VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - A rainy spell at the beginning of the 2013 summer season got things off to a slow start for Oceanfront businesses in Virginia Beach. But by the tourist season’s unofficial close Labor Day weekend, most area business owners say they were able to recover.
Jungle Golf at the corner of 22nd Street and Pacific Avenue is a prime example of business in the resort city this year – slow in June, but back to normal by July and August. During Labor Day weekend, getting tee times was challenging.
“This weekend was great. The weather couldn't have been more beautiful. People did come out in droves. We were very, very busy. That was a great end to the season,” said Rachel Cook, Jungle Golf’s general manager.
But there are always exceptions to a rule.
Bargain Beachwear, a souvenir shop off 9th Street and Atlantic Avenue, is one business that didn’t bounce back from June’s tourist slump.
“Walk in traffic [and sales, both slow]. It’s not been a lot of people like we expected this year,” said Tiffany Holenstein with Bargain Beachwear. “Last year was completely different -- there's been a $30,000 dollar drop a month.”
But nearby, boating tours saw near capacity sightseers and sales throughout the season.
“We are what we call the cheap ticket item -- a whole family can come on either the cruise boat or the fishing boat for less than a hundred dollars,” said Captain Skip Feller, the manager at Rudee Tours.
For almost all area hotels, restaurants, and shops, Labor Day weekend’s festivities and fantastic weather brought plenty of customers to end the season with a bang.
“Restaurants were packed, gift shops were packed. The whole beach was packed as far as I know,” said Verne Burlage, the owner of a Quality Inn along Virginia Beach.
Business owners expect to have an even clearer picture of their bottom line in a few weeks, once all the final numbers are in.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.
Michelle Price with Newport News Public Schools told WAVY.com at least three city school buses ran substantially late Wednesday afternoon, delivering children home several hours after dismissal.