Some businesses, offices close for the solar eclipse

Biltmore Coffee Roasters closed on August 21, 2017, for the solar eclipse. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

“That is crazy,” Racine Hooper said, who was thankful her boss at Mission Hospital let her off early to see the eclipse.

“I was in clinic and they just let out,” Hooper said. “I’m glad that they did, because then I wouldn’t have been able to see this at all.”

Hooper had no eclipse glasses but borrowed a pair from News 13 and took in the eclipse from the Henderson County Courthouse parking lot. Just feet from her stood District Attorney Greg Newman with his staff to watch the sky spectacle unfold.

Offices in the courthouse were closed from 2-3 p.m. to let staff watch the rare event.

“It’s actually kind of nice. No lines, there’s no traffic in town,” said Mike Inch, a courier making deliveries of paperwork in the courthouse before offices closed.

At Biltmore Coffee Roasters in Asheville, Rebecca Tibbles, 23, was excited to close early and head to her hometown of Brevard to watch the eclipse.

“Hopefully, I can do the 30-minute drive but everyone’s telling me I’m crazy,” Tibbles said.

Other Asheville businesses like Hearn’s Bike Shop closed to give employees the day to enjoy.

But for others it was business as usual, as housekeepers at the Downtown Inn on Patton Avenue went from room to room, cleaning for guests. The manager told News 13 that staff had to stay working to accommodate customers.

Zen Sushi on North Merrimon also stayed open. Owner Jennifer Ruiyun was counting on the post-eclipse crowd working up an afternoon and evening appetite.

“We have a patio, so they can perhaps get a glimpse from there,” Ruiyun said.

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