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Coastal Virginia and North Carolina prepare for tourists

Coastal Virginia and North Carolina prepare for tourists

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(L-R) Bentley Eppihimer, age 7, looks at the kite Bryson Hooper, age 9, is flying at Yorktown Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. Co-workers Stacie Hooper and Dana Rowe (L-R, right) had the day off and brought their son and grandson to the beach.

Total COVID deaths during the first year of the pandemic for the state's 10 most populous localities. 

Source: Virginia Department of Health

VIRGINIA BEACH — Business owners in Virginia Beach and North Carolina’s Outer Banks are looking forward to a tourist season that is expected to rebound from the losses suffered during the pandemic last year.

The Virginian-Pilot reported that hoteliers are on a hiring blitz and preparing for more tourists as more people get vaccinated.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said John Zirkle, president of the Virginia Beach Hotel Association. “It’s going to be a make-or-break summer for a lot of hotels.”

Vacation homes were a big draw on the Outer Banks last year because of the natural social distance that they provide. They are expected to have the same popularity this year.

For instance, Midgett Realty on Hatteras Island said that 100% of their peak summer season rentals are already reserved.

“It’s going to be another very, very busy year,” said Beth Midgett, reservations manager for Midgett Realty. “A pet-friendly, oceanfront house is a rare bird right now.”

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