Businesses and ride sharing drivers benefit from SITW fest

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Local_businesses_benefit_from_SITW_Festi_0_20190429025407

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The Virginia Beach Oceanfront was open for business during what will likely be the most economically-impactful weekend of their resort season. 

Local business owners say seeing all the people walking up and down the sidewalks and stopping at their storefronts makes all the planning ahead of the Something in the Water weekend worth it. 

10 On Your Side spoke with some Oceanfront business owners who said they were hesitant when they first heard about SITW. This particular weekend, which came to be known as college beach weekend, has gotten a bad reputation in the past, leading business owners to close shop. 

Noah Baker, manager at the Half Moon Music Shoppe said last year he was really scared. This year it’s almost a 180-degree difference.

“Last year I was working down here and it was scary cause I’d never worked a college beach weekend before. But they’ve kept it really chill, which has been nice. The traffic hasn’t been bad. Overall, they’ve handled it really well. Better than I expected it to be,” said Baker.

Baker said despite being rained out on Friday the festival has brought them consistent business over the past 24 hours. He says he is not only happy with the results of the weekend so far, but he is already looking forward to next year.

10 On Your Side spoke to musician and event organizer Pharrell Williams Sunday, who said he is looking forward to doing it again next year.

Transportation was a concern going into the weekend. Saturday night, some 50,000 people flooded the streets after the concert. Many of them were looking for ride sharing transportation, but getting into the designated UBER or Lyft proved difficult for many.

Drivers WAVY spoke with Sunday morning reflected on the night before. They said the night was busy, but it was worth it. 

Tocara Brevard says she made $250 alone working the whole day working for Lyft. She wasn’t the only driver in the area making big money. At one point it seemed there still wasn’t enough to cover the demand, though.

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer tweeted Saturday night the need for more UBER and Lyft drivers to head to the Oceanfront to help ASAP. 

“I would say Lyft did sent me an email a day in advance to let me know how busy the area is, to be able to take advantage of the promotions they had to provide, and they provide a lot. I love working for Lyft,” said Brevard.

She says although it was hectic at times, everything seemed to go over smoothly.

“I think that worked, I think the police being on each block was very beneficial because it protected the people from walking across the road and also the drivers being able to get down the road to travel,” said Brevard.

The Something in the Water organizers encouraged attendees to head to the convention center to be picked up by UBER or Lyft at the designated ridesharing location.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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