MADRAS, OR -- Even though the City of Madras saw as many visitors as expected during last month's eclipse, it didn't translate into high dollars, like they'd thought it would.
Joe Krenowicz, Executive Director of the Madras Chamber of Commerce says, the town still considers the entire experience a 'win.' "Not as large of an economic impact as we all anticipated, but for long term, we'll be seeing two and three and five years down the road, people came to Madras and they hope they'll be able to come back and enjoy our rivers and lakes and certainly our outdoor recreation from cycling and to hiking and we're looking forward to having them coming back. If I had an opportunity to do this again, I'd jump on it right away."
Even though the business owners didn't make as much as they'd expected, Krenowicz says nothing was spoiled or wasted, showing that their preparedness and planning really worked. He says the visitors enjoyed Madras, but isntead of shopping and eating out, they came prepared. "They didn't really go into town or drive about town until probably Sunday or Monday. They pretty well stayed in all the 20, 30 locations we had around the area. And they came in prepared with their food and water, and so we did not get the influx that we'd anticipated starting Thursday that we truly wanted to happen."
Krenowicz says the Eclipse didn't seem to be about shopping, but was instead a chance to make new friends. "Saw a lot of people, they were able to meet with people from all over the world and the United States, and they made a party where they stayed, at an RV Park, or a tent, or certainly in the hotels we have here in town."
Even though things didn't go exactly as planned, Krenowicz believes the city of Madras came out ahead, both financially, and in repeat tourism dollars over the next few years as eclipse viewers plan to return to the area.