Graduation weekend sparks big business

Graduation weekend is one of the busiest of the year for local retailers and eateries. It seems like everyone from gift shops, to hotels and restaurants are cashing in on graduation day.

They have been packed with students and fans from various universities all year. But graduation means the college business is getting ready to slow down for the next few months.

Hungry diners swarmed the patio at Brothers Bar and Grill. For them, it was all dollar signs and big business thanks to graduation weekend.

"The graduation crowd is very big. Almost close football weekend around here. As you can see business has been great and the patio is booming" said Brothers Manager Allison Frame.

The annual ceremony brings in families from all over to see their loved ones walk the stage. And those visitors keep Fairfield Inn and Suites very busy.

"We came from New York, Michigan, Philly. I mean they're coming from all over. Illinois, Nebraska, and all parts of Indiana to see these people graduate" said Magnum Security Guard Calvin Waller.

Waller says the hotel is busiest during the school year, and after the students leave, he says he's no longer needed.

"People say I'm here to see my grandson. I'm here to see my nephew or my buddies friend, neighbors friend" said Waller.

But while visitors are still here, they're spending money. Studebagels was busy serving up a hearty breakfast for graduation-goers this weekend.

"We have lines for three to four hours. Lines out the door." said Cynthia Vidales, a Studebagals employee.

It is the kind of crowd they don't expect to see again until the fall.

"Some of the typical bars like in downtown South Bend would be close for parts of the summer because they know they re not going to get the typical influx of people from weekend to weekend." said Notre Dame graduate Julie Denker.


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