VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Labor Day is a final goodbye to summer, and Virginia Beach is hosting the party.
Many people will be kicking back at the beach, and that is what local businesses are banking on. They’re hoping to rake in the dough one last time before the busy season ends.
“If it’s anything like it was in the past, we’re pretty sure it’s going to be packed. It’s going to be a wait - not just at our door, but every other door at the Oceanfront. You gotta be prepared for anything that can happen,” says Cactus Jack’s General Manager Brandon Wilson.
It’ll be difficult to find empty seats and tables for the next three days at restaurants like Cactus Jack’s. Wilson encourages people to call ahead to make a reservation and plan to wait in lines.
Bruce Whitfiele is the owner at Pier Gift Shop and says Labor Day weekend will be the last days of the season that his store will stay open until midnight.
“We got almost all of staff that’s left that hasn’t gone back to college, they’re working,” he explained.
Whitfiele says the store has prepared extra pans of their decadent fudge for visitors who are looking for a sweet treat to indulge in.
“This is like the last hoorah before kids go back to school, so yeah, we’re psyched; all hands on deck,” says Whitfiele.
Madeleine Philipp is the owner of Sea La Ve gift shop. Labor Day weekend is a bittersweet feeling for her and many businesses who rely on the beach to bring waves of customers through their doors.
“Summer is the big season down here, then once Labor Day comes around it’s kind of like a shift in how many people you see coming through every day,” says Philipp.
VDOT says routes to Virginia Beach are likely to be congested mid-morning to evening on Saturday.
To help with the anticipated congestion, HOV restrictions and express lanes tolls will be lifted on Monday.
VDOT's travel-trends map shows peak congestion periods during the holiday weekend during previous years on Virginia interstates.