expectations?

Some local businesses that spoke with 25 News say it felt like a normal weekend.

  • Urban Bliss made about $100 more on eclipse weekend compared to the weekend of Spring at the Silos in March.
  • Businesses said they saw a normal weekend of sales.
  • Courtyard Marriott saw a booked weekend — even with some cancellations, they immediately filled up.

BROADCAST SCRIPT:

“I feel like — I’m pretty sure most businesses feel like this too — it was just overhyped,” Carmen Robinson said.

The moon covered the sun on April 8, but it also overshadowed some local businesses.

“We were expecting, you know, an extremely large crowd cased on you know what were had been seeing,” Robinson said.

And like many Central Texas businesses...

“We’ve been busy, had lots of foot traffic, people from all over — can’t complain,” said Genie Meuse with Mainstream Boutique.

Urban Bliss Boutique opened its doors on Sunday, April 7 — a day it normally would be closed.

Owner Carmen Robinson says she was expecting droves of people to be walking in and spending some cash.

“It was nothing more than a normal day in Waco,” Robinson said.

After breaking down the numbers, the math shows that Urban Bliss made about $100 more eclipse weekend compared to the weekend of Spring at the Silos in March.

While this was an increase, it's still not the money maker the store expected.

“I think it’s a good boost, but it don’t think it’s a game changer," Robinson said.

The Courtyard Marriot Hotel doesn't share the same sentiment.

“This was fantastic — it was probably a day that we’ll never see again,” said Hotel Manager, Justin Kuzski.

Kuzski says they only had two cancellations, but they quickly filled up.

“How do we compare Baylor football to this weekend? It was better," he said.

"It exceeded Baylor football for sure — at least the hotel side — we definitely saw more of an influx of people."

The sales Urban Bliss made on Sunday were a 400 percent increase than sales on a typical Monday — Robinson says they had a great weekend sales-wise, they just anticipated a little more.