As prospective students and their families flock to New Haven for Bulldog Days, businesses in New Haven are preparing for an influx of visitors.
Elm City store owners said that Bulldog Days, which began Monday and will end on Wednesday, is one of the busiest times of the year. This year, Yale stores will be able to capitalize on Yale hockey success alongside the Bulldog Days crowds: After the team’s Saturday victory in the NCAA Division I national championship, members of the Yale community and visitors are clamoring to acquire Bulldog souvenirs, and city stores are eager to meet the demand.
At the Yale Bookstore this week, staff will cover extra shifts to face additional business from prospective students and their families, said Joseph King, the general manager at the Yale Bookstore.
“We love this time of year,” he said.
George Koutroumanis, the owner of Yorkside Pizza, said that any time there are an extra 2,000 people in New Haven, there is more business for everyone.
Bulldog Days is one of the top five annual events for businesses in New Haven, said Jeremy Cobden, the co-owner of Campus Customs. Other big annual events include Camp Yale, the Yale-Harvard game, Parents’ Weekend and Commencement. Cobden added that the NCAA championship will likely make this Bulldog Days even more successful for the store.
“In my 25 years, [the national championship] is one of the most memorable things that has happened,” Cobden said, adding that hockey souvenirs are currently being purchased not just by prospective students, but also by local residents.
Some New Haven businesses also try to use the week to encourage prospective students to matriculate in the fall.
“I’ve been here since 1969, and Yale students have one of the best things going on,” Koutroumanis said. “From tapas to pizzas, [students have] a great spread of food all within walking distance.”
There were 1,235 prospective students registered for Bulldog Days, said Mark Dunn, director of outreach and recruitment for the Yale Admissions Office.