VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — As summer comes to an unofficial close, some resort city business owners tell us the season didn’t exactly bring the economic boost they hoped for.

“It’s been not a regular season,” said Mike Griffin, owner of Salty Paws, a doggy ice cream store on Laskin Road, just two blocks from the beach.

“[It’s] because of inflation. We went through Covid last year, and it’s even slower this year,” Griffin said.

Griffin tells 10 On Your Side he’s working on building a loyal, local customer base. Especially since this year, he saw fewer tourists come by.

“When gas was higher especially, I’m sure it stopped some people from coming on vacation,” he said.

Next door, Kirsten Houghton is trying to get her new specialty sandwich shop Sandy Buns, up and running.

“We do gourmet cinnamon buns, and we made up a new thing called Swirlwiches, which are flavor-infused versions of a sandwich. We opened July 19, 2022, so we’re brand new,” she said.

She’s feeling the inflation blues, too.

“Things are very expensive to buy and keep in store,” she said.

“We’ve actually gotten a good amount of tourists. It’s actually slower than we want it to be,” Houghton said.

Plus, she’s still dealing with pandemic-related supply chain issues. But, Houghton is hopeful a unique product will help keep the customers coming in, even after the season dies down.

“My brother was stationed here, so we want to make this home. I wanted to be part of the community,
she said.