VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach hotel managers and restaurants say business was up thanks to the Sand Soccer Championships.
“It was a great weekend. We were sold out Friday and Saturday night. Sand soccer was just a huge success. It was nice to see things getting back to normal," said John Zirkle, the general manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and president of the Virginia Beach Hotel Association.
Joseph Dabiero, the general manger of the Ramada Plaza Hotel, says it was an historic weekend for the hotel.
"From Friday, Saturday and Sunday and it was probably one of the biggest revenue driven producing weekends that we’ve ever had."
Demand is there. But is there enough staff to meet the summer demand?
"The number one thing facing the hotel industry in Virginia Beach is worker shortage.
Zirkle says he’s looking to fill 25-30 positions. Dibario says workers are having to work longer to meet demand.
"I need another two-thirds of housekeeping staff. It’s more hours. They’re doing more work than they did before."
It’s the same for Dough Boys Pizza on Atlantic Avenue. The owner says there’s simply not enough staff to meet demand.
"We’d be open more hours if we had more people," George Kotarides said.
He thinks the problem is getting worse due to unemployment.
"I’ve been at it since the 80s, and we’ve never had anything happen like this where people were getting paid to stay home. As far as I can tell, the pandemic is over and we just need to get people back to work," Kotarides said.
Business owners normally look forward to the Fourth of July weekend, but the staff shortage brings uncertainty for Dough Boys Pizza.
"I’m actually a little nervous about it because of understaffing."
Dabiero says his hotel is looking forward to the holiday weekend.
“We’re already sold out for the Fourth of July weekend,” Dabiero said.