With Charleston being the last city to host the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the United States in almost a century, area businesses are cashing in. Nathan Frandino reports.
Script: As Charleston prepares to go dark during Monday's solar eclipse, businesses throughout this coastal city are hoping to go into the black as well. With the spotlight on the city, Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau vice chair Michael Tall says business owners are prepared to seize the moment. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL HALL, PRESIDENT OF CHARLESTOWNE HOTELS GROUP AND VICE CHAIR OF CHARLESTON AREA CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU, SAYING: "And for visitors to Charleston, they identify with the city being able to create these unique experiences that speak to whatever it is that is going on at any particular time and the eclipse is no different. Charleston is doing everything in its power to create a special weekend, to create a special activity for everyone that comes to town." And while the city may be used to hosting millions of tourists every year, the solar eclipse offers another opportunity for the city to shine. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAUREEN SHERIDAN, MANAGER OF KING CHARLES INN, SAYING: "We are very excited. We offered a premium package in March of this year and it sold out within a few weeks." Maureen Sheridan is the manager of the King Charles Inn hotel. The hotel is offering a luncheon with an astrophysics professor followed by a harbor tour during the eclipse... one of many offerings throughout the city that Sheridan says will help bring in the dollars. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAUREEN SHERIDAN, MANAGER OF KING CHARLES INN, SAYING: "The Charleston area is expected to have $10 to $20 million in revenue. Our hotel is very successful. We will be sold out Friday through Monday." Vendors in the city's market are also capitalizing. Old World Glass Studio is offering special solar eclipse cheese plates and stemware, including beer and wine glasses, made locally with recycled material. John Williams say they are a hit with eclipse spectators. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOHN WILLIAMS, RETAILER AT OLD WORLD GLASS STUDIO, SAYING: "They like the idea that it's something that will last, and of course, lot of people are excited about being able to toast the eclipse using one of our glasses, so that's kind of fun too." And that's a toast business owners will likely share long after the eclipse passes.