Oceanfront businesses reflect on successful holiday weekend

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Beachgoers filled the Virginia Beach Oceanfront for the Fourth of July weekend.

Although it looked different this year due to the coronavirus, many business owners told 10 On Your Side that the weekend was still a success.

“It was so busy. It was so many people,” said Sandy Martin, manager of Sugar Kingdom. 

Coronavirus concerns put a damper on the start of the 2020 season, but several businesses said the holiday weekend was a welcomed boost for sales.

“I think this year we did pretty good. I cannot complain,” said Smadi Marko.

Marko owns the boutique True Woman. She said the atmosphere and the sales this year are comparable to last Fourth of July.

“I love it. People are trusting, they’re all saying the same thing — nobody’s afraid. Everybody’s at the beach, everybody’s having fun,” she said.

Martin agreed.

“Everybody’s been really happy,” she said.

Martin said despite the pandemic, things are looking up.

“We did great. We’ve done great this year,” Martin said.

Some storefronts closed early on Saturday ahead of the Black Lives Matter 757 protest. Marko told us the heavy police presence likely turned some visitors away as well.

“We could’ve made a little more money, but it wasn’t that bad,” she said. 

Looking ahead, businesses said they are staying optimistic as the rest of the summer season plays out.

“If we’re going to stay on the same stage [phase 3] now, and we’re not going to go back, we’ll be fine. We’ll be just fine,” Marko said. 

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