Oceanfront prepares for Labor Day weekend

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY)- The Virginia Beach Oceanfront is preparing for the last official days of tourist season and one of its busiest weekends.

Labor Day marks the end of a busy tourist season. Tom Gill with Virginia Beach Lifesaving Services says they’ll be ready for the crowds who come out to celebrate.

“We’ll be ready to take safe care when everyone else is out here,” he said.

Despite a slow week with some beautiful beach weather, Gill expects people will take advantage of the forecast this weekend.

Unlike other lifesaving services around the country, he says they haven’t had staffing problems this summer.

So, they’ll be out making sure beachgoers stay safe.

“We have seen a drop off in our numbers and that’s why you’ll see a drop off in our numbers but Labor Day weekend is Labor Day weekend,” he said.

Gill recommends those who do come out to the beach to check in with lifeguards if red flags are flying.

“Find that staffed lifeguard stand,” he said. “Put your family and yourself in a position to have a great day and a safe day. Swim near that staffed lifeguard stand. When they’re not in the stand, don’t swim in the water.”

Businesses are also preparing for the crowds.

Caroline Heymann, who’s working her first summer at Sugar Kingdom, says she’s excited for the weekend.

“It’s supposed to be the last busy weekend so we’re making sure to prepare, we have everything stocked to make the customer happy and enjoy their trip here,” she said.

Heymann says staffing issues have been a problem for many businesses but she works with great employees who have made it work. They’ve never had to scale back hours or close.

She says everyone will be in this weekend to work.

“It’s been hard trying to find people to work right now. We’ve tried to make the most of it though. The employee we do have are very top-tiered, ” Heymann said.

A Virginia Beach annual event is also preparing to host its last races at the Oceanfront.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series opened up check-in on Friday at the Convention Center.

Earlier this year, officials announced it would be the last one held in Virginia Beach.

Adam Zocks, who is the race manager, says it was a mutual agreement with the city.

Eight thousand people are signed up to run, according to Zocks, including Brenda Mitchell.

“It will kind of be bittersweet knowing that it is over,” she said.

Mitchell says she’s been running in the race since it started 20 years ago after friends decided to run too.

But, this was going to be her final year running despite the ending of the event.

“In the beginning, I said I wanted to do it till I’m 75. Then as I got older and knees started hurting, I said 20 would be a nice round number then they said it would be the last one so I was okay with that,” Mitchell said.

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