After rough year with COVID, Pullman businesses welcome back fans

PULLMAN, Wash. – With Cougar football back, it’s a sigh of relief for businesses in Pullman.

For nearly two years, local places were without students and fans coming through to watch football. As places like South Fork Public House dealt with COVID restrictions, it also lost about half of the people that normally go there.

One study estimated Pullman would lose $13 million in economic impact if fans couldn’t come to games.

Gracie Lawrence, the front of the house manager for South Fork Public House, said she’s happy to see students and fans come back.

“It’s weird to see students back walking on campus. I mean, it’s exciting. It’s kind of like I’ve never seen it before because it’s been so long,” Lawrence said. “I was working through all the past year and a half and it was, you know, half the population. It’s exciting to see the town come back to life again after a year and a half.”

Lawrence says WSU students and football are vital to a small college town like Pullman. She says she can’t wait to see what happens in the next few weeks as more home games go on.

RELATED: After 651 days, Pullman ready to welcome WSU football fans back home

RELATED: ‘We always find our way back home’: Cougs fans reunite, celebrate return of college football