Businesses deal with ongoing construction

Since construction of the new stadium began, road closures and detours increased.

by Kelly Gulbrandson

With a full student body back at the University, Stadium Village businesses are finding out how their normal operations are affected by construction of the new football stadium.

Since construction of the TCF Bank Stadium started last summer, road closures and detours have been common. Now, some roads have reopened to facilitate student traffic.

Jim Rosvold, former president of the Stadium Village Commercial Association, said he hasn’t heard any complaints from businesses since the beginning of the semester.

Caribou Coffee manager Michael Robideau said the project’s construction workers buy things from the store on a regular basis.

“There really is no way to measure the before- and after-construction levels since we opened right around when the construction started,” Robideau said.

He said the only way the actual construction impacted Caribou is that its parking lot was closed during summer, he said.

William Orkin, owner of Gopher Grocery, which delivers groceries to students on and around campus, said his store’s sales haven’t declined, but the construction has sent more traffic on a detour that runs past his business, creating delivery problems.

Orkin said Gopher Grocery has had to change its delivery routes. The company added more vehicles and drivers to maintain the same delivery times.

Debi Grant-Smith, general manager of the Days Inn- University, said the construction has been more of an inconvenience, rather than a big problem. She said the number of customers hasn’t declined, and she hasn’t had any complaints from customers regarding the construction project.

Grant-Smith said, however, the hotel van drivers had to check daily to see where they could drive during the summer.

The sign currently in front of the hotel, which in part reads “enjoy the construction,” is “just for fun” and doesn’t actually indicate problems, she said.

John Mueller, manager of the Stadium Village Gold Country, said the construction has not affected the business.

People who know the store will continue to find a way there, he said.

Journalism junior Danielle Paff said she usually avoids the Stadium Village area because of the construction.

She said she used to live in University Commons and would drive or walk to class, but the construction has made it difficult to get around.

“It is so confusing around there that now I take the bus more often,” Paff said.

Paff said she’ll wait until construction is complete to continue shopping in the area.

English junior Katie McMillen, who lives in Centennial Hall, said she hasn’t changed her habits as a result of the construction, but doesn’t often visit the businesses in the area.

“The area is kind of a mess right now, though,” she said.