The 2,750 students that attend Colgate University make up a significant portion of the population of Hamilton, NY, which has a local population of approximately 3,500. When summertime comes, most of these students leave town and take their spending power with them. To add to this, village residents come and go on vacations during the summer season. It seems likely that downtown Hamilton stores and restaurants would be adversely affected by Colgate’s summer break. Is this the case?
How badly are businesses hurt by the summer’s economic lag? Are all businesses affected in the same way? Are some periods worse than others? But more importantly, do the summer programs at the University and seasonal programming in the Village compensate for the drop in sales? This study tracks the gross sales for 19 Hamilton businesses over 18 weeks of the summer months in an attempt to answer these questions.
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