Eclipse Information

Preparing for the Eclipse: A Race to the Finish
By: Amy Fox
City of Carbondale Public Relations Officer
afox@explorecarbondale.com
www.carbondaleeclipse.com

Getting ready for the eclipse is kind of like running a marathon. You train for months, pushing through the pain, preparing for this one event, not knowing what will happen. Training for our big race began over a year ago with casual conversations with local and regional leaders. As months quickly became days, meetings picked up pace and the need to make decisions became more crucial. As of early May, Carbondale hotels are at 90 percent capacity with a few properties still reporting vacancies.  You may wonder where all of the eclipse chasers will be staying?  In response to interest from some residents in utilizing their homes to provide lodging for visitors, in December the City Council approved an ordinance establishing a licensing process for Vacation Rental Units within city limits. The ordinance allows homeowners to rent out all or a portion of their home on popular websites like Airbnb, Vacation Rentals by Owner and HomeAway.com. To be approved, the homeowner or tenant must live on the property, supply a floor plan, provide proof of insurance and present a site plan. Applications can be found on the City’s website www.explorecarbondale.com under the “Resources” tab. Applications are reviewed by the City’s Planning Staff and properties are inspected by the City’s Building Inspector. Owners of Vacation Rental Units are required to pay an annual $10 licensing fee and all hotel/motel taxes as required by the City of Carbondale.

If you are interested in learning more about Vacation Rental Units, contact Travis Taylor in the Development Services Office at (618) 457-3233.

That takes care of rentals, what about camping?  Although camping is prohibited in the city limits, SIU is offering “indoor” camping at the Rec Center as well as renting out rooms in Schneider Hall.  And for those who love the outdoors, there are primitive camping sites throughout the Shawnee National Forest. Like in running, some days you feel like you’re an Olympic athlete on top of the world and other days, you want to give up. But, we are constantly reminded, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. With less than 100 days until the solar eclipse, our stopwatches are ticking and all eyes are on Carbondale. While the finish line is in sight, we’re pacing ourselves for the big race. There’s still a lot of training to be done. We hope you will jump in and cheer us on every step of the way.

 
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