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Aug 29, 2013 8:52 AM by Jacqueline Quynh - KPAX News

Missoula stores see back to school boom

MISSOULA - The University of Montana welcomed freshmen students Wednesday evening with an academic convocation, but it's not just the university that's glad to see students back.

The Garden City is a college town, so back to school season is a big deal. But it's not just students who have to adjust to being back, it's the local businesses who have been waiting season for their return.

"The night life dies down quite considerably," local restaurant worker Septa Stevens said.

You may have noticed how quiet it's been around Missoula this summer, and so have retailers, with some saying it's considered the slow season.

"We get a big influx of older people, tourists, and stuff like that but the students are gone," Stevens told us.

"If the students didn't come back and the parents with them, things would be pretty quiet around here," show store owner Scott Sproull explained.

The back to school boom is an important opportunity for local businesses to market to new customers.

"When the students come back there's usually an introductory special and lots of new students come back, lots of new energy, it's really great, lots of fun," said yoga instructor Lori Chase.

It's also an opportunity to find employment, according to Chase. "We hire a few new people, and a lot of the people who work here are students,"

But Chase added that while the boom is a nice pick up for business, making adjustments to keep business steady year round is key.

"There's also the stand up paddleboard yoga so we do yoga outside on the river and so there's more options and things for people to do in the summer," she said.

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