Chico, Calif. - Chico State combined their family weekend and alumni weekend for the first time. The event also had to be held virtually because of COVID-19.
Action News Now spoke to a General Manager from La Salles who said they've actually seen a rise in business this weekend, even though the event was virtual.
"I would say that yesterday was one of our busiest days that we had since COVID we had over 600 guests yesterday with our brunch and dinner combined, said Stephanie Templeton.
Templeton says that there has been an increase in people downtown because even though students are not doing in person classes, they are still living in Chico, so families did come to visit.
"It is amazing to see families coming out and enjoying the sidewalk sales that we had this weekend it really boosted activity downtown this weekend," siad Templeton.
Templeton added it's nice being able to have indoor dining while there are more people, but they are taking COVID very serioous.
Down the street another restaurant owner said she isn't seeing the same impact of family weekend compared to last years.
"We were packed, so a full house reservations and a line out the door, obviously it is significantly different now," said Chrystal Axelsson who owns Old Barn Kitchen in Chico.
Axelsson says she has seen a descrease in the overall business since college students had to leave.
"Most of our business is a mix of college or families or couples, so when there is a drop with the college kids we definitely feel that," said Axelsson.
Axelsson says they are also being extra cautious during the pandemic and making sure people feel safe.
Chico State alumni engagement coordinator, Tania Miranda, says they planned two days of webinars and activities for people to participate in.
"We also had a great collaboration with Sierra Oro Farm Trail and Sierra Nevada and a lot of local agriculture to create a tasting box that had a lot of local products to make sure they could get their products out," says Miranda.
Miranda said all the money sold from the tasting box went back to the local businesses, she said they sold over 1,000 boxes.