Local businesses feeling impact of college students leaving for the summer

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Local restaurant managers say summers can be tough with University of Arkansas students gone for the summer, but they have ways of getting through these slow times.

Deana Payne has been the general manager of Rolando’s in Fayetteville for almost a year. She said with university classes done for the summer, the restaurant has a different feel.

“We get more of the faculty members day to day and so that’s what seems to get us whenever school’s closed,” Payne said.

In another part of town, general manager of Foghorn’s, Sarah Harrington said there is a clear demographic switch during summer months.

“More locals, a little bit older, not as many college students, families,” Harrington said.

But slower days aren’t necessarily a bad thing for the restaurant.

“It’s really nice to kind of have that cool off moment,” Harrington said. “A couple of months when we can get it all back together. Get people trained up and ready to go for the next baseball or football season.”

Harrington said sporting events during the year help balance out the times when students aren’t in town. For example, she said the Fayetteville Regional brings two to three times more revenue than an average day.

Payne said community events are what help make up the difference.

“The happenings at TheatreSquared and Walton Arts Center really affect us,” Payne said. “Because their patrons treat us really well.”

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