The United States will experience its first transcontinental solar eclipse in 99 years – and it doesn’t happen until next year.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing it myself. You know, it’s a once in a lifetime viewing area.”

But enthusiasts are already making plans.

“We have had calls from people in Europe, South America, and so people will come from all over the world to see this and chase this eclipse.”

The best place to see the eclipse on the east coast: Columbia, South Carolina. Anyone within a 100-mile radius of the city will experience two and a half minutes of pure darkness – in the middle of the afternoon.

Twelve states are along the path of the eclipse, which will travel from Oregon to South Carolina on Monday, August 21, 2017.

“City-wide, there’s a massive effort to have all kinds of events throughout the midlands of South Carolina, so that people have options -- places to view it, things to do.”

Which means a major boost in spending. From dining in restaurants to visiting the museums and weekend stays in hotels.

“Seventy-five to 80 rooms are booked up right now.”

That’s 80 out of 130 rooms – a year in advance.

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce hopes that with nearly a million tourists planning to come see the eclipse, the economic impact will be powerful.