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April 18, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Businesses suffer slow summer

Summer for students means smaller classes, less crowded sidewalks, faster service at restaurants and shorter lines at the bars.

Summer for some local business can mean less profit, demographically different crowds and using different methods to attract business.

Most businesses said that during summer they typically see fewer student patrons.

“There are lulls in business during the summer, it is not quite as consistent,” Travis Pugh, a manager at Myles Pizza, said “Late night business is definitely slower.”

John Gauld, General Manager at Junction Bar and Grill said that their overall sales are down, but their food sales are up. During the summer Junction adds 20 tables to its dining area by opening up their outdoor patio. Gauld said that he believes this helps to draw in customers who like to enjoy the nice weather while they eat.

While Gauld said Junction is successful in their food sales during the summer, Mr. Spots owner Jim Gavarone said that their food sales go down. He said that the lunch crowd doesn’t change much during the summer, but their late night business is down.

“The bulk of our business is kids, from 11 on,” Gavarone said.He said that Mr. Spots, which also delivers food and beer, does twice as much business during the fall. Gavarone also manages Howard’s and said that it isn’t as effected by students leaving town as Mr. Spots.

Some business have seen more customers than in past summers, which they attribute to the increase in enrolment at the University.

“This years business compared to last year is much better,” said Gauld. “I know enrolment is up.”

The office of Registration and Records reports that 8,123 students are enroled for the summer, this number is expected to go up as they plan to see more students enroll. This number is up from the 8,083 students that were officially reported as being enroled in summer of 2004.

Pugh said the Myles has also seen an increase in business form last year and added that business has been getting better over the past two years.

However, Gavarone said that Mr. Spots nor Howard’s has been effected by the increase in enrollment.

“I hear that there are more people, I hear that but I’m not seeing it,” he said.

Gavarone, an alumnus of the University, said that he has seen several changes in students habits over the past twenty years.

“I would say more people tended to stay for the summer and if they didn’t stay, they came back for the weekends and didn’t drive to Columbus, Cincinnati or Cleveland,” he said.

He said that Bowling Green used to be a party mecca, especially during the summer, and used to draw students and revenue for local businesses form all over the state. Now students are more likely to go away for the weekend, taking their money with them.

“It was party hardy,” he said. “That whole party of BG has evaporated.”

It is a challenge for businesses to retain students interests enough to keep them in town, so most businesses are taking their own approach to attracting business.

Howard’s will be having their yearly Tuna Fest on Saturday July 30. It will feature several local bands and a few nationally recognized bands. Gavarone described it as an all day party.

On the Edge, a tattoo and piercing parlor, keeps their rates low year round to attract customers. Their piercings are $10 and tattoos start at $25. “Our prices are pretty much special all of the time,” Manager Dennis Foust said. “Until someone comes to BG they are getting ripped off because $10 piercings don’t exist.”

At the beginning of fall semester, the shop offers $5 piercings and $20 tattoos for one day. “That’s a mega, mega sale,” said Foust.

Gauld said that at Junction they are trying the approach of aggressive marketing to attract business, which seems to be working. He said that they are also drawing a lot of the parents and visitors that are in town from orientation and registration.

One business that hasn’t been effected by students leaving for summer break is Squeakers, a health food store and restaurant. Owner Heather Andre said that a lot of her customers are local community members, rather than students. She said that most of her student customers have stayed in town and many of them are taking summer classes.

While she has been fortunate to be unaffected by summer break, the other businesses said that they ready and willing to serve the crowds of students who will be packing into the city when August rolls around.

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