Businesses brace for summer

Foggy Bottom businesses are preparing for a loss in revenue as students start to leave campus for the summer.

During the past academic year, GW had about 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students – not to mention thousands of staff and visitors – on campus patronizing local businesses with cash and GWorld cards. The reduction of this huge market will likely cause financial setbacks, business owners speculated.

Seth Weinshel, director of University Campus Housing, said there are about 16,000 students who stay in GW residence hall over the summer, but most are only here for a limited amount of time and not for the entire three months. The summer residents include GW students and students from other universities taking classes and interning.

J Street venues will be shortening their hours or closing during summer break, Aramark officials said. Starting at the end of finals, Jamba Juice, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Wendy’s and District Market will be open Monday through Wednesday, closing no later than 5 p.m. All other food vendors, including Subway and Starbucks, will be closed for the summer. J Street was closed entirely last summer for remodeling.

All venues in Ivory Tower will remain open throughout May, June, July and August. It will be the first summer experience for these businesses, which moved into the new G Street hall in late August and September.

Sung Lee, the owner of Gallery’s Gourmet Market, said that he has not determined whether the shop will reduce its hours over the break.

“We have to see, the first week, how it goes,” he said.

Despite the uncertainty, Lee is optimistic. No matter what happens, he said the “show must go on.”

Lee said his initial decision to remain open is because summer classes will still be held at the University. He said he will probably close his store during winter break because no courses meet during that time.

The new FedEx-Kinko’s in the Marvin Center also has not determined its summer hours yet. Manager Saudi Abbullah said he will decide upon seeing the revenue generated by a smaller University population.

“To accommodate, we’ll move (employees) to the other locations,” Abbullah said.

A coffee vendor who mans a cart outside Kogan Plaza on H Street said he is going to try to stick it out over the summer, like he has done for the past 11 years. He refused to give his name or speak further on the issue.

Sean Chrissman, manager of McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon, said his establishment on 24th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue sees a drop in revenue over the summer.

“It affects us in a minor way,” he said, adding that the bar that is popular among GW students also has a significant number of non-GW clients.

While most businesses are preparing for financial setbacks, others said they are hardly affected during the summer months.

“It’s like a trade-off,” said Maurice Makell, a supervisor at Tower Records in the 2000 Penn shopping mall. “When all the college kids leave, tourist season starts.”

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