NORMAL, Ill. — As summer winds down, more than 5,000 students at Illinois State University are moving back to Bloomington-Normal.
The return of students means businesses, gas stations, and more are booming in the Twin Cities.
“There’s definitely been a noticeable difference since students have been getting back into town,” said Allen Van Luvender, an employee at Windy City Wieners.
For restaurant and shop workers, more students in town means more business.
“I think there’s definitely a big boost, just because I know like, on the weekends people are going out and stuff, and coming to Uptown and just hanging out,” Elyse Scheider, an ice cream scooper at Emack & Bolio’s.
On Monday, classes will start for students at ISU. Many students and their families could be seen walking through Uptown Normal on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s been welcome week, so we’ve had more students coming in and then as people are moving into the dorms, we’ve had a lot of families coming as well,” said Emma Lizzio, a barista at The Coffeehouse.
The new rush with students in town is a stark contrast from the pace of summer nights.
“Over the summer, it was relatively slow most nights,” said Van Luvender.
With students moving back to the area and starting classes, many businesses are even changing their hours and hiring new staff.
“We actually just hired a couple of people, so that’s been pretty helpful, getting more people kind of trained and ready for more rushes like that,” said Lizzio.
In a matter of just a few days, employees are already seeing a change.
“We never had it the way we had it this week. This week we would have lines out the door, we have tickets filling almost the entire rack that we use for them,” said Van Luvender.
Students and their families could be seen shopping and eating out, after a long day of moving in.
“A lot of them leave for the summer and then when you come back, of course you have like a flood of people just everywhere. And the businesses are going to get a boost from that,” said Dylan Taylor, a graduate student at ISU.