Downtown Chico business booms with start of school

Downtown Chico business booms with start of school

CHICO, Calif. - After a languid summer of business for downtown Chico, the start of school at Chico State on Monday is making registers ring again.

Pete Horylev, co-owner of Brooklyn Bridge Bagel Works on 2nd Street, said business started booming a few days ago.

"It started coming in Thursday-Friday, business immediately picked up. I would say doubled over the weekend. So it's a great feeling," Hoylev said.

A traditional college town, the population of Chico drops when Chico State and Butte College classes are out.

Horylev said the dip in sales can be a gift and a curse, but the sudden rise is always welcome.

"It's tough getting through the summer but it give us time to relax and do other things and now it's time to get back to the serious business of making money."

At campus bicycles on Main Street, owner Bud Schwab has definitely noticed things pick up.

"Students come back and it feels like overnight the population has doubled," Schwab said. "Always kind of catches us off guard even though we know exactly when it's going to start."

Schwab said while sales of new bikes have increased, parents are also coming in with their students to make purchases that will protect bike they already have.

"I might sell 50 locks today," Schwab said. "They just want these kids to get off on the right foot and we certainly want to help them with that."

On top of sales, the service center is also humming, with many coming in to have their bikes tuned up.

"It's a lot of students. And they need to get that bike ready for school tomorrow, so we're doing that. It's typically a last minute thing."

To carry the load, he's hired two new employees and extended hours.

As for Horylev at Brooklyn Bridge Bagel Works, he's ready to shake off the summer time blues.

"Happy times. Happy times," Horylev said with a laugh. "It's nice to make money."

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