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Delaware North locations welcome thousands of guests for special events during the solar eclipse

On April 8, the United States witnessed a rare solar eclipse, and many Delaware North properties were in the path of totality. Delaware North teams supported various special events to unite people for the once-in-a-generation celestial phenomenon in which the moon covered the sun, casting a shadow over Earth.

Niagara Falls State Park, where Delaware North provides visitor, food and beverage, and retail services, was a major hub of activity for the weekend before and during the eclipse. Delaware North General Manager Michael Barnes said it was “Fourth of July level crowds” on Sunday, the day before the eclipse. An estimated 45,000 visitors were at the park on April 7, and retail completely sold out of all eclipse-themed merchandise, even before the actual event.

Patina 250, operated by Delaware North’s Patina Restaurant Group at corporate headquarters in Buffalo, held a Solar Eclipse Spectacle Cosmic Brunch that included access to a fifth-floor viewing platform. Guests also enjoyed eclipse-themed cocktails and gift bags with freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches provided by Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The Westin Buffalo, which was sold out, treated its hotel guests to welcome packages with eclipse-themed cupcakes, a special edition pennant from
retail partner Oxford Pennant and eclipse glasses.

Highmark Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills and where Delaware North serves as the food and beverage provider, provided catering and hospitality services for a private party of 350 people and a public event on the football field for up to 2,000 guests. In addition to standard concessions fare, Delaware North offered Kids’ Eclipse Boxes with Capri-Sun, Moon Pies and SnapDragon Apples.

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake in Ohio, which the company operates for Ashtabula County, about an hour from Cleveland, celebrated with a special menu and retail items. The Lodge was sold out for nearly a year in anticipation of the eclipse, and it served as an excellent destination for residents and visitors to watch the phenomenon. Team members provided s’mores supplies, grab-and-go lunches and a buffet dinner for guests. They even got to experience a C-130 plane doing a flyby shortly before the eclipse.

Delaware North team members at The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake in Ohio pose in front of the
lodge ready to welcome guests for the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8.

Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Guardians and where Delaware North provides foodservice, welcomed baseball fans and astronomy enthusiasts for its April 8 Opening Day game vs. the Chicago White Sox. The game’s excitement was elevated when players and fans gathered for the spectacle from 3:05 to 3:25 p.m. before the first pitch at 5:10 p.m.

Delaware North offered themed menu items, including Eclipse Nachos at four concessions locations; the Solar Eclipse Quesadilla in the Kaulig Club; Vanilla Blackout Stout from beer partner Great Lakes Brewing; the Solar Eclipse Margarita in clubs and suites; popcorn balls from a local vendor were dyed black to match the eclipse; and eclipse-themed cookies were included in suites packages.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which Delaware North operates for NASA on Florida’s Space Coast, hosted a partial solar eclipse event for guests. Astronaut scholar Will Jarvis shared a special presentation discussing his research on black holes and our solar system inside the Journey to Mars building. In addition, guests could safely view the partial eclipse using complimentary solar eclipse glasses or watch NASA’s live eclipse broadcast displayed on a large screen in the Rocket Garden.