Editorial: Eclipse was a blinding success for Nebraska tourism

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Nebraskans did a great job putting out the welcome mat for visitors here to see the Aug. 21 eclipse. The economic numbers just came in, and one could say they’re, well, heavenly.

Nebraska was host to more than 708,000 eclipse tourists, about 87 percent of them from out of state. When the numbers are crunched for their spending on lodging, food and other needs, the estimated economic impact totaled $127 million.

Given the eclipse’s diagonal path across the breadth of the state, that economic boost was felt across many communities.

Thousands gathered at sites across Nebraska, with major crowds at spots including Carhenge and Homestead National Monument. Indeed, on eclipse day, the Beatrice area was host to an estimated 40,000 visitors.

Nearly 40 percent of out-of-state visitors surveyed for the Nebraska Tourism Commission said they’re likely to visit Nebraska again in the next two years. Nebraska communities deserve congratulations for making this such an astronomical success.