College towns lose when students learn from home
From hotel taxes to the coffee shop, in college towns where fewer students are returning to school, the economic blow could be fatal.
August is normally when Athens, Ohio, comes alive, Roughly 18,000 students would flood into the city to start the semester at Ohio University, tripling the local population and driving the local economy. But this year, the pandemic has put everything on policy. For the first time ever, we have absolutely no idea what to expect. Typically, college students across Ohio spend $960 million a year off campus at places like Brennan's coffee Shop in Athens Icon. But this college town turned into a ghost town once Corona virus hit. Now the university is slowly phasing students back onto campus. This but owner Jessica Thomas is still preparing for the worst, so we're anticipating being down 25% at best, budgeting 30 to 50% down. What happens at the university affects almost every aspect of life in this city. Revenues from the hotel guest tax were down $86,000 after graduation went virtual the colleges and buying as much water from the city. That's a $100,000 hit, and revenue from parking meters and garages has been cut in half. We have trimmed just about everything we possibly can without having to go down the path of laying people off at this point. But even that is not entirely off the table. I'm Ylan Mui for CNBC. Business News Washington.