Southern Illinois prepares accommodations for solar eclipse - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois prepares accommodations for solar eclipse

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WSIL -- In less than a year, thousands of people will make their way to southern Illinois for the solar eclipse. But where will all those people stay? Many hotels and cabins have already begun taking reservations, but rooms are booking up fast. 

It was just another day at Stone Creek Cabins in Makanda. Calls and questions about reservations for the solar eclipse seem to come everyday to owner Jason Chrzan.

"I have 11 rental cabins: four two-bedrooms and the rest are one-bedroom cabins," said Chrzan. 

Those cabins have started booking up quickly since Chrzan took over the property a year and a half ago.

Chrzan said, "At first, it was very stressful. In fact, we couldn't even talk about it for 10 minutes before getting a headache. But now that we have to focus on purely what we specialize in, everything became much easier."

About 20 minutes away, Theresa Blankenship stays busy getting the Murphysboro's Historic Hull House Inn ready for guests.

"We just want to be apart of it," said Blankenship. 

For the last six months, Blankenship has renovated the old downtown building to provide a few extra rooms for visitors.

Blankenship said, "We will accommodate as many people as we legally can and however many we can fit."

The Super 8 in Carbondale has been taking reservations for the Solar Eclipse for several weeks now, and all 63 rooms have been booked.

"Some of them have been booked while others are waiting for another two weeks to book due to their reservation system only being on a 50 week out time frame," said Cinnamon Smith, Carbondale Tourism Executive Director. 

Blankenship says Southern Illinois has just 360 days to get ready to earn it's place on the tourist map.

"We live in a beautiful part of the country and I think people are going to find that out," said Blankenship.

Those who haven't reserved their room for the solar eclipse still have time. Many of the hotels won't start accepting reservations until the first week of September, and they will only take reservations over the phone.

Some people have had concerns about solar eclipse traffic interfering with SIU move-in. A university spokesperson told News 3 move-in will take place the Wednesday before the eclipse.

Here's a schedule of when hotels will be accepting reservations: 

Drury Inn, Marion, now accepting reservations, (618) 997-9600

Holiday Inn Express, Marion, accepting reservations the week of September 12, (618) 993-5602

Comfort Inn, Marion, now accepting reservations, (618) 993-0183

Days Inn, Carbondale, now accepting reservations, (618)  529-2720

Hampton Inn, Carbondale, accepting reservations on August 26, (618) 549-6900

Best Western, Carbondale, accepting reservations on September 5, (618) 351-6611

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