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Delaware North locations embrace excitement for total solar eclipse

North America on Aug. 21 will experience a coast-to-coast total solar eclipse for the first time in 99 years. Interest has piqued across the United States, leading many Delaware North-operated parks and resorts locations along its path to embrace the extraordinary event.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which Delaware North operates for NASA, is located in what’s considered a partial eclipse zone. The visitor complex is hosting a viewing opportunity in its Rocket Garden, where visitors will be offered complimentary certified eclipse-viewing glasses on a first-come, first-served basis. Space experts will be on hand to engage with viewers, answer questions and offer commentary throughout the event; and NASA TV will be streaming live content from across the United States onto the visitor complex’s Jumbotron.

Delaware North’s team in Yellowstone National Park is also looking forward to record eclipse crowds. The Yellowstone General Stores, which Delaware North operates for the National Park Service, are preparing for the occasion by offering eclipse glasses and solar viewers for the occasion. The four Delaware North-owned-and-operated lodging properties in West Yellowstone, Mont., also sold out weeks in advance, thanks to eager eclipse enthusiasts.

Honey Creek Resort, with its remote location and picturesque setting on Iowa’s Rathbun Lake, is also expected to be a popular destination for eclipse watchers. Coverage at the resort, which Delaware North operates for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, is anticipated to be at 94 percent.

According to CBS News, it will be the most watched, best observed solar eclipse in history.

“The U.S. only covers 2 percent of the globe, so we get very few eclipses,” Matthew Penn, an astronomer with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, told the news outlet. “And to have one travel across the entire country is an unprecedented sort of opportunity. It’ll be a heck of day.”

Other Delaware North-owned-or-operated properties expected to experience at least 90 percent coverage from the solar eclipse are Kalaloch Lodge in Washington’s Olympic National Park, The Ridgeline Hotel in Estes Park, Colo. and Peaks of Otter Lodge along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.

Photo credit: Sky & Telescope/Dennis DiCicco.