Updated 07/25/2012 09:02 PM
City set to welcome back students
The City of Binghamton is expecting a big business boost starting next month when students from Binghamton University return for the fall semester. YNN's Chris Whalen tells us how the city is planning on welcoming students back.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- This time next month, downtown Binghamton will be perhaps busier than ever. Nearly 400 students will move in to Twin River Commons and business owners are anxiously awaiting their arrival.
"With that much traffic in the neighborhood, it's definitely a plus for small businesses and boutiques to be opening up because of the amount of students that are going to be down here," said Ron Sall, owner of Sall-Stearns.
However, downtown living is a brand new experience for many students, meaning they may not know what exactly the inner city has to offer.
"There's a stigma that outside of the bars on State Street and like two or three places, there's not that many places to go," said Adam Sabol.
Sabol is a recent BU graduate and is founding member of CommuniKey, a local start up that helps connect students with the City. As students arrive come August, CommuniKey wants to make sure they know exactly what there is to do downtown.
"There are tons and tons of places that kids don't know about and they have good food and great atmospheres, it's just educating them on where they are and what they're about," Sabol said.
In order to properly school students in downtown life, CommuniKey and the City of Binghamton announced Wednesday that they'll co-host a 'kickoff party' at the beginning of September with more than 40 vendors showcasing their products.
City officials hope that starting a relationship between Binghamton and BU now will result in more students staying here for more than just four years.
"Once they get two, three years of downtown living experience, I'm hoping that in the next few years we're going to be developing apartments for young professionals," said Merry Harris, director of economic development for the City of Binghamton.
Young professionals that will cater to the next generation of students downtown in what the City hopes will be an on-going cycle for years to come.