VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.— A busy tourist season at the beach is just around the corner, and Oceanfront businesses are preparing to bounce back after a bleak year on the books for many.
Jaketa Thompson owns a marketing company called Omnia Unlimited LLC, and she says businesses are gearing up by sprucing up their spaces for people who are ready to get out as tourist season gets underway.
“People are doing a lot of capital improvements. We’re seeing a lot of patios come up. We’re seeing a lot of indoor and outdoor murals being painted, different menu options; there’s just so much excitement right now,” said Thompson.
She says people can expect outdoor seating to stay and a lot more added for visitors to take in the views.
The biggest challenge for many owners right now is finding the people to fill several job openings as the restaurant industry works to bounce back.
“The job market right now is wide open, and everybody is really trying to push to get staff,” explained Thompson. “I’m pushing to get staff and I know a lot of my business owner friends are out there looking, so if you’re a person who wants to work at the beach, come on down."
While food, fun and entertainment are on the minds of many, some worry about safety in wake of last month’s Oceanfront shootings, but Thompson says businesses are taking security seriously.
“Entertainment venues are extremely safe. They have very large safety protocols. They’ve brought in private security; there’s a lot of security experts down here now and security firms working down here, so right now it just feels safe.
Excitement is in the air as the tide turns for businesses and people are looking forward to enjoying a safer summer outdoors.