Eclipse shines bright on local businesses
As would be expected, many businesses in Estacada saw an increase in traffic during the recent solar eclipse.
The solar phenomenon on Monday, Aug. 21, was expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors to Oregon from out of state because of prime viewing opportunities. Cities such as Madras were in the eclipse's path of totality, in which the moon completely covered the sun. While the eclipse's path of totality did not pass through Estacada city limits, many visitors stopped in town on their way to other viewing destinations in eastern Oregon and the Mt. Hood National Forest. Some stopped by to see a partial eclipse in Estacada, where totality was at 99 percent.
Rohanda Aqleh, a manager at The Grind Coffee House, said that Monday, Aug. 21, was the busiest day of the year for the cafe at 105 S.W. Highway 224.
"Consistently all day, there were lines outside of the door," she said. "I worked the
morning, and it never slowed down."
Things were also busy at Lew's Drive-In.
"We were slammed Monday," said Marvin Flora, estimating that the restaurant at 262 Broadway St. saw twice as many customers on Aug. 21 than on it does a typical Monday. "It was huge. Usually most of our business is with regulars, but we had a lot of new people on Monday."
Though many visitors came to Lew's on the day of the eclipse, the days prior to the event were quieter.
"I think everyone thought traffic would be super bad," Flora said.
At Harvest Market, 280 Broadway St., store leaders noted that although there were the usual number of customers on Monday, Aug. 21, the days leading up to the eclipse were busier than usual.
"The weekend had more activity with campers," said manager Mike Schuh. "We had a little more traffic. We staffed heavily and had reserves of our products, and it seemed to work out."
Dustin Hamilton, an employee at the Shell gas station at 605 N.W. Wade St., said that although some days surrounding the eclipse were "pretty busy," Monday was "slower than usual."
The station had ordered an extra truck of gas to prepare for the eclipse, but it was not used during that time.
Meanwhile, many around town enjoyed getting to know the eclipse visitors.
"We had a jar where they could write down where they were from," said Aqleh, noting that some visitors came from as far as Canada.
Flora noted that visitors from Canada also came to Lew's.
"They had friends who lived in Estacada," he said.
Aqleh also enjoyed seeing the coffee house's regular customers on Monday.
"Our regulars came to watch the eclipse (at the coffee house), too," she said. "That was cool."
Schuh agreed that the eclipse was a positive experience.
"It was a fun weekend," he said. "A fun time was had by all."