Columbus, Ga. — As kids head back to school, businesses in the area face an economic impact.
Whether the impact is positive or negative depends on how they adjust to less foot traffic.
People travel from all over to visit Columbus, including the Mezger’s who came from Germany to visit family.
“I’m totally surprised. I didn’t know anything about Columbus and I didn’t expect such a river with Whitewater,” Juergen Mezger said.
But as kids head back to school, businesses such as Whitewater Express must make an adjustment.
“We’ll see a slow down, but it’s not going to be really slow,” Whitewater Express President Dan Gilbert said.
Gilbert said he’s confident his business will stay busy even with school starting back up.
“They do get back to school but on the weekends they want to come back and have fun so this is their playground,” Gilbert said. “They’ll be back here on the weekends. Next weekend we’re projecting over 1,000 on Saturday, last Saturday we had over 1,000 so we’ll stay busy through the fall.”
He added they stay busy because they shift their focus away from families.
“We get a lot of businesses this time of year that have new crews in and they want to do team building,” Gilbert said.
Tomorrow alone Whitewater will host a group of executives from Synovus in Atlanta, folks from the Panama City Naval Base and a group from Hyundai.
Becca Zajac is the vice president for Uptown Columbus. She said while the busiest months for adventure companies is June through August, it’s much different for other businesses.
“Some of the retail and restaurant places say that June, July and August are a little bit slower for them because so many of the residents in Columbus are on vacation so their numbers are down so it’s kind of almost like an even balance,” Zajac said.
They don’t just count on more locals coming through, which is why she said Uptown Columbus starts ramping up the number of events they hold to make sure there’s foot traffic along the sidewalks of businesses and restaurants.