Economy Driving Big Shift in Prom Locations for 2009

With today’s sagging economy, there are few areas that are not affected by budget cuts and stress about making the most of available resources. Bearing this in mind, the leading supplier of prom supplies nationally, Stumps Inc., has noted a big reversal in 2009 of a long standing trend of schools moving their proms out of the high school to ritzier venues.

Beginning in the early 90’s, schools began holding proms in increasingly exotic locales including theaters,  upscale hotels, botanical gardens, the top of skyscrapers, ferry boats and even theme parks. Today, the schools have realized that these venues are very expensive and are returning to the schools and decorating more to create their special themed evening. “Last year our data would show that the split was roughly 50/50 with half the schools going out and half staying in. We are seeing the most significant change in this percentage in the past 20 years,” Stumps President, Shep Moyle, said, estimating that over 75% of schools will be returning back to the school campus as a way to save money.

According to Moyle, high schools are looking for any way to make the magic of prom night more affordable while still making it a special night. “Schools and the students know that this is a very special event in their high school career, but they also know that times are tough and finding a way to stretch their dollar is even more important now than ever,” Moyle noted.

Stumps created the prom industry back in 1926 and has been the leading supplier nationally ever since. Moyle estimates that Stumps will serve 7 out of every 10 schools once again this year for their prom needs offering over 36,000 different favors, décor items and prom theme supplies. “It is a very tough environment for everyone today, but our history shows that even in tough economic times, the schools still will have a prom. The difference today is that schools and the prom committees are looking to stretch their dollars and for ways to transform their school for the special night, rather than locating the prom at a fancy venue.”

“With all of the theme décor we offer that is re-usable year-after-year and value decorating items, we think Stumps has a great solution for the schools,” Moyle adds. Timeless themes such as Paris, starry nights, castles and gardens remain very popular so far this year. Stumps is also seeing a return to more classic and non-theme oriented décor that is quick and easy to put up and can be re-used for other school events through the year such as plays and homecoming dances.

Even with all of these changes and challenges, Moyle is optimistic. “We have been doing this for 83 years and have seen proms through good times and bad.” Through great planning and creativity, Moyle knows that schools and the committees will continue to create this special night for high schoolers across the nation.

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