By David Johnson
Those people running around campus dressed as Cupid and hearts are not just Valentine”s Day fanatics – they are promoting a trial run for the BYU Bookstore”s new student lounge.
The Bookstore hired BYU”s advanced advertising lab to create a place for students to hang out and promote business in the Bookstore, said Roger Reynolds, Bookstore general manager. The Lounge at the Bookstore”s trial run for the lounge starts Thursday. Feb. 9, 2006, and ends Tuesday, Feb. 14. Lounge hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Though the permanent location of the lounge is not yet decided, Reynolds said the Pallet Zone is a good place for a trial run because it takes up one-fourth of the third floor.
“We”re taking our big toe and sticking it in the water to see what we come up with,” he said.
Karene Hoopes, assistant manager of the advanced advertising lab, said the lounge will have multiple benefits for students. While students can buy and pick up Valentine Grams to send to friends and loved ones, there will also be four Xbox consoles, three kiosks and multiple oversized ChillSacks for students to use for free.
“It”s a fun alternative to studying in the library,” Hoopes said.
Hoopes said Sugar N” Spice will have a booth in the lounge for students to buy snacks to eat while they socialize with others.
Zachary Tolbert, account executive for the advanced advertising lab, said he and his colleagues have worked with corporations to get donations. He said corporations like GameStop, who donated the Xbox consoles, and R.C. Willey, who donated big-screen televisions, are excited about working with the Bookstore to promote a lounge.
Tolbert also said the lounge would give students a great place to hang out, while offering free advertising for contributing corporations.
“The main incentive for students [to use the lounge] is to release themselves from the constraints of homework, school and studying,” Tolbert said.
Gordon Brown, sales manager of the BYU Bookstore, said he and his associates have worked hard to ensure that students enjoy coming to the Bookstore.
“The Bookstore wants people to know that they really do care about the students,” Brown said.
Sarah Tibbitts, an account executive with the advertising lab, said because so many students walk through the Bookstore as a shortcut to get to class, the Bookstore wanted an area where students could stop and enjoy themselves.
“Everyone walks through the Bookstore at least onc,” Tibbitts said. “It is like a traffic way or I-15.”
Reynolds said the main incentive to make the lounge permanent is to see how well it is received by the students. In order to make it permanent, the trial run needs 100 to 200 students to stop by the lounge each day.
“This is a new idea,” Reynold said. “It”s a long way from fully developing into a student lounge.”