State cashes in on solar eclipse with extra fees - WSMV Channel 4

State cashes in on solar eclipse with extra fees

Posted: Updated: Jan 24, 2017 07:01 PM
(WSMV) (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

People are counting down to Aug. 21, homeowners are advertising their properties and some hotels have been booked out for years because the solar eclipse is coming.

Many will be in Nashville because Music City is the largest city in the eclipse's path.

"We're looking at anything from hundreds of thousands to millions of people coming to town just for this," said Derrick Rohl, the planetarium manager at the Adventure Science Center.

If those visitors want to camp, they'll have to pay extra.

Channel 4 has learned certain state parks are charging a fee called the solar eclipse rate adjustment.

Channel 4 tried booking the last campsite at Edgar Evins Park for the solar eclipse weekend. The state charged us $72 for the campsite and another $72 because they said that's the eclipse rate.

"That's a lot of money," said a local camping enthusiast.

"I don't think the state should be trying to make a profit on something that's for everybody," said Owen Canady, another outdoor enthusiast.

Channel 4 reached out to the spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Eric Ward.

"This isn't price gouging, just sound, market-driven decision making that serves the best interest of Tennesseans,” Ward said.

Some outdoor enthusiasts support the up charge.

"I think it's fair," said one local camper.

Others think Tennessee's total eclipse fee is a total rip off.

"Cashing in on a natural phenomenon, I don't know if the state should be doing that," said a Nashville visitor.

The state is increasing the rates for the solar eclipse weekend at 20 different parks.  

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