Businesses in Amherst finding ways to keep busy during summer vacation

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – UMass is out, and business has slowed considerably in downtown Amherst.

With students gone for the summer, merchants in downtown Amherst have found ways to keep busy when business is slow.

Antonio’s Pizza has been open in Amherst since 1991 and having done business North Pleasant Street for more than 25 years, Antonio’s assistant manager told 22News, they’ve gotten used to the change when school’s out for summer.

“We’re pretty used to the changeover. Obviously, business is completely different. The kids make up a huge part of the business but a lot of stuff goes on in the summer now here, a lot of stuff during the day time. And we’re lucky enough that we’re busy enough during the year that we don’t suffer too much,” said Steven Aoki.

The Lone Wolf in Amherst has been around for 15 years. Owner & Chef Rob Watson told 22News, he too has found a rhythm to stay afloat during the summer months.

“Like the first few weeks in June, it’s very quiet here. The Taste of Amherst happens in a couple of weeks, and we do a little bit of catering to keep us going, we tend to cut back on our staffing, and then once the public schools get out and the camps happen our during-the-week business pick us a little bit,” said Watson.

Watson told 22News, it’s the Amherst College Reunion Weekend, which marks the last big weekend of the season.

“It’s just the nature of Amherst, I mean the students are a big piece of the business that keeps us going,” he added.

And on weekends, Watson said business drops 15 to 20 percent, which is why they close a half hour earlier on weekends.

Though students are gone for the summer, merchants are back in business when school starts back up the end of August.

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