Local News

Graduation Means Dollars for Local Economy

Posted May 8, 1998

— Thousands of people were in town celebrating milestones Saturday, and more will come in for Sunday and next weekend as students from Shaw,NC Central, Meredith and St. Mary's all graduate this weekend. Next weekend, Duke, UNC and NC State will honor their departing seniors.

And while the graduates make the transition to the world of work, cash registers in the Triangle are working overtime.

Families are in town this weekend to help college students celebrate graduation. The proud parents and grandparents need places to stay, to eat, and perhaps evn to buy last-minute graduation gifts. Local business owners are happy to play host.

The sounds of pomp and circumstance are music to the ears of some business owners. Graduates and their families crowded into local restaurants after Saturday's commencement ceremonies.

"Lunch was very busy this afternoon for us," said Robie Daniels of Raleigh's Greenshields restaurant. "We have a patio to offer, so that was a very popular spot for people to mingle."

That patio was still packed late Saturday evening, and customers aren't the only ones celebrating. Graduation draws more people, and bigger parties for lunch and dinner. Many Raleigh restaurants were busy all day, and owners say they expect even bigger crowds when NC State students graduate next weekend.

"We have three or four groups of 10 or more next Friday and Saturday nights," said Scott Bain of T.S. Elliott's. "That really is going to make a difference in how the kitchen handles things as well."

Parents and grandparents also need places to stay. Raleigh's Radisson Hotel checked in over 150 guests on Friday. Most of them are in town for graduation.

"Oh, we are over capacity right now. We're running 100% plus right now," said Keir Matthews of the Radisson Hotel.

Business owners are also looking forward to next weekend, when NC State, Duke, and UNC all hold graduation ceremonies. Many are booked or nearly booked already for next Friday and Saturday.

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