Suds, sweets and spotty cell service: The business of a Show-Me solar eclipse

With a swath of the Show-Me State falling in the “path of totality” for Monday’s solar eclipse, Missouri is a great place for a view of a total solar eclipse.

It’s also a prime spot for observing the business of an eclipse.

From special food and beverage to infrastructure considerations and potential port-a-potty shortages, here are a few of the more interesting eclipse-related business stories we’ve seen:

Solar suds and sweets

There should be no shortage of special suds and sweets to sample during the solar eclipse, with various food and beverage businesses taking culinary inspiration from the celestial event.

Schlafly Beer in St. Louis is celebrating the eclipse with a special edition beer dubbed The Path of Totality. It comes with a special bottle redesign and a pair of eclipse glasses so you can sip and view in comfort.

Logboat Brewing Co. is hosting an eclipse shindig at the park outside its Columbia brewery. The event will feature food, music and, of course, a special beer release.

Shatto, the Osborn-based milk company, released a limited-edition beverage for the occasion. The black milk is made to taste like “Cookies ‘n Cookies ‘n Cream,” the company said.

Krispy Kreme is offering a chocolate glazed donut from Saturday through Monday. If you’re stuck in the office for the eclipse, a box of these could help sweeten the workday.

Lunar logistics

Various projections have pegged the number of people visiting Missouri for the eclipse at more than 1 million. That influx of visitors means logistical headaches for some and moneymaking opportunities for others.

Predicted totals for visitors include 400,000 in Columbia, 400,000 in St. Louis, 400,000 in St. Joseph and 50,000 in Jefferson City, according to the Missouri Business Development Program.

The Missouri Business Development Program warned about potential pitfalls of so many visitors descending on the state, including gas shortages, cell service disruption and congested roads.

An email from school officials at the University of Missouri cautioned the campus community to expect similar issues, including temporary outages of the campus Wi-Fi network and problems accessing online resources provided by the school.

However, people looking to make a buck renting out their home through Airbnb will be hard-pressed to find a better time to do so than around the eclipse. The home-sharing service released data that predicts Airbnb hosts in Missouri’s path of totality will rake in $556,000 and accommodate 3,750 guests.

Eclipse odds, ends and arts

A Bloomberg calculation of grid forecasts suggests more than 9,000 megawatts of solar power may go down during the eclipse. That’s the equivalent of about nine nuclear reactors.

Angela Speck, an MU astronomy professor, said the entire stockpile of portable toilets in the state would need to move to Columbia.

The Columbia Art League is putting on a celestial-themed exhibition from June 27 through Aug. 23.

Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District has played host to the Solanoir Street-Art Festival, which organizers have said is designed to draw attention to Kansas City and make the eclipse “last a little longer.”


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