Eclipse Viewers Rent Every Restroom in Idaho

Companies in the path of the solar eclipse today don’t have a restroom to spare after supplying sanitation for viewing parties
Eclipse Viewers Rent Every Restroom in Idaho

If anyone calls Four J’s Inc. Portable Toilets today hoping to rent a portable restroom, they will be out of luck.

The yard at the Pocatello, Idaho, business is completely empty — between regular customers and an unexpected group, all of Mari Lowe’s 800 portable restrooms are rented out for today’s total solar eclipse. The eclipse — which today will be best viewed in an arc from Oregon to South Carolina — was not on Lowe’s radar screen until this past January. That’s when she received a call from someone looking to rent several portable restrooms for an eclipse viewing party.

“We quickly did some research about the eclipse and realized this was going to be a big deal for our business,” Lowe says. “RV parks, colleges and people who own farmland and have received the right permits for viewing parties all need sanitation or extra sanitation available.”

PortaPros in Nampa, Idaho, received its first reservation for today’s eclipse in April. Kindra Butera, administrative manager for PortaPros, says about 120 units are going out “far and wide” to events or to farmland that have opened up for people hoping to watch the eclipse.

Idaho is one location where the eclipse will reach totality, which means the moon will move in front of the sun, turning midday into twilight.

“We set aside enough units for our regular customers and then the rest are going towards the eclipse,” says Butera, adding that portable restrooms are in short supply not only across Idaho, but also in Oregon, Wyoming and Nebraska as people flock to remote destinations. 

Lowe says the eclipse is coming during her busiest time of year: construction season and potato harvesting.

“We normally are serving 500 portables on a weekly basis at this time of year, and I did not want to blow off my regular, dependable customers for this one-time event,” she says. “We are doing the best we can. Everything I have left is rented out for eclipse viewing.”

Butera says the eclipse definitely created “unexpected business. This has been really interesting and exciting.”



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