There’s a new top resort administrator at the Oceanfront. Her focus: the ‘customer experience’

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A new person has been entrusted to continue building a positive experience for visitors and residents at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.  

On June 17, Lisa Bleakley took over the newly revamped Resort Management Office as the resort administrator to step up the positive vibe at the Oceanfront.

She has been in tourism for 20 years. She served 17 years with the city before leaving for another job out of area. She returned to take on this new mission at the resort strip. She also served 12 years active duty and active reserve in the United States Navy. 

Virginia Beach has always bragged about having the cleanest beaches, but Atlantic Avenue was not always known as being clean, and that is changing too.

“It is my charge to make sure we take care of this investment,” she said.

She said that twice, once at the Resort Management Office in the 400 block of Virginia Beach Boulevard, and once with walking 17th Street with 10 On Your Side. 

Bleakley is in charge of putting the Oceanfront in the brightest light, 

“Our block-by-block ambassadors are doing a lot to help people who are here and have expectations.  We are all in this together,” she said.

Bleakley took us to the new Virginia Beach Police Substation at 21st and Atlantic Avenue, right in the middle of the late-night clubs, 

“The importance is it is a very dense area of the resort. We want to be where the people are. The police are great, and engaging in the community … and this office is perfectly located,” she explained.

She gave us a picture of 2nd Precinct Capt. Harry McBrien and his staff inside the new substation. There could be a soft opening of this office this July Fourth weekend. 

Back at the Resort Management Office, Bleakley said her first priority is to get everyone on the same page.

“There are a lot of moving parts. We need to get people in a room and figure out what our individual resources are working with. We are establishing a team right now,” she said.

It’s about the vibe, focusing on the Oceanfront resort strip experience — beginning, middle, and end, 

“Everything we do goes back to the customer experience,” she said.

Bleakley wants to know it all for everyone, not just visitors.

“What has been their experience? From parking, to get to the hotel, or just a resident coming in for a nice dinner on a summer evening,” she said.

Bleakley says Virginia Beach has “really stepped up our game with entertainment.” 

We asked Bleakley what sort of visitors Virginia Beach is looking for.

“We are looking for folks who are looking for that free, family, friendly entertainment in a clean welcoming atmosphere. Those are the ones we want to get our message out to,” she said.

It doesn’t come anymore simple than that.  

Correction: The on-air version of this story incorrectly spelled Bleakley’s name. WAVY regrets the error.

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