Over the past few weeks, we've all seen the signs: An increase in traffic, longer lines at Lowe's, a rising stock of boyfriend pillows at Walmart, the awkward lines of people with colored folders crossing Rivers Street.
Locals know the signs point to one thing: They're baaaack...
Welcome to move-in weekend at Appalachian State University, where the traffic is bumper to bumper, the check out at Walmart is a melodrama and, for a few days anyway, non-school related travel around ASU is a bad, bad idea.
And, in spite of these temporary inconveniences, Boone is celebrating. Why?
"We are stoked as always to have our kids come back to roost," Boone Saloon owner Skip Sinanian said. "It means madness."
And a little madness is just what businesses like his need.
"Typically, we drop like 20 percent in revenues in June, July and August."
Come September, he's expecting things to take off as students start to explore the town outside of campus.
"Things really get going full blast, and it stays full blast until graduation," he said. "It's just absolutely delightful for us."
And he's not alone.
Thousands of new students (in addition to returning Mountaineers) mean thousands of dollars for Boone.
"I tell businesses to put an imaginary $20,000 on their foreheads, because that's what they generate to our community," Boone Area Chamber of Commerce president Dan Meyer said. "ASU is one of the primary economic drivers of our region."
And it's not just about one industry.
"We all benefit," he said, whether you're in hospitality, retail, business or just appreciate the services students support.
"We encourage all of our businesses to welcome them and their families and to make them feel that they're right here at home at Appalachian and in Boone, North Carolina," he said.
And here at The Mountain Times, we've got the skinny on how to enjoy your first week as a Boonie. Turn to our Focus section for the full scoop, and drop by our booth in Plemmons Student Union on your first day of class, Tuesday, Aug. 24.
New incoming freshmen move into their assigned rooms Friday, Aug. 20, from 9 to 4 p.m. Returning students move into their assigned rooms Aug. 21 from 8 to 7 p.m. Move-in lasts until Aug. 24.
Fast Facts for Movers & Parents
Families arriving for move-in are asked to follow the yellow and black signs posted along the roadways as they near campus.
West Campus signs lead to Stadium Drive, where unloading happens in the Justice Parking Lot, the Stadium Parking Lot or the Bowie/Eggers Parking Lot. Residence halls on West Campus include Appalachian Heights, Belk, Bowie, Coltrane, Eggers, Frank, Gardner, Justic, Living Learning Center (LLC), Newland and Winkler.
East Campus signs lead cars to Hardin Street and then, once there, additional signs are in place to divide up the traffic. East Hall traffic will be routed to Dauph Blan Street. Cone, White and Lovill directed cars will turn onto Locust Street, and Hoey and Doughton traffic will be directed to the Legends lot. Residence halls on East Campus include Cannon, Cone, Doughton, East, Hoey, Lovill and White.
Drivers will be issued a parking pass for unloading. After unloading, expect to be directed to the State Farm or Greenwood parking lots, where buses will bring you back to campus. Hand-trucks are advised for move-in. Expect elevators in all residence halls except East and Justice.
And one more tip: Once you've moved in, visit emergency.appstate.edu and register for APPSTATE-ALERT, the Appalachian University 24/7 Emergency Messaging System.