VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Valdosta State University students began moving in this morning.
"My stuff is waiting to be taken up an elevator!" exclaimed incoming freshman Ashleigh McRoy.
McRoy is one of nearly 3,000 students making the VSU dorm her new home, and the school will welcome thousands more students this fall.
Students local business owners hope will make their way downtown.
"We'd be happy to have students drop by and look at the books or just sit and read for a while," said Mike Orenduff, owner of Book and Table in downtown Valdosta.
Since students left campus in May, a few new restaurants and businesses have opened up. Business owners and city officials said bringing students to downtown will help the area thrive while also providing students with opportunities.
"The downtown has much more to offer than it did a few years ago when we first moved here," said Orenduff, "There are more stores, more restaurants, so I think we need to encourage the students to do that."
"There's the opportunity here for internships and jobs that they might can just stick around," said Main Street Director Ellen Hill
And some students are already preparing to explore everything Valdosta has to offer.
"I like all the shops, the little downtown, and everything like that. I'm pretty excited," said incoming freshman Trey Teahan.
"I've asked a couple people where some good restaurants are, and some of these places I've never heard of. I'm excited to try them out! Me and my roommates are actually trying some out tonight," McRoy said.
Some businesses plan to offer discounts to students to encourage them to try out new restaurants.