June 16, 2017
Space is more limited than I thought
Here's some possibly bad news. The folks in charge at the airport are limiting the number of cars they will allow to park there for the eclipse to 5,000. This means the overall number of people at the event will be massively reduced. Also, they're cutting off reservations August 11. So, if you don't already have a parking spot reserved, do that now. As in the previous post (below), go here. In the Search box, enter "Eclipse." Then hit "Return," and then click on the event at Rosecrans Memorial Airport.
January 16, 2017
Reserve your spot now, Now, NOW:
You now can reserve a camping spot, an RV space, and a parking space at Rosecrans Airport. Without further ado, just go here. In the Search box, enter "Eclipse." Then hit "Return," and then click on the event at Rosecrans Memorial Airport.
November 23, 2016
I have spectacular news to report:
Holley, Beth Conway from the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau, and I met with Gary Exline, General Manager of four radio stations in St. Joseph, and several of the program directors from those stations. I had hoped we could partner with a station to broadcast live on eclipse day.
Instead, Gary informed us that all four stations would be simulcasting about the eclipse on August 21! Now that's going above and beyond in serving the community. Wow! I'm still flying high from this news.
November 11, 2016
The following important tidbit came from Beth Carmichael at the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau during a phone call:
In addition to the advice below not to try to book rooms in St. Joseph thru an online booking agency, Beth strongly recommends that you call the hotels at their local area-code-816 number. Don't use the 800 number you might find because that's the chain's national number, and they may report a sellout when rooms are, in fact, available.
She also told me that the nearby towns of Cameron, Chillicothe, and Maryville have rooms available as well.
October 19, 2016
I got an email from Beth Carmichael from the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau. In it were a couple newsworthy items that came out of the most recent meeting of the Local Organizing Committee for the Eclipse. Here are the major points:
The confirmed area available for the event is 52.5 acres.
The airport staff will set aside 19 acres for primitive tent camping (no water or electricity). There will be 740 sites, each measuring 16 by 30 feet. Cost will be $40 for one night or $100 for three nights.
The airport staff will set aside space for 250 RV sites. Each will measure 18 by 40 feet. Cost is $60 for one night or $150 for three nights.
The layout includes 40-foot drive lanes for EMS vehicles.
October 18, 2016
I got the following information in an email from Mary Supple, who works with the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau. I mentioned to Mary that we had some friends who checked into rooms in St. Joe and found they were all gone.
Correcting that statement, Mary wrote, "We do have rooms available the weekend of the eclipse. St. Joseph now has 1,100 hotel rooms since our Ramada Inn closed in August. At this point, we are approximately 50 percent sold out. Hotels do have rooms available. We recommend calling the hotels directly. Don't try booking online or thru a third party. Candlewood Suites, Holiday Inn Express, Radisson, Motel 6, Hampton Inn, Quality Suites, and Guest House Inn all have rooms available. Some of these have a certain night minimum you have to stay, and some prices are much higher than others. America Best Value will begin taking reservations November 1."
Sepember 29, 2016
I met with Abe Forney, Manager of Rosecrans Memorial Airport. What a great guy! Two breakthroughs came out of this meeting. And, although some of us were expecting them, it's still terrific to hear them confirmed first-hand:
1) The main eclipse activities at the airport will take place in the Drop Zone. This development was crucial to our being able to host a large number of people at the event.
2) Amateur astronomers desiring to be onsite Sunday (or even Saturday) will be able to bring their vehicles and camp at a location in the Drop Zone the airport staff will designate. There will be a per-day fee if you want to take advantage of this service, but I think the benefits to eclipse watchers in being set up a day or even two before the eclipse will far outweigh the small cost.
We discussed a few other items of less world-shattering importance:
1) The main parking area also will be in the Drop Zone. The airport will charge a per-car fee for parking.
2) Tickets for camping and parking will be available online. Having a guaranteed camping or parking spot certainly will put many people's minds at ease. And although I can't gi.ve you a "tickets are available" date as yet, it will be fairly soon. Keep an eye on this website for updates. I will post that information as soon as I hear it.
3) The area near the airport terminal building also will be open to the public as a viewing area. A separate nearby parking lot (used during the recent "Sound of Speed" air show) can hold several thousand cars.
4) For people near the terminal who want to visit the Drop Zone area, airport personnel are thinking about running some sort of shuttle between the two for a small fee. Visitors also are free to walk the roughly 2 miles between the two areas.