VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The City of Virginia Beach is anticipating 30,000 college students could come to the Oceanfront this weekend for College Beach Weekend, but in the early afternoon on Friday, things were pretty quiet.
The boardwalk and Atlantic Avenue looked like a normal spring Friday, a WTKR reporter observed.
Still, city leaders expect things to get busier later in the day and through the weekend. The city has put out a communications plan and police said they will be adding staff to the Oceanfront from Friday to Sunday.
In addition to College Beach Weekend, events are being held at the Sports Center and Convention Center.
"Normally, we would be a little more full than we are right now, honestly," said John Zirkle, the president of the Virginia Beach Hotel Association, when asked how hotel bookings compare to past College Beach Weekends. "We're not sure why. We're not sure if it's because the weather is a little cooler. In years past, more hotels wold be sold out and more hotels could be close to being sold out."
College students said they are looking forward to this weekend’s festivities.
"The activities for the College [Beach] Weekend, to be honest, brought us out here. We just trying to come out here and have some fun, you know, and get lit," a group of college students said.
All throughout this weekend, the Virginia Beach Resort-Area Ambassador Program is overstaffed with 24 ambassadors for this weekend. They will be providing hospitality services and answering any questions visitors may have.
"If you come down here, we’re going to guarantee three things: You’re going to see some clean streets, clean sidewalks; we’re going to provide you with world-class hospitality service, greet you and say hello " Carlos Torres Pabols with the Virginia Beach Resort Area Ambassador program said.
Local groups, including the Virginia Beach NAACP, will also be at the Oceanfront throughout the weekend to interact with the students.
"My expectation is that it will be a calm, harmonious weekend where young people can enjoy this great City of Virginia Beach," said Dr. Karen Hills Prudent, the group's president. "I think the city has put a plan proactively in place that will hopefully contribute to that."
The city will be offering free, live entertainment on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at stages around the boardwalk.