Some Iowa City stores expect boost in business during college spring break

Published: Mar. 10, 2017 at 6:38 PM CST
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Next week is spring break for University of Iowa students, so Iowa City will be more empty than usual.

While one would think that will hurt businesses downtown, that's not always the case. Some downtown store owners said they expect to do well while the college crowd is away.

"It's just kind of a nice time where the town quiets down a little bit and brings out the locals" said Dave Nerad, a manager at Active Endeavors.

That's what most business owners said as college students prepare for spring break. A chef at Molly's Cupcakes agreed.

"I would definitely say they come out of the woodwork definitely. Students are gone so they can kind of get out and there's not as much traffic" said Abbie Misfeldt, the executive chef of Molly's Cupcakes.

Misfeldt said campus visits by prospective students and St. Patrick's Day also bring in a lot of people from out of town.

"We usually tend to get busier towards the end of the week and into the weekend and we're also busy right before so we have a little bit of a lull but overall we stay pretty busy" said Misfeldt.

Spring break is also the time when warm weather clothing and beach apparel start flying off the shelves.

"People come shopping. They're going to Mexico. They need cute spring clothes so they're coming out shopping before they go" said Sandra Navalesi, the owner of Dulcinea.

But not everyone is expecting a boost in business. One Old Capitol Mall store will close for a few days.

"We have found ourselves standing around saying why are we open? So we had just about no one to work anyway so we decided we'd close for a few days and take some time off for ourselves" said Angie O'Brien, the owner of Cookies & More.

Owners agreed that it's nice to have a change of pace.

"It's just got a whole different vibe when the students are here and when they're gone. I think it's good. We like having our local people come out" said Navalesi.