Pete Borba isn’t looking forward to summer.
As owner of Sullivan’s Tavern, 820 City Park Ave., Borba relies
on college students for 90 to 95 percent of his business, and he
misses them when they go home after spring classes.
“We’ll lose probably 25 to 30 percent of our business,” Borba
said. “We just kind of have to figure that in.”
For businesses that lose key customers when summer sends college
students home, many alternatives are implemented to keep business
afloat. Borba said since many of his employees are college students
who return home for the summer, it balances out the summer’s
smaller budget. Still, Borba looks forward to classes resuming in
“Most of my employees are students, so it kind of works out,”
Borba said. “We try to kick the new year off right.”
Borba is not alone in his dependency on college students. Even
though A Desired Look Tanning Salon, 3700 S. Mason St., only
receives 20 percent of its business from college students, Manager
Sara Ludwig wouldn’t mind if they stuck around over the summer.
“College kids are usually the most likely to tan through the
summer but they go home,” Ludwig said. “I definitely think they
have a large impact, especially on the downtown area with all the
restaurants and bars.”
Rams Book Store, 130 W. Laurel St., is another local business
that relies heavily on college-student customers. Griff Kull, owner
and manager of the store, and his family have operated the business
for college students since 1977.
“March and April are probably our slowest times of the year,
since students aren’t buying many books now,” Kull said. “There are
summer sessions and Preview over the summer, so that helps out a
Kull’s business not only sells books but also CSU apparel. This
helps sales increase considerably in the fall because the football
team starts up again.
“The football team really drives the role of the license
merchandise,” Kull said. “When the basketball team does well that
Even though students may only be reliable customers nine months
of the year, Kull and Borba would never want it any other way.
“I love college students. I don’t think I would own a regular
bar,” Borba said. “I just love being here. I’m just an old man with
five grandkids. It keeps me young.”