Plattsburgh State enrolls approximately 6,000 students each year. — 6,000 minds to fill with knowledge, mouths to fill with food and social calendars to be jam-packed with excitement. For many Plattsburgh businesses, this also serves as an increase in customers.
Of course, the purpose of going to college is getting a degree and becoming knowledgeable in your field of study.
Yet there is that voice in the back of every student’s head, or coming from a cool older sibling, saying, “This is the best time of your life, so you better make the best of it.”
As freshmen are just learning the ropes, the other classes are just pressing “Resume” on the movie of their lives called college.
They are picking up where they left off in the spring, doing the same old things that they have always done — hanging out with their friends, going to the lake, jumping off the cliffs before it gets to cold and, for those of age, going downtown for the weekly bar specials.
By the time a student reaches the highly anticipated 21st birthday, they know that the party on Tuesday nights is being held downtown at Olive Ridley’s for Twofers.
“We love to see the college kids back,” Matt Spiegel, owner of Olive Ridley’s said. “They have money in their pockets, and they are ready to spend it, go out and have a good time with their friends.”
Spiegel has handled the PSUC student population in his establishment since 2006. He has maintained a pub-style menu — from sandwiches to items off the grill — and of course, his bar. Spiegel also makes sure he brings in popular entertainment for his customers.
From summer to fall, it isn’t really the size of the crowd that changes — it’s the dynamic. The students are long gone, back to what they first called home. If they are lucky, Mom and Dad will give them that little extra spending money by the time they are ready to come back to campus.
Owners like Spiegel have to consider the risks that they are taking when owning a business such as Olive Ridley’s.
“I was a college student once, so I have to respect that,” he said. “However, I do value the licenses that I own. I want to protect everyone that walks into my establishment, including my staff.”
He does that by hiring the proper security and staff who help make his business run as it should and with few problems along the way.
Corey Rosoff, owner of the Monopole, has the same concerns. He wants to make sure that everyone is enjoying their time, but he wants it to be done safely.
“There are more kids that try to sneak in during the semester than over the summer,” Rosoff said.
He makes sure the security at the door is on point every night and everyone that is coming through the doors is of age.
There is a large number of students who go downtown right when the semester starts, but by the time week No. 7 rolls around and midterms become a reality, that number drop slightly.
To close the semester, students who hit the milestone birthday over the long semester, along with regulars, make their way downtown yet again.
For returning PSUC students such as senior Gabby Battistiol, going back to school means heading downtown on the weekends.
She said there are always cops around downtown, but she never goes alone.
“I love going out and spending time with my friends on the weekends,” Battistiol said. “Those nights are my favorite nights.”
Email Lisa Scivolette