Idaho business owner may lose money but hopes to share eclipse experience with others

Posted at 10:20 PM, Aug 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-20 00:20:03-04

THORNTON, Idaho -- By now you've heard of the solar eclipse crossing the United States on August 21, and you've probably heard of people hoping to cash in on the crowds heading to viewing hot spots.

But one business owner in Idaho who spoke with Fox 13 doesn't want to make a dime.

“If you look at our Motel 6 here in Idaho Falls, it went for $950 a night, and multiple night minimum, so that's a common thing,” said Chief Dave Hanneman of the Idaho Falls Fire Department.

Folks are renting out everything from hotel rooms to patches of good old American dirt.

“Some counties are allowing farmers to convert their use, change their zoning laws,” Hanneman said.

Here in Rigby, a 100-acre mustard field will soon be turned into hundreds of camping spots. One spot can be yours for about a $100 a night.

But just up the road in Thornton, one man’s business may lose money.

“I can't wait to see it myself,” says Jorge Navarro. “I never seen this many people that they are expecting to be here."

Navarro doesn't want to drive his big rigs through the traffic in this tiny town, so he'll close down for the event.

“It’s just for a day or two, so I’m totally fine with it,” he said.

And the cost to hang out in front of his shop? Nothing.

“Well, you know, this is America, that’s how it’s supposed to be,” Navarro said. “I came from another country and I consider this my country, and so why not share it with everybody?"

While others are charging cash to set up a lawn chair on their property, Navarro says “absolutely not” when it comes to charging folks.

Among other reasons, Navarro moved to the U.S. from Mexico for financial opportunities.

“A lot of people wanted to come to this country, and I am just so lucky to be here,” he said.

But he doesn't want your vacation money, he just wants to share his little slice of the red, white and blue, with you.

“This is home for me,” Navarro said.