In a letter delivered to the mayor and council members this week, association president Joseph DaBiero said the resort area “needs a nightly ‘sense of closure.’” He said in the letter the members of the Virginia Beach Hotel-Motel Association unanimously agreed to ask for the earlier lot closures. City parking lots now start turning away new parkers at 12:30 a.m., an hour before last call at Oceanfront bars.
DaBiero did not return two messages seeking comments.
A spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association says that group opposes the idea. She said there is no evidence closing lots earlier will curb unwelcome behavior.
The city’s hospitality trade groups, police and councilmembers have mulled solutions to what some say is a pattern of unruly late-night behavior at the Oceanfront. In April, an event called College Beach Week drew several thousand to the Oceanfront, leading to brawls, robberies and several stabbings.
City Council is on a summer break. Oceanfront Councilman John Uhrin said by phone he and his colleagues have received several suggestions and requests concerning the late-night atmosphere. He said new parking rules have been mentioned, but the council has not decided if they will alter the lot hours.