Tourism numbers expected to be high

Apr. 4—Next week's solar eclipse is expected to generate a significant amount of tourism and revenue for Ashtabula County.

Ashtabula County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Stephanie Siegel said many of the lodging properties around the county are sold out, and proprietors of a number of seasonal properties that would not normally be open at this point in the year have decided to open for the weekend.

She said probably about 95 percent of lodging properties in the county are booked up for the event.

"The reason I say 95 percent and not 100 percent, is there are some properties that have decided, 'OK, we're normally seasonal, now we're going to open, but it's going to be $1,000 for the weekend,' or something," she said.

Siegel said finding a regular hotel room or short-term rental is virtually impossible.

"In the last few weeks, we've seen several of our businesses start to put out events, so we've just started fielding a lot more questions and inquiries about what there is going on," she said.

Siegel said her office has been getting calls from people across the country planning to visit the area for the eclipse.

Siegel said one thing about the events planned for the eclipse that surprised her is the number of wineries that are working together.

"A lot of times when we see the winery trails, it's just a small group of wineries that are working together," she said. "This is one of the first times we're seeing so many of them collaborate. I want to say there's 18 or 19. ... That's unusual, that they've all come together, collaborated to do this."

Siegel said the wineries sold tickets in advance for the trail.