VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — AAA is predicting travel will come close to pre-pandemic levels this holiday weekend, and if the Virginia Beach Oceanfront is any indication — they’re probably correct.

“Sales are skyrocketing,” said Dashawn Charity, who works at the Flamingo Joe’s food stand at 16th Street.

“A lot of our funds come from busy holiday weekends like this,” said Charity.

After two slow summers during the pandemic, many business owners were hoping for a busier summer season season. If the unofficial summer kickoff weekend is any indication, they may be in luck.

“There’s a substantial difference, I would say,” he said.

Several hotel owners told WAVY 10 they were fully booked this weekend, but not everyone spending their hard-earned cash on the boardwalk is a true tourist — some are just playing the part for this weekend.

Like Michelle Jeitner, a Virginia Beach native.

“We’re taking it all in, soaking up the sun, enjoying the breeze, we just got done with lunch at Catch 31,” she said.

“It’s fun, we don’t get to do this every day. We’re working every day and coming straight home after. It’s good to blend in,” she said.