Spring Weekend kicks money into the WNY economy

This year, the Campus Activities Board used a Buffalo-based company and a Syracuse-based company for its inflatables. Credits: Lian Bunny

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY – The St. Bonaventure University Campus Activities Board (CAB) spent about 48 percent of its Spring Weekend budget in Western New York this year.

With a budget of $30,000, CAB spent about $7,800 locally in the Olean and Allegany area.  CAB purchased a DJ, T-shirts and Aramark food.  The club also rented sound equipment, tents, tables, chairs, a caricature artist and porta potties for the festivities.

In addition, CAB contributed about $5,400 to the economy in Buffalo, New York, mainly on a DJ and party rentals (including some of the weekend’s inflatables).

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Abby Cohen, associate director for intramurals, club sports and student engagement, said the majority of the budget is spent within an hour or so of the vicinity.

“We rent from a company in Olean called Cayas Canopies.”  she said.  “I know a lot of kickball teams in addition to CAB will utilize T-shirts either made by Studio 4 East or Sports Locker, so (we keep) the T-shirt artists local.”

Michelle Caya, owner of Cayas Canopies & Rental, said the company does a lot of business at Bonaventure for local events.  This year, CAB paid the company about $3,000 for tents, tables, chairs and a stage.

Thomas Palumbo, Sports Locker owner, said Spring Weekend provides extra business the company would not normally have.  He added this year Sports Locker only did the T-shirts for 17 teams, whereas it has done about 40 to 50 teams’ shirts in the past.

“Whenever you can keep dollars local it helps,” Palumbo said.  “We employ thirty-three employees, two of which are St. Bonaventure students.”

Fifty-two percent of the funds went to the outside area, including Endeavor Entertainment in Syracuse, New York.  The club used this company to purchase some inflatables for Spring Weekend.  CAB also spent some of the money on performers outside the local area.

Cohen said the club tries to look locally, but runs into a challenge when it comes to performers.  CAB wants to bring in performers students want to see, and many of those entertainers are not local.

Riley Eike, vice president of CAB, added the group tried to spend more locally this year by trying out a Buffalo-based company for some of its inflatables.  She said switching up companies was a win-win.

“Actually, the closer the better,” Eike said.  “A part of the costs of buying inflatables is purchasing the travel for them. You purchase the hotel rooms for their staff to stay in.  So we really want to make it as close as possible.”

Last year, CAB spent about $11,000 on inflatables, according to Eike. This year, the club aimed to lower the cost to $10,00 by trying out a different company closer to home. CAB did save some money on hotel bills, Eike added. 

Cohen said CAB tries to balance supporting local businesses with meeting the expectations of students.

“I think in general CAB tries to look locally, but also (wanted) to provide the St. Bonaventure student with a positive, new and engaging Spring Weekend this year,” she said.  “And in order to do that, you need to switch up the companies each year so that you can provide new and exciting things for students to be engaged with for Spring Weekend.”

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