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Get paid to make a difference: Virginia Beach rolls out new Resort-Area Ambassador program

The program currently has about 30 ambassadors who will patrol all 40 blocks of Atlantic Avenue, cleaning as they go.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Starting April 1, you’ll see a team of people in yellow shirts at the Oceanfront. They are part of the city of Virginia Beach’s new Resort-Area Ambassador Program, rolling out just before the summer season kicks off.

Their sole mission is to make your experience better.

The program currently has about 30 ambassadors that will patrol all 40 blocks of Atlantic Avenue, stretching from Pacific Avenue to the bike path. The crews will hyper-focus on the central resort area, from 15th to 25th.   

“Hospitality and cleaning services that city council prioritized in the budget for us going forward,” said Acting Resort Manager Brian Solis.

Solis said from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. the crew will go beyond trash removal.

“Removing everything from decals on light posts, to graffiti, to markings on the pavement,” Solis said.

They’ll also be a walking concierge for visitors.

“From somebody that has a lost child, to someone that wants to know where the nearest public restroom is, nearest parking,” Solis said.

Solis said the program is run by contractor Block by Block. It will cost just under $1 million a year, funded through the Tourism Investment Program.

“That is a portion of hotel tax, a portion of restaurant tax and amusement tax,” Solis said.

The ambassadors could also serve as an extra set of eyes. During Tuesday’s city council meeting to address the recent Oceanfront shootings, Police Chief Paul Neudigate said the department is short 100 officers.

“The Block by Block ambassadors, I think will make a huge difference for us,” said Chief Neudigate. “They are that extension of the city; they are that extension of the police department and they provide eyes and ears when the police can’t be there.”

Ambassadors won’t provide security services.

“They are not law enforcement, but they are a friendly face representing the city and keeping the resort area clean,” Solis said.

It’s the chance to get paid for making a difference, Solis said they are still hiring.

He said the starting pay is around $13 an hour. Anyone interested can check out the Block by Block website.