University City

Some businesses need a break during summer months

Call it the summer doldrums.

For some University City-area establishments, business suffers when approximately 25,000 UNC Charlotte students leave for summer break, which began when spring semester ended on May 12.

For many students, subs and pizza are favorite meals. The US Sub - Hot Oven Submarines restaurant, in the University City Plaza, suffers a loss of about 33 percent of its annual income when students go home for the summer, said Roger Gurnam, owner.

The University City Arby's manager, Lurline Roger, also reports a 33 percent loss of revenue when students go home for summer break.

"We slow down a lot, she said. "The drop is very apparent. When school is in session, our business is steady."

Arby's employee and UNCC student, Heaven Bare said: "Students who live on campus get tired of school food." She believes that is why there is a direct relationship to Arby's revenue and summer break.

Yung Hong, owner of the Hanaya Garden Japanese Restaurant in the University City Plaza says, "We used to suffer a 32 percent to 35 percent summer drop, but not anymore. There are more neighbors that bring in more business now."

Some students told Hong that they prefer to stay on campus so they don't lose their parking spaces. Hong believes the big cafeterias on the UNCC campus keep more students on campus.

The general manager of the University City Dominos Pizza reports that their business definitely slows down about 10 percent to 15 percent, but other activity makes up for at least part of the loss.

"The loss is not as big as most people think," said Jeremy Bowser, the general manager. "There are always summer classes and camps at UNCC."

University officials report that, last summer, 7,400 students attended the first session of summer classes and 5,700 students attended the second session.

They expect the numbers this summer to be similar.

According to Domino's manager, Bowser, events at the Verizon Amphitheater and race weekend also help their business.

"The worst week is the one right after school ends for the summer break," he said.

An employee of the Starbucks store located at of Harris Teeter said it has about a 10 percent drop in sales.

"During the UNCC summer break, we cut back on labor from 140 hours per week to 115 hours per week," said Manager Tasha Massey.

The manager of the Subway at Towne Center, near Harris Teeter, said the situation varies from year to year.

"We take about a 15 percent drop during the first two weeks after school lets out. But, the UNCC summer school helps a little," said Joshua Frazier.

There are some University City businesses that are not affected when school is in session or out. One of those businesses is called, Plato's Closet, located in the University City Plaza, (on University City Blvd. near Old Concord Road).

Plato's Closet is a non-traditional consignment store. Employees at the store said business is booming. Two other stores in that same Plaza, the One Stop Smoke Shop and the ABC store reported that they are not affected with the UNCC summer break.

But for many businesses, the start of fall semester can't come soon enough.

Arby's manager, Lurline Roger said, "I'm happy in August when the business comes back."

Fall semester begins Aug. 22.

The forecast for fall 2011 student enrollment is 25,439.