Oceanfront businesses prep for Memorial Day weekend despite staffing shortages

Boardwalk at Virginia Beach Oceanfront.PNG
Posted at 9:32 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-28 12:15:45-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Lots of tourists are visiting the Virginia Beach Oceanfront this Memorial Day Weekend, and that means big bucks for hotels.

"Just excited. We are ready for the weekend. It’s our kickoff to the season," John Zirkle, the general manager of the DoubleTree Hotel, said.

Zirkle says they are booked to capacity.

"Are you all seeing any staffing shortages here?" News 3 reporter Leondra Head asked Zirkle.

"Yes, we’re still short-staffed. We just ask people to be more patient," Zirkle said.

He says the hotel is looking to fill 30-40 positions, ranging from front desk associates, to cooks, to bartenders and servers.

This comes as many tourists are visiting the beach for the holiday.

"We are visiting the grandparents for Memorial Day Weekend. We're most looking forward to being on the beach and building sandcastles," one tourist said.

Others are visiting to enjoy some sun in the fun.

"This is my first time in Virginia Beach," said another tourist who had only been in the area for about four hours and said they're liking it so far.

"Now Hiring" signs can be seen all throughout the resort area. Mary Elizabeth Collins, the general manager at the Holiday Inn, tells us they are gearing up for this weekend.

"We are trying to still get ready. We are a little short-staffed," Collins said.

She says understaffing impacts their day-to-day operations.

"We haven’t gone back to regular housekeeping services - we don’t have enough staff for that. We explain that to the guests upon check-in. We struggle a little bit with restaurant hours, meeting the maximum amount of hours. We’ve cut those back a bit," Collins said.

Employees at Dough Boys Pizza on Atlantic Avenue are also preparing for a big weekend.

"This is like the kickoff to everybody’s summer, so we’re excited to see the families come in. We are all so excited. We’ve been prepping for the last couple of weeks," Ashley Vestal, a manager at Dough Boys Pizza, said.

Business owners and managers we spoke to on the Oceanfront tell us they expect business to be steadily busy after this weekend, and they're anticipating the summer crowds.

Related: After weathering pandemic, Virginia Beach businesses ready to welcome summer crowds