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Businesses and Unofficial

CAMPUSTOWN-- "Our biggest negative effect is just that we are very very slow." So says Jessica Lalaey, stylist at Lando Hairstyling. But Matt Mortenson, owner of Zorba's, says, "Actually it's big for us. We actually do a lot of business on this weekend, so in that way it's really good. A lot of people are out being crazy, obviously, but yeah, we do a ton of sales on this weekend for sure."

There's a clear dividing line when it comes to which businesses are successful on unofficial weekend: Food and liquor sales go up, and everything else goes down. Mortenson says, "It does take extra people for us, for sure. It's almost like dad's day or homecoming during the football season for us."

According to Laley, "We actually just last year decided to start closing early because it got so slow. We would have a lot of our townie clients call in early and forgot that it was unofficial, and they would end up cancelling. So we decided to close early because we obviously get a lot slower." When thousands of people head out to the bars, many more stay home to avoid the crowds.

And those people visiting from out of town are unlikely to boost sales in other areas of the local economy. Laley says, "We would get if they could use our restroom a lot, which is kind of uncomfortable because we don't want any messes happening." For the owners of the bars and restaurants around campustown, however, capitalizing on a few days of a much larger customer base just makes good business sense.

Mortenson says, "Obviously for us though it's a huge day, and bringing more people in the store for me is always a good thing. So good publicity for us."

Adam Rife reporting