The darkness that will spread across Texas during the April 8 solar eclipse will bring a bright spot with it.

Travelers are expected to bring an influx of spending as they come to East Texas to see something that won性视界传媒檛 happen again in the United States until 2044.

Tyler is in the path of totality, while Longview is slightly outside it. Hotels in both communities are filling up, and events planned in both cities give visitors a reason to stay more than one day 性视界传媒 and to eat in local restaurants, go shopping and visit local attractions.

性视界传媒淲e性视界传媒檙e excited about it. Everything is just building up to it,性视界传媒 said Shannel Gray, director of sales at Longview性视界传媒檚 Hilton Garden Inn. The hotel is hosting an eclipse viewing event on its property with special treats for hotel guests.

The 性视界传媒減ath of totality性视界传媒 consists of the places the moon will completely cover the sun. That path spreads across Texas, with Tyler, Gilmer, Mount Pleasant and Pittsburg in that path. Longview is just outside totality, but the eclipse will still be visible here. For information on specific cities, visit .

Longview is trying to capitalize on its place in the eclipse with its marketing effort 性视界传媒淟ivin性视界传媒 on the Edge in the 性视界传媒榁iew.性视界传媒

For local tourism officials, eclipse weekend starts on Thursday with ArtWalk in downtown Longview and a concert at the Longview Arboretum and Nature Center.

Then, it spreads into the rest of the weekend with events that also were already planned, separate from the eclipse, but that the city hopes to use to draw people in to stay in Longview ahead of the event, said Shawn Hara, Longview性视界传媒檚 community destinations director. That includes Dalton Days in downtown, another Downtown Live concert in Heritage Plaza and a free showing of the movie 性视界传媒淐aptain Marvel.性视界传媒

For eclipse weekend information, visit .

People traveling to see the eclipse will be looking for places to stay where there are places to eat and things to do, said C.J. Clayton, Longview性视界传媒檚 tourism manager.

性视界传媒淭he people that are diehards are paying those high rates in the area where there is 100% totality,性视界传媒 Clayton said. 性视界传媒淚 think we性视界传媒檙e going to get the overflow.性视界传媒

Gray also is connected with the hotel industry in Tyler through the Hilton Garden Inn there. A week ago, some of those hotels were already at 97% capacity for the night before the eclipse, she said.

性视界传媒淎nd that is all the hotels within the city itself and the outskirts, the hot and the not so hot (hotels),性视界传媒 she said.

That性视界传媒檚 significant, she explained, because Sundays are usually the slowest day for hotels.

Sign Up for Newsletters
Select Newsletters to Sign Up For

性视界传媒淎s far as in the Longview area, we性视界传媒檙e expecting the overage form the Tyler area,性视界传媒 she said. 性视界传媒淎 lot of people will stay here.性视界传媒

Overflow from smaller communities in the path of totality also is expected, since they don性视界传媒檛 have as many hotels as Tyler and Longview.

Sheridan Smith, vice president of marketing and communications for Visit Tyler, said this past week that hotel bookings were picking up. She said Tyler State Park性视界传媒檚 overnight camping spots were booked as well.

She pointed to the eclipse性视界传媒檚 potential economic impact as forecasted by Ray Perryman, who specializes in economic research.

The Perryman Group published a report that says the state will see $427.7 million in direct eclipse-related spending, or about $1.4 billion when the 性视界传媒渄ownstream multiplier性视界传媒 effects are considered. That includes spending at restaurants, hotels and retail.

In Tyler, direct spending of $7.7 million is expected, with an overall impact of $25.1 million. For Longview, Perryman expects $5.4 million in direct spending and a total impact of $16.8 million.

Smith said she性视界传媒檚 talked to a lot of people planning to come to Tyler, including a man named Tyler who is headed to East Texas from out of state so he can be in Tyler and take photos there of the eclipse.

Broadway Square Mall will host a viewing party in the parking lot, where a carnival also will be located. Caldwell Zoo is promoting the eclipse weekend and viewing as well.

An art show, concerts and more are planned in downtown Tyler and at sites around the city.

Like Longview, Tyler is promoting specific eclipse viewing events and events the weekend before at .

性视界传媒淭he community is really excited about this,性视界传媒 Smith said.

Longview性视界传媒檚 hotel business is generally associated with business travel, and most people typically check out on Sunday, Clayton said. That means hotels will get an unusual boost from eclipse traffic. The city性视界传媒檚 tourism office also has promoted the weekend on social media and spent money advertising in Louisiana to try to capture people traveling to the area.

性视界传媒淚 have to think if you性视界传媒檙e going to have 20 percent to 30 percent more people in your hotels, they性视界传媒檙e going to have to eat and drink and spend their money here,性视界传媒 she said, including people who are driving to or from Louisiana.

性视界传媒淚 think the whole city will see an influx in how many people are here and how much they are spending here,性视界传媒 Clayton said.

— Jo Lee Ferguson can be contacted at .

Jo Lee Ferguson wishes she kept her maiden name - Hammer - because it was perfect for a reporter. She’s a local girl who loves writing about her hometown. She and LNJ Managing Editor Randy Ferguson have two children and a crazy husky.