Oceanfront businesses anticipate economic impact from Neptune Festival

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Posted at 10:40 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 23:05:48-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Hundreds of locals and tourists are flocking to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront this weekend for the Neptune Festival.

“Every year, we come out here and see the Neptune. When they have it, we have a good time,” said Keyun Berryhill, who's attending the festival.

Berryhill, who's from the Eastern Shore, says he comes to the festival every year.

“Great food, vendors - everything!” Berryhill said.

The Neptune Festival was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and after two years, it's back.

"We missed it last year. I don’t know how many years it's been running, but it’s the first time it's ever not happened since they started it. [We're] so glad to have it back," said George Kotarides, the owner of Dough Boys Pizza.

Kotarides says he looks forward to seeing hundreds of people flock to the boardwalk this weekend.

"I’m looking to a lot of people coming in and enjoying our pizza."

John Zirkle, the general manager of the DoubleTree Hotel, says the hotel is nearly sold out.

"I’m hoping to be by the end of today or by tomorrow Saturday night. We do still have rooms available. This is unique to because the hotels tend to get full. They are full a lot with locals - people who just want to come and not have to worry about driving home," Zirkle said.

For Tim Ritter, the owner of performing arts center Family Fun Xperience near the boardwalk, he says he looks forward to big weekends like this one.

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"We are so excited to see a lot of people down here at the beach. We really cater to families and providing interactive fun. The more families that are out here, the more families that are going to find us," Ritter said.