Companies aim to cash in on eclipse

Doughnut, rental car and mattress businesses roll out special deals

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The rare appearance of a total solar eclipse sweeping across America on Aug. 21 promises to cast millions of people in temporary darkness, practically guaranteeing the event will become a social media phenomena.

Businesses, in turn, are seeking to cash in ahead of the big day.

Krispy Kreme Doughnut became the latest company to offer a promotional deal tied to the solar spectacle. The company said its trademark glazed doughnut will be doused in a chocolate glaze starting on Aug. 19 and 20 during “Hot Light” hours and on the Monday of the eclipse at participating stores in the United States and Canada.

The doughnut company joins others such as rental car company Hertz and mattress retailer Casper offering promotions for an astronomical event that hasn’t happened in this country since 1979.

A totality occurs when the moon passes between Earth and the sun, blocking our view of the sun.

Some Hertz locations encouraged customers to book rental cars for the eclipse so they could travel to sites along its path.

The promotion turned out to be so popular that, according to BuzzFeed, Hertz recently started calling customers to say their reservation had been canceled due to overbooking by the company. Hertz is offering customers rental vouchers, though it is unclear whether they will be valid for the next total eclipse, which apparently is set to occur in 2024.

Casper is setting up a sleeping camp in the Wyoming city that shares its name to help eclipse watchers catch some Zs before and after the big event.

According to the Casper Star, the New York City-based mattress company will make tents stocked with its bedding available to guests on the Sunday night before the eclipse. The cost of the experience costs $499 for two people.

American Paper Optics, a Nashville-based company that specializes in making 3-D glasses, already has made 40 million eclipse glasses in anticipation of the big event. It plans to manufacture another 10 million by Aug. 21.

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