Hosting millions of tourists in a beach town takes work. It begins before the sun rises and continues long after it sets. Even with staffing challenges this summer, Virginia Beach's hospitality industry is determined to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. Rolling out the welcome mat is the key to its success.
Under a dark sky, crews comb the beach, erasing yesterday’s trash to start a new day with a clean slate. The shoreline awakens, and lifeguards climb onto their stands. It’s all hands on deck to fulfill the wants and needs of tourists. Hotel housekeepers strip the beds. Shop managers restock the beach umbrellas and chairs.
Then, as another summer day winds down, restaurants and bars prep for the crowds. The city’s peacekeepers gear up for a busy evening in the 40-block resort area. As night falls over the beach again, the clock resets.
Photos by Trent Sprague with writing by Stacy Parker for The Virginian-Pilot.