Loyal customers are braving the State Street construction obstacle course but walk-in and impulse customers are not, according to the businesses located on the top of the Orem hill.

Construction is currently in progress from the Orem south border to approximately 800 South on the multiyear State Street makeover project."We've probably seen a 25-30 percent drop in gross sales at the register," said Craig Palmer, owner of The Mending Shed at 1735 S. State. "For us it hasn't been terrible because we're a little different kind of business. We're more a necessity of life than something like a fast-food place."

The manager/owner of the Sconecutter at 1385 S. State, Lori Hardy, verified that fast-food outlets are getting hit harder, even though some people are finding ways to get in for lunch despite severely limited access.

"Oh yeah, we've seen a drop, probably $400 to $700 a day. Compared to last year when we'd just opened, it's a lot," said Hardy. "But we're doing OK. It'll be nice when they're done, though."

Palmer said while some customers complain about the inconvenience in "some colorful language" most are willing to find creative ways to get to the store, including coming from 800 East into the rear of the businesses.

"Of course we expected this," he said. "And we made some plans. We had one full-time employee leave for a mission and we just didn't replace him. I think we're also looking at taking an extended Fourth of July weekend."

The Mending Shed provides maps for customers who want to know the best ways to get back to the store and they suggest alternative routes to customers who call about bringing in a repair.

Others, like Miracle Bowl at 1585 S. State, are offering "construction-time specials." Bowling is only $1 a game now, Sunday through Thursday.

"A lot of my clientele are kids just out of high school, people between 18 and 30," said the owner, Rick Woodard. "If they want to get to a place, they'll find a way. I think the ones I'm losing are the older customers.

"We're down about 30 percent from last year," he said.

Matt Taylor, manager of Taylor Furniture at 1497 S. State, said he believes a customer heading out to make a $2,000 purchase is more likely to persist until he or she gets to a business they've shopped before.

"I think it has affected us a little bit but then we are lucky. We actually still have open access. We will definitely be more affected when we're blocked out in front of the store."

Taylor expects the work affecting his business to be finished in about a month.

Others are less optimistic about the work. "I don't think we'll see any relief until this fall. I don't think they can leave us like this all winter," said Palmer.

The barrels and barricades went up in front of his business six weeks ago, which annoyed Palmer some because the diggers only started up this week.

"That irritated me," he said.

"But I suppose when we're finished, we'll be happier. We'll be glad to have the island (that has blocked left turns into The Mending Shed) removed.

"Actually, in terms of affecting walk-in traffic, it was worse for us during the weeks of snow and fog a couple of years ago. We have a lot of customers who are older, who believe in repairing instead of replacing. And older folks just don't drive in the snow."