ATHENS, Ohio– Ohio University students turned Athens back over to locals as they packed their bags for spring break on March 9. The exodus caused some uptown businesses to shut down, giving employees time off or allowing managers to save money by reducing payroll.
Josh Thomas owner of Brenen’s Coffee Café said the decrease in customer traffic is even more pronounced when the university’s spring break coincides with that of area public schools.
“In previous years before Ohio University switched the semester system, the city schools and Ohio University were actually not on the same break, so it would be a halfway decent week because we had some people that would stay in Athens,” he said. “Now the two match up, and it turns out to be a very slow week.”
Thomas said while many local businesses do close for spring break, some just limit their hours when they have five or six Ohio University students who want to work over the break.
Those who do close often use the time to make changes or get ready for the business that comes with the semester’s end.
“Honestly, it is a great weekend to close, we can focus on cleaning the restaurant, channel our energy on other things we want to get done, and it allows us to get ready for the busy weekends ahead like fest season, Mom’s Weekend, and graduation,” he said.
While Thomas said he feels the need to close down to give his employees a break, April Knox branch Manager of the clothing store The Other Place said her sales typically increase before spring break, so they just limit store hours when students are away.
“The week leading up to spring break has definitely been busy, sales have been very high,” Knox said. “Although, we are planning on not having a lot of business during spring break, it kind of balances out because there will be some students who stay in town and locals who come out, so we will just limit hours and not close the store for the week.”
Published: WOUB Digital