Summertime in Nacogdoches means the city’s population drops dramatically, and many might wonder how businesses make up for the lack of people walking through their doors.
Bric Alverson a manager at Frog's Nacogdoches admitted that the main portion of their customers are college students and they're feeling their absence.
“Typically with the summer, we see a lot of reduction in business at least a 40% to 50% drop, just with all the students that have gone back home," said Alverson.
Robert Espinosa a Manager for the downtown clothing store, Miller’s Point explained they are reaching out to incoming freshman during orientation sessions at SFASU.
“We're really excited about the new class so we try to advertise as much as we can through the school and let new students know about what we have to offer," said Espinosa.
Getting that attention out to new students or really anyone in Nacogdoches during the summer is a challenge for many shops in the area. Most have to adapt the number of staff on hand.
“Since it’s slower and we see less customers, which means we use even less staff," said Jenny Alvarez, a manager at Java Jacks.
Which means the cut backs effect the number of people trying to apply for summer jobs.
“We have people coming in the door everyday looking for jobs but we just can’t hire right now," said Alverson.
The Nacogodches Convention and Visitor's Bureau are making changes to adapt to fit the needs of the city with roughly 13,000 less people than usual.
“We are the oldest town in and Texas and have an incredible story to tell, so that gives people reason to come it just takes reaching out and showing those people," said Carl Watson executive director.
Although the loss of college students doesn't directly effect the number of people traveling to visit the city he said there are always ways to improve and ultimately help everyone.
“It’s a constant evolving platform trying to figure out what our market is, who we need to go after, and how’s the best way to go for it," said Watson.
For Frog’s Nacogdoches they are finding new ways to appeal to people that are staying in town this summer through their delivery service, happy hour drink specials, $5.00 lunches and even a pool.
"You have to try and get a little creative, it’s really just focusing on what we have to offer and reminding Nac. we’re here and we have a great atmosphere and we can't wait to see them when they come in," said Alverson.
Despite all of the downsides, managers told us this does give them the perfect opportunity to prepare for the fall.
“When it's slow it gives us more time to evaluate what we’re doing here and make things better," said Alvarez.
Espinosa said they're not too worried because the break in foot traffic gives them the ability to build a new website they plan to launch soon,
“We’re not nervous about it, we know when we have new students that’s just another new clientele every year and now we get to work on more ways to reach the community," said Espinosa.
Although they are seeing a decrease in the number of people walking through their doors, business’s know that come September Nacogdoches will be back to it's busy self with a full campus.
"We’re just waiting for students to come back and we're not taking it personally," said Alvarez.
Along with Miller's Point the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitor's Bureau are also working on a new website and even tell us that this summer is the perfect time to welcome a new marketing director who starts next week.
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