Hampshire County businesses adjusting to “summer silence”

Attendees for conventions at local campuses helps alleviate drop in customers.

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – After classes ended for the semester and students have graduated, you’ll notice fewer college students are roaming Amherst’s three college campuses. You’ll also notice that local businesses aren’t as busy.

22News went to Johnny’s Roadside Diner off Route 9, a popular dining spot for students. General Manager Kenneth O’Neil told 22News he’s seen “the summer silence” before.

O’Neil admits college students are one of his largest customer bases, and when they’re gone, the business has to make some big adjustments.

“Staffing levels and adjusting pars,” O’Neil explained. “Making sure that we’re not bringing in more product than we need, and not having more people on than we need.”

O’Neil said what helps offset the missing college customers is the traffic that comes in from people attending summer conventions at the three campuses. He said, however, it’s not enough to make up the difference.

O’Neil said when college students come to the diner during the year, the average group size is about 7-10 students.