Businesses prepare for drop in revenue, loss of students

With students leaving campus beginning next week, some businesses in East Lansing are bracing for a drop-off in revenue.

Some business owners are worried about potential losses when winter break starts next week, although this is nothing new for a town that has more than 40,000 students as temporary residents.

Tony Lagalo, owner of Tony’s, 350 Albert Ave., said he’s been working in East Lansing for 15 years and he knows how to plan for the upcoming winter break.

“It’s definitely a considerable slowdown,” he said. “(When you) lose 40,000 students, (the) town comes to a standstill.”

The city can seem like a ghost town when students leave for winter break.

About 15,000 students lived on campus last year — only approximately 250 stayed during break, Assistant Director of Communications for Residence Education and Housing Services Ashley Chaney said in an email.

Lagalo said he shortens up the restaurant’s hours and cuts his staff and deliveries down while also working more hours himself to account for lost business.

“(Sales go) down about 40 percent … on average,” he said. “You do plan for a slow month and a half … (and) set aside money.”

Other business owners are looking at other areas to make up for any lost revenue during the break.

But some businesses find ways to make up for potential losses. Mike Krueger, general manager of Crunchy’s, 254 W. Grand River Ave., said he isn’t worried about the potential loss of business with students leaving campus.

“The kids leave, and people who don’t typically like to come out when the students are out and about (come in),” he said. “We get a lot more families in the daytime and dinner(time).”

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