VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s a little less crowded at the Oceanfront, in restaurants and in hotels now that summer is over. So, how did the hospitality industry make out this tourist season?
“Nobody is going bankrupt this year, but nobody is having a record year to my knowledge this year as well,” said Hotel Association President John Zirkle.
Zirkle explained that it’s almost to be expected after two record years post pandemic in 2021 and 2022.
Virginia Beach Restaurant Association Executive Director Martha Davenport told WAVY that “gone are the days of being typical, so even when you’re looking at comparing year over year, there is no comparison.”
Davenport said sales at some eateries were up and others were down.
“I wish there was an exact formula as to why some of numbers were down and some numbers were up, but there’s not,” Davenport said.
The weather did no one any favors to start the season with a washout on Memorial Weekend and cool rainy June.
Both Davenport and Zirkle said that big events including Something in the Water, Beach It and Jackalope festival helped.
“Had it not been for the things the city did, I think tourism could have been down a little bit more,” Zirkle said.
While the typical tourist season is done, however, money making season is not.
“That type of season is shrinking and shrinking,” Davenport said.
Neptune Festival, Jeep Fest, and holiday events including Holiday Lights and a Gingerbread competition keep people coming to the Oceanfront nearly year round.
That hospitality insiders say is not only good for their industry, it’s good for generating tax revenue which is good for everyone who calls Virginia Beach home.