The buying power is back. Every year at this time, Lubbock merchants get big smiles on their faces, as students return stimulating stagnant summer sales.
At Ralph's Records the register is once again ringing round-the-clock. "Our business picks up about 1/3 from the start of September through the end of the school year," says Ralph's Owner Larry Thompson.
Just down the road, the same goes for the Spirit Shop across the street from Texas Tech. "This time of year is real exciting, not just because students are back, but because football season is back. This past weekend was great," says Spirit Shop Assistant Manager Brian Rauschuber.
This year, TTU's enrollment has jumped past 28,000 for the first time ever. And that has local merchants seeing dollar signs. At One Guy's Pizza, the summertime blues have officially given way to an extra large topping of total elation.
At Supercuts on University business is booming. Just a week after one of the slowest week's of the year. "Today is great. It's definitely busy," says Stylist Christy Foster.
So, just how much do Texas Tech students pump into the local economy? According to one economic expert, as many as one in seven Lubbock businesses would not survive if it weren't for Texas Tech.