When students go home for the summer, many Fort Collins residents (I'm sorry, that includes me) have rejoiced in the past: I mean, come on, it means shorter lines at Cafe Mexicali, and less people to yell over at the bars when you're trying to get a drink.

However, who knew that students were so important to our town's economy?

With COVID-19 in Northern Colorado, many students were asked to stay home and finish up their school year digitally. This means less shoppers at CSU merchandise shops, for example, some of which may have to close if business doesn't pick up. And those long lines at Mexicali and other local restaurants and bars? Those helped our once-thriving nightlife scene, which has now taken an extreme hit.

According to The Coloradoan, Greeley, Boulder, and Fort Collins, are experiencing much more intense economic devastation than surrounding cities:

The three cities, with a combined university student population of about 83,000, saw April sales tax revenues drop more than 21% from the prior April. Meanwhile, nearby cities without universities like Loveland, Longmont and Arvada saw much less budgetary devastation. (More)

When it comes to our economy, we'll have to wait and see what this Fall looks like and how many students actually return to campus. Until then, many stores and restaurants downtown face an uncertain future.

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