Some Tallahassee businesses struggle during summer months


As the summer is winding down Tallahassee is revving back up for students coming in the fall. During the first few months of summer, Tallahassee was a ghost town.  In a city that is home to three colleges – TCC, FSU and FAMU – it is safe to say that Tallahassee is predominately a college town. Once classes end in the spring, a majority of the students from the three colleges return to their hometowns for the summer. Once the migration of students occurs, Tallahassee slows down.

 Local businesses, housing complexes, and even traffic slow down during the summer months when fewer students are in town. Michelle Ramirez, a waitress at El Patron Mexican Restaurant, said, “We’re usually super busy during fall and spring, but during the summer, it gets pretty empty.” She emphasized the importance of having customers due to her job type. “As a waitress I rely on my tips, during the summer my tips drop from $500-$600 per month to around $300-$400.”

Although Tallahassee is still a booming city being that it’s the capital of Florida, its local business economy thrives on the students who come here. Housing complexes lose out on business and residents during the summer months. “Most of our residents are students, when summer hits and it’s time for them to go home, a lot of them skip out on rent and don’t pay,” stated Meridian Place, leasing agent Amanda Dishong.

Nightlife in Tallahassee also comes to a slow pace. Clubs in Tallahassee thrive on the young student population, but during the early months of summer, only the few locals who stop by visit places like The Strip. “We’re usually extremely busy every Friday and Saturday during the school year; now we’re lucky if we get 30 people in here on those days,” Alex Wang, a bartender at The Strip, said. “We start getting really busy again later in the summer when summer C starts and ‘White Trash Wednesday’s’ begins.”

Campus life is slow during the summer as well. As you pass by TCC, FSU and FAMU; it appears to be a ghost town. The student population has a significant impact on businesses; it shows how important the millennial dollar is in Tallahassee.