6,000 students and their families will begin moving into Texas Tech residence halls Saturday. And by the end of the month, 30,000 students will call Lubbock home for the next school year. Lubbock hotels are booked this weekend and retailers tell us they are ready for the much-needed economic boost.
The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce has asked businesses to reach out to returning Texas Tech students. Many are putting up banners like this one to welcome students and their money back to Lubbock.
"The students alone probably along with Texas Tech is probably in the top five in this entire region," says Eddie McBride, Lubbock Chamber of Commerce president. He tell us the return of students means big money for the South Plains Economy. "Those students are such a tremendous part of that so obviously, ask any of the retailers, commercial folks that do business, they'll tell you that students have a tremendous economic impact," he says.
Businesses within walking distance from the campus agree, they're ready for the influx after what they call a summer slump. "It means a lot, like already this week we've seen a lot of pickup. Even summer session has been really slow," says Coffee Haus Manager Casey Lampe. The student hot spot is located across the street from the campus. But this summer, Casey says it's been slow with just a few customers per day. "It's going to be great because we need the business really bad," adds Casey.
And just next door, Jon Lisa Exchange, a trendy and chic boutique, depends on Texas Tech students to keep it alive. "The college is definitely our main source of income," explains Caleb Green, Jon Lisa manager. He says he's looking forward to more frequent business as students get back to campus. "Hopefully just a steady flow of customers, probably have some sales and stuff like that just to get people in here," he says.
With its new location across from the stadium, Chili's is calling itself Chili's Texas Tech and 90 percent of its employees are Texas Tech students. They're scheduled for opening September 14th.
Eddie McBride tells us the Texas Tech economical impact can be compared to that of the cotton and medical industries.