In 2017, Casper was on the centerline of the 2017 Eclipse, where 21,000 people descended for spectacular viewing of the eclipse that could be viewed over one-third of the state. In 2024, two-thirds of Arkansas will have the chance to be host to Eclipse viewers as both CREATE BRIDGES regions will be on or within miles of the centerline. What does this mean to our rural communities?
On this episode of Small Business, Big Rural Impact, Hazelle Whited takes the podcast over Zoom to Caper, Wyoming, to visit with Brook Kaufman to recap her recent visit to CREATE BRIDGES communities where she presented the “All too real truths about preparing your community for an eclipse.” In this light and casual conversation, Brook reiterates how the 2024 Great American Eclipse can be the once-in-a-lifetime tourism event for many rural Arkansas communities and shares Casper’s experiences leading up to and after the eclipse. Hazelle, in-turn, shares with Brook the immediate impact and follow-up for additional meetings her presentation sparked among communities considering a regional coordinated effort similar to the structure of the 2017 Wyoming Eclipse Festival.
Come join us on this episode of CREATE BRIDGES, Small Business Big Rural Impact.
Brook Kaufman is the Brook is the CEO of Visit Casper, where she leads the charge to grow the local visitor economy and serves as a member of the Natrona County Commission. While she works on a variety of events year-round, one of the most memorable was the Wyoming Eclipse Festival in 2017. Through Brook's leadership, her community embraced the total solar eclipse, garnered significant media coverage, increased destination awareness and welcomed tens of thousands of travelers from around the world.
The Eclipse data Brook mentions in this podcast can be found at https://visitcasper.com/eclipse.
CREATE BRIDGES in Arkansas – Celebrating REtail, Accommodations, Tourism and Entertainment by Building Rural Innovations and Developing Growth Strategies
Regions: Ozark Foothills (Fulton, Izard, Sharp counties) and 3Cs (Sevier, Little River, and Howard counties)
More information on CREATE BRIDGES can be found at https://uaex.uada.edu/createbridges