In less than two years a major marketing opportunity will present itself to Keizer and every organization, including the city, should be thinking about how to capitalize on it.

There will a total solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. Keizer is smack in the middle of the path of the eclipse. Total eclipses happen about once a year somewhere in the world but very rarely do they happen here.

Experts say the best place to exhibit a total eclipse is out in uninhabited areas such as the deserts of eastern Oregon. Traveling to the high desert on a Monday is not an option for everyone, that opens possibilities to attract visitors to Keizer.

The city council can proclaim Keizer Eclipse City USA for starters. Will the eclipse be seen in other cities in America? Sure, but Keizer should the first to give itself that moniker.

Working with the Keizer Chamber of Commerce the city can organize a large eclipse viewing party somewhere in the city such as Keizer Rapids Park (or better yet, Keizer Station for the economic aspects) and promote it. It would enhance the experience if as many lights as possible could be turned off for 15 minutes.

Keizer-centric souvenirs can be designed and sold (“I saw the eclipse in Keizer” perhaps?). Merchants can take advantage of the eclipse and the spectators it should attract with Black Monday specials akin to Black Friday sales.

Keizer doesn’t need any permission to declare itself Eclipse City USA any more than it needed permission to call itself the Iris Capital of the World.

— LAZ