Maryville businesses are making plans for the eclipse.
Sherry Robertson, general manager for the Red Roof Inn and Country Hearth Inn, stated that both hotels have been completely booked for two or three months.
She stated reservations started pouring in online as early as January, but the staff didn’t realize how full the facilities were getting until customers started to call in personally as online reservations were showing no vacancies.
“People were booking online before we even knew about the eclipse,” Robertson stated.
Both hotels currently have waiting lists of approximately 15 customers at each location. They have people coming from the east and west coasts, Texas, Minnesota, Canada and many other locations.
She stated that everyone will be on duty for the day, allowing for lots of staff to be on site. The hotels will be the busiest on Sunday, the day before the eclipse.
“We don’t anticipate anything major. We would like to see some people stay in the area and help our other local businesses,” Robertson said.
With the news of fully-booked hotels, several restaurants are gearing up for extra patrons.
Pizza Ranch General Manager Jeremy Ebrecht and Assistant General Manager Tony Ruckman stated they are going to have extra staff on duty. They are expecting sales to more than double and in return plan to double their staff. They will also have more staff coming in on Sunday and coming in earlier than usual on Monday to assist with food preparation.
Pizza Ranch will be extending its buffet to last throughout the day in order to accommodate the influx of diners. The restaurant already has reservations for eclipse parties and expects to see more parties make reservations as the event nears.
Hy-Vee Gas Department Manager Monica Wiederholt stated the store was not anticipating any major changes outside of a normal business day. She did state that the store still had solar eclipse glasses for sale for those who wish to purchase some.
Cell phone service
NorthwestCell has been working to increase its network capacity over the past six months. General Manager Roger Bundridge stated that the company had quadrupled the network capacity in Maryville and doubled the capacity at all tower sites along the interstate. Bundridge stated that all network increases were permanent and would remain after the event.
Bundridge believes there will be a lot of people live messaging, taking pictures and videos of the event as well as a lot of social media use. He stated people could see network delays from an hour before to an hour after the event, even with the capacity increase.
According to an article posted on the company’s website by Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Engineering Scott Mair, AT&T plans to deploy nine temporary capacity boosting devices throughout the nation with three of the devices being deployed in Missouri in the towns of Columbia, Owensville and Washington. The devices should boost network capacity by an average of 160 percent.
Nodaway Valley Bank Branch Manager Brian Schieber stated the bank was planning on “business as usual.” All branches of the banks plan to be open for business with normal hours during the day of the eclipse.
Schieber did say that the branches in St. Joseph may close for a short time during the main event to allow employees to view the total eclipse.