Approximately one million people traveled to Western New York to view the rare total solar eclipse, and many visitors and residents have claimed that places are capitalizing on the totality path of the eclipse by “price gouging.”

Perhaps the example that we are most familiar with is the hotel prices in Western New York. According to an analysis by Chase Travel, hotel and flight bookings to Buffalo were up by 4x or more compared to the same time last year.  

Now, on April 8, it looks like other costs have been adjusted to maximize potential profits on perhaps Buffalo’s biggest visit day in history, including parking rates. 

Read More: How To Dispose Of Eclipse Glasses When The Eclipse Is Over

A woman named Kimberly shared her frustrations in a social media post shared to the Lancaster/Depew Neighbors Helping Neighbors Facebook group.

You can see that post below.

“This morning my husband went to work [in Buffalo] where he always parks. [It] is 12 hr for $9, today they offered a 5 hour option…”

Kimberly shared a screenshot with the Premium Parking fee, showing an overwhelming high total of $77.77 for the selected five hours. That comes out to $15.55/hour, which exceeds the typical cost for 12 hours. Normally the fee for 12 hours is $9. 

I reached out to the woman to find out what lot her husband Bill parked in, and she wrote back to me, “It was Premium Parking at Washington and Exchange under the expressway.” 

If you normally have to park in a public lot for work, and many of us do, you may have uploaded your car and license plate info as swiftly as you normally do before realizing the excessive increase in the parking fee. Who would’ve expected it to go up from $0.75 to $15.55 per hour?

Kimberly recalled how her husband felt after seeing how expensive the parking rate was on Eclipse Day. ”He was completely baffled that they would charge that much money with him scheduled to leave four hours prior to ‘the event,’” she said. 

Is Price Gouging Legal In New York State?

According to the official website of the New York State Attorney General, Letitia James updated the price gouging laws in New York in March 2023. The website states that, “New York’s price gouging law bans companies throughout the supply chain from taking advantage of a market disruption to increase their profits for vital and necessary goods and services.” 

I think most people would call the eclipse a “market disruption,” right? So it seems like this would fall under the category. I mean, I’m not that good at math, but my calculations indicate a 1,973% increase in the parking rate per hour, so that’s a pretty undeniable rise. 

And in the City of Good Neighbors? C’mon, man….

LIST: Total Solar Eclipse Events In Western New York

Here are all of the events to view the total solar eclipse in and around Buffalo, New York.

Gallery Credit: Facebook/Google Street View/Yelp/Canva

2024 Total Solar Eclipse Travel Packing Guide

The total solar eclipse is coming on April 8, 2024, but before you load up the car to go see it, you will want to be sure you have planned accordingly. From making your plans to being prepared when you get there, our Eclipse Travel Packing Guide can help!

Gallery Credit: Kat Mykals

New Yorkers Share Photos of Rare Eclipse Phenomenon

Take a look at these photos that captured the experience we shared through the total solar eclipse in New York and Northeast Pennsylvania!

Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

More From 106.5 WYRK