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University students provide business boost

After a rough year due to the pandemic, some bars and restaurants in the Poconos are reaping the benefits of having college kids back at school.

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — East Stroudsburg University students moved back into dorms and off-campus housing earlier this month. Their return is making up for lost time and revenue for bars and restaurants.

Warriors are back, and bars and restaurants have certainly noticed.

"We love ESU. It's been awesome here. We are super busy, and we felt it when they came back. We love it. We are glad they are back. Last year, we didn't have them. Now we do, and it's great," said Michael Tepedino at the Trackside Station Grill and Bar in East Stroudsburg.

In-person classes at East Stroudsburg University started a few weeks ago. The pandemic forced a vast majority of students to learn remotely for the last few semesters.

The absence of students created an absence at bars and restaurants along Crystal Street.

"It's great just seeing them even just walk past the store. It's been a long time, so it's good seeing the kids, the high school kids, college kids. It's refreshing to even see them walk past and come in, grab a beef patty. It's been wonderful," said Kellie Champagnie at Royal Caribbean Island Delight.

ESU students are happy to be back and have places to spend their money.

"It's cool, and it's great to be back on campus. It was really hard with COVID, and it's good to be back with people, seeing people, being able to go out. It's great," said freshman Calla Sandt.

East Stroudsburg University plans to celebrate its homecoming weekend on October 8. Business owners are also excited about that boost.