NY saw record tourism numbers for eclipse, despite cloudy conditions in WNY

Dannie Pollock sent in this photo of the eclipse scene at Point Breeze on April 8. “Didn't get to see the sun or moon up at the pier in Point Breeze today, but we got to experience an awesome change from day to night back to day. After the eclipse we saw three different water spouts out of the lake. Still a neat experience even without the moon sighting.”

Posted 12 April 2024 at 1:59 pm

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced record-setting tourism numbers in New York from April 6 to April 9 as visitors arrived for the total solar eclipse.

Nearly one million people visited New York State Parks from April 6 to April 9 – an increase of 45 percent compared to last year. The New York State Thruway Authority and New York State Department of Transportation recorded significant increases in vehicle travel, and the New York Power Authority provided nearly double the charging miles for electric vehicles when compared to the previous week.

Governor Hochul was one of 45,000 visitors who experienced Monday’s celestial event at Niagara Falls State Park.

“From majestic Niagara Falls to the mighty Adirondacks, New York was one of the best places on earth to witness this once-in-a-generation celestial event,” Governor Hochul said. “We planned for more than a year to welcome a record number of visitors during the total solar eclipse, and those preparations helped this event go off safely and successfully.”

In October 2022, Governor Hochul convened an Interagency Task Force comprised of nearly two dozen state agencies and authorities to prepare to welcome the influx of visitors the state expected for this once-in-a-generation event. New York State agencies involved in the Interagency Task Force reported record services provided to residents and travelers.

New York State Parks

From April 6 to April 9, nearly one million visitors showed up to New York State Parks to witness and celebrate the total solar eclipse, an increase in attendance of more than 45 percent compared to the same days in 2023.

On April 8 alone, New York State Parks welcomed more than 326,500 visitors, an over 52 percent jump in attendance compared to last year. 12 state parks reached full capacity on April 8: Cayuga Lake (Seneca County), Chimney Bluffs (Wayne County), Crown Point (Essex County), Cumberland Bay (Clinton County), Fair Haven State Park (Cayuga County), John Brown Farm (Essex County), Point Au Roche (Clinton County), Robert Whele (Jefferson County), Selkirk (Oswego County), Seneca Lake (Seneca County), Southwick Beach (Jefferson County) and Stony Brook State Park (Steuben County).

Governor Hochul opened campgrounds at State Parks within the path of totality early to accommodate visitors for the total solar eclipse, which were 100 percent booked the night of April 7 and 93 percent booked the night of April 8.

New York Power Authority

On April 7 and April 8, the New York State Power Authority reported that EVolve Stations dispensed over 260,000 miles of driving, which is over 115,000 more miles dispensed than the same days the previous week.

New York State Department of Transportation

New York State Department of Transportation staff and resources were fully engaged up to and through the eclipse monitoring traffic conditions, responding to emergencies and helping motorists get to their destinations safely and with as few delays as possible. As expected, New York State experienced moderate to heavy traffic volumes in certain areas along the path of totality, especially in the North Country and Adirondacks, and aside from a few crashes that were addressed quickly, there were no major reported incidents.

New York State Thruway Authority

During the five-day period from Friday, April 5 to Tuesday, April 9, over 5.5 million toll transactions were recorded. The peak day was Tuesday, April 9, with more than 1.2 million toll transactions, a 21 percent surge over the previous year. Gas sales and overall sales at the service areas almost doubled during the eclipse weekend, with the peak day being Tuesday, April 9, similar to a summer travel weekend. In addition, charging sessions at the EV charging stations increased by over 111 percent compared to weekdays in March.

Acting New York State Parks Commissioner Randy Simons said, “What an incredible day it was! People from around the world came to our parks and historic sites to share a once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse. Hundreds of thousands of people enjoyed a rich, memorable experience thanks to the hard work of our staff and Park Police over a two-year period.”

Stefanie Peruzzini of Albion sent in this photo of her daughters Kendall and Kamryn Peruzzini, and their friends Jax Gotte, and Colson, Stryker and Donovan Braley. They tried to make the best of the cloudy conditions.