The clock is ticking down to Erie’s total solar eclipse that’s being called a once-in-a-life-time experience.

The CEO and president of VisitErie said the next solar eclipse is expected to be a big attraction in Erie and a potential boost for tourism.

VisitErie is kicking off their campaign called “The Ultimate Sunblock” as Erie County is expected to be in the path of totality on April 8, 2024.

“We’re anticipating that not only the city, but the entire county will be sold out in terms of hotels and that we’ll be working to try to find and help visitors find other places to stay maybe in Chautauqua or Crawford,” said John Oliver, CEO and president, VisitErie.

Oliver said this is a great opportunity for Erie to showcase all there is to offer.

“If they’re coming from cities like Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, that’s not our traditional market but maybe they’ll say, ‘hey this is an opportunity, let’s go visit, they have beaches we don’t have to go to the shore this year,’” Oliver said.

A local astronomer professor said the solar eclipse will be a rare occasion.

“So, next year we’re going to be blessed by being in the path of totality so I can’t emphasize that enough it’s an important concept it’s a simple concept the moon is always casting a shadow but every once in a while, the moon and earth line up,” said David Hurd, planetarium director at Pennwest University.

With the big business boom that is expected, Oliver said he’s already asking businesses to plan ahead for April 8, 2024.

“They’ll have an opportunity to shop restaurants, etcetera so we’re looking to promote those businesses to be putting together special offerings for visitors and residents,” Oliver went on to say.

Erie County will not be in the path of totality again until 2144 – 120 years after next year’s eclipse.

The eclipse will last for a total of 3 minutes and 43 seconds over Erie County, longer than anywhere else in Pennsylvania.