College students giving boost to Cedar Rapids economy

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -- Some Cedar Rapids businesses report their bottom lines have been going up in recent days.

Moco Bar in Cedar Rapids on Monday, August 26, 2019. (KCRG)

Staff at some local businesses said they think the increase in business can be attributed to classes starting once again at Mount Mercy University and at Coe College.

At Moco Game Room and Hot Dog Bar staff said when you compare the summer months, when school is out, to now, when they are back in session, sales increase around 10%.

Some of the best days for business at Moco happen when school-sponsored athletic events take place as students often bring their parents into the eatery as well.

Moco workers add they are still working to increase their profit margin and attract more students. One way they are doing that is by offering new events during the week, like a trivia night.

"We've had a lot of the older generation mainly and now we're seeing some of the younger generation which just means more and more people are coming to the neighborhood and feeling safe to come to the neighborhood," said Moco bartender, Shawnee Starz.

Over at Old Neighborhood Pub, the staff there too say they are excited to have the college students back, and like at Moco, they say their business is also up around 10%.

"They've got some really good sports complexes out that we've been trying to cater to the parents that are seeing the games," said Andrea VanHoeck, president of Old Neighborhood Pub. "We're kind of family-owned so of course we like to see everybody come in."

VanHoeck adds they do not see their business slowing down anytime soon because football season is now underway which also helps bring in the crowds.