Presidential debate means slow week for nearby restaurants - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Presidential debate means slow week for nearby restaurants

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Just like pros and cons with the presidential candidates, many Las Vegas businesses are saying the same about the presidential debate.

University Square is normally a hotbed for foot traffic and hungry college students, but this week business has been a bust.

Art Jong has owned the Baja Bar & Grill, located near Maryland Parkway and Tropicana Avenue, for almost eight years.

"I think Las Vegas, especially UNLV is lucky to have the debate, but at the same time though it does hurt us financially a little bit," Jong said. 

Jong told FOX5 he usually has to open up his bar for extra seating purposes on Tuesdays because it gets so busy. But this Tuesday inside his restaurant, it’s dead, and he’s not the only one.

"You see a bunch of students, a bunch of business people at this time, looking for seating. We usually don't have seating around this time," said Travis Contemplo, Manager at the Aloha Kitchen.

Contemplo said he has had to send four different workers home since Sunday because of how slow business has been.

Both restaurants believe it’s because of UNLV canceled classes and tourists are avoiding the campus.

"Usually we are the busiest here in this lot, and we've slowed down rapidly," Contemplo said. "It's a bit frustrating. We're trying to figure out things to do here at work, since we have no one coming in."

Staff say the slowdown won't cause them to close their doors, but they’re ready to get back to normal.

"I don't plan to get rich in one day. I don't plan to get poor in one day. It's a marathon, not a race," Jong said. 

"We're hoping, waiting for things to pick up and get back to normal. We're ready to work here at Aloha Kitchen," Contemplo said. "We got bills to pay, people to serve."

The restaurants at University Square say they plan to stay open on Wednesday, the day of the debate.

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