Freshman orientation boosts sales for Campustown businesses

By Kate Szyszka

During the first summer session, those staying in Campustown grow used to their usual stores’ and restaurants’ limited hours, vacant streets and a Quad bare enough for people to actually play frisbee. Well, the Quad is no longer empty. It is now swarming with name-tag wearing, orange bag-carrying incoming freshmen on campus for freshman orientation. This change in dynamic for the second session, as well as the increased number of students taking second session classes, have contributed to increased business for Campustown.

At Espresso Royale in the Union, business has definitely picked up, said alumna and Espresso Royale employee, Kim Nguyen.

“In the morning when the students and their parents get here this is the first place they go,” said Nguyen. “We are really busy in the morning.”

Parents and new students are also eager to purchase Illini gear when they come for their visit, said Joe Deien, an employee at Te Shurt.

“Parents have the credit card, and they are excited that their kids are going here,” said Deien. “They are more than willing to buy their kids school spirited items.”

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    “I plan to buy some shirts and stuff before we leave today,” said Lucas Bumba, freshman in LAS, who attended his orientation date Wednesday.

    Orientation dates also give new students and their parents a chance to explore Campustown stores and restaurants for the first time.

    “As we drove through the town I commented on some places I might like to try,” said Pat Gaumer, mother of an incoming freshman. “We come from a really small town, so some of these places are new to us.”