Area Businesses Implement Strategies to Deal with Summer Slump

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

HARRISONBURG, Va.---Businesses in the area prepare all year-round to make up for losing college students as customers during the summer.

For Jimmy John's, summer nights without students are slower than during the school year.

Corgan's Publick House owner Katharine Corgan said she had to learn the hard way about the summer slump.

She said the business targets locals by offering music performances and more specials than normal.

"You have to do that if you want to have success year-round because the summer time is definitely a struggle if you are based on students," said Corgan.

Corgan said she learned about the summer slump when she opened Vito's Italian Kitchen seven years ago.

"In the beginning, we didn't really have a big local following and the summers were completely dead and you struggle in the summer and it's frustrating and hard," said Corgan.

Therefore, when she opened Corgan's, she knew it was important to attract local customers.

For Union Station manager Cameron Grant, locals and tourists make most of his customers during the summer months. He said the summer slump is only a few weeks long, especially between college and high school graduations.

According to Grant, banquets help his business during slow seasons.

"The banquets help year-round. Even in the winter season, school lets out as well and kids go away for the holidays," said Grant.

Corgan said her biggest concern during the summertime is in July.

"There are no summertime classes going on and things like that at JMU and the professors as well as all locals start taking vacations. That's just a quiet time for this area," said Corgan.

Corgan said she has done advertising, mailing outs and coupons. She said she also has partnered with hotels so travelers would make their way to the pub.

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