The Future of Ocean View | Rocky Rhoades

In this episode of Discover OV, we talk with the Rocky Rhoades.  Rocky is the founding president of the Ocean View Busienss Association and we take a quick look at the future of OV.


Full Transcription

Rocky 0:00
There’s a loud voice in Ocean View saying we want more businesses want more restaurants more and more things to do we want more fun. The only way to get more restaurants more fun is to create a buzz. People have to know that it’s here and businesses need to realize, Wow, that’s a lucrative place to to put a business potentially I should, I should consider that.

Eric 0:20
Welcome to the Discover OV podcast. My name is Eric, and I’m going to be your host as we discover and explore all there is to do in Ocean View. This Podcast is a production of the ocean view Business Association. For more about the OVBA check out our website, Ocean View dot biz. Also, if you know of a business community leader, or event in ocean view that we should highlight here on discover o v, please contact us through our website again at Ocean View dot biz.

Eric 0:54
In that opening clip, you heard Rocky Rhoads, the president of the ocean view Business Association, talking about the future of ocean view and in this episode, that’s what him and I spend really most of the time talking about, what what’s what we see coming, what what so many people are working towards seeing come to fruition here in ocean view. So, listen in, we’ll let Rocky introduce himself and explain who he is. We’ll cover briefly the history of the OVBA. And then we talk about what we see coming up what what’s going on and why it’s so important to have a business association that’s active and engaging with the community. And make sure you stick around to the very end, Rocky’s got a parting tip that will help you discover more to do in ocean view. And so now my conversation with Rocky.

Eric 1:51
Alright, so I’m here with Rocky, Rocky How you doing?

Rocky 1:54
I’m doing all right, how you doing, Eric?

Eric 1:55
Very good. Very good. Now we’re gonna spend a little bit time talking about the ocean view Business Association is just well as one of our favorite places ocean view. Yes, yeah. But before we do that, why don’t you do me a favor and describe to folks that are listening? Where are we sitting right now? Where are we at?

Rocky 2:10
We’re sitting in my office Lounge at my Edward Jones. Investments office down in East beach. On the corner 25th and pretty lake and having a great time on a beautiful sunny day looking over the the Marina.

Eric 2:23
Yeah, this is a great like I told you when I came in. I had never been down in here before. So I like come. There’s a lot down here to for people to come down and check out.

Rocky 2:31
There’s a lot to do down here. Yeah, everything from East beach all the way up to ocean view. There’s lots of different fun things. And there’s new things just indefinitely coming, which has made the Business Association such an important thing. Yeah. To form.

Eric 2:43
Now, you and I met through the Business Association. Yeah. And your what’s your role on the business association?

Rocky 2:49
I’m the president of the Oceanview Business Association.

Eric 2:52
Okay. So for those that are listening that have no idea, you know, not not that we want this to be a lesson on, you know, starting a business association or anything like that. But, you know, we want to spend most of our time talking about ocean view. But tell us a little bit about what Where did the ocean view Association come from? What is it like? How did this? How did this come together?

Rocky 3:13
So there was I believe that was that? Well, I know, there was an ocean view Association A while back, and it was an entire team that really helped build the beginning. The beginnings are certainly what I would consider the origins of ocean view. And you had the people of some of the people I know the Judy Boone and the Boone family and Richard Hahn, and a handful other people have made it through the doors to tell me what things used to be like, and be able to hear the the origin story. But my story starts in 2017 when Tom Councilman Tom Smeagol, came and asked me if I would start up a business association for ocean view. But I said, What the heck is that? So that’s where that’s where my story starts.

Rocky 3:54
So I say, hey, there’s a handful of other business owners I’ve spoken to, but I’d love for all of you to get together and really consider trying to create some sort of a group where we can help better understand what it is that the businesses need, and the businesses of Oceanview. So if you could try and collect all of them together and create a group I said, Well, it seems easy enough. So we all met in December of 2017. There was a handful of us. We had Joe McCann and Robert Dunkin. I believe Matt Keane was there. And a handful of other folks as well. Sorry if I’m missing anybody’s names. And but we sat down together and said was let’s go for it. We created the vision for it. And the vision was how do we connect the businesses together? How do we support new businesses? How do we help old veteran businesses make sure that they feel connected to the city, making sure that all the businesses feel connected to the city? So we have more transparency, and more than anything is how do we as businesses and in connection with the city better serve the city, the community of ocean view? So everything we do is really focused on helping our community helping my lbr clients helping our customers Ignite. Tourism into ocean view so businesses can get more money so that all of us can thrive better here in Ocean View.

Eric 5:06
Nice. And so what I like so the Discover OV podcast, we’re all about, you know, talking about, you know, living, working and playing, and ocean view. So, you’ve talked about the fact that, you know, working helping businesses get started here, you know, helping businesses that are here thrive and succeed. And that’s great. I’m also building up tourism, but I know from talking to people that live here, you know, I live in Ocean View, Bayview area, postnup, scholar at Ocean View. But one of the things I hear a lot of people talk about when they when they hear that key phrase, bringing more tourists in is we’re going to lose our backyard, you know, we don’t want that, you know, it’s let them go down to, you know, the big touristy hotspot. But I know, we’ve talked about the fact that there’s a balance there. And the goal of the businesses isn’t to turn ocean view into something. It’s not we’re not trying to create

Rocky 6:01
A tourist town, the goal is not necessarily to be a place where people don’t want to live and only want to visit, the point is we want to make this a place that seems so hospitable, that people are chomping at the bit to get into ocean view. And because ocean view is so limited, its parking and the amount that of things. It’s hard, it will be hard to get in, it’ll make it a demand. And in doing so, I think it’ll really thrive. The people that live there, the businesses that are there, and it’s incredible way to, to open up the community for people to live and as well as people that want to come to you to escape the tourism side. Wouldn’t it be great if the locals of downtown Virginia Beach, whoever I’ll say, How do I get away in the middle of July when I can’t get anywhere? Because there’s so much tourism? Where can I go, we become the locals tourism spot, if you will. So now we’re finally getting money from Virginia Beach into ocean view and into Norfolk and it’s begin to populate the other way.

Eric 6:46

Rocky 6:46
And that’s kind of fun.

Eric 6:47
I like it. And I think one of the benefits I see to it is, so when we talk about bringing, you know, you know, tourists in, it’s not like we’re going to run a campaign, a marketing campaign in Ohio, right, you know, to flood in a bunch of out of state. But if we get people to drive in from, you know, Chesapeake, Suffolk, you know, the seven cities. Now, this becomes a more appealing place for more restaurants, more shops, and now I’ve got more options as a local, you know, for someplace to go and get a cup of coffee or have something to eat or something to do.

Rocky 7:20
If you don’t know about this area, often you don’t know realizes there, you were saying you never been down to East beach, I didn’t realize this was here and you go unless you’re going there, unless it’s your destination, you’re not showing up. We want to let people know it’s here. So they can spend their weekends here. We want there’s a loud voice of an ocean view saying we want more businesses, we want more restaurants, we want more things to do. We want more fun. The only way to get more restaurants more fun is to create a buzz. People have to know that it’s here and businesses need to realize, Wow, that’s a lucrative place to to put a business potentially I should I should consider that.

Eric 7:52
Yeah, that’s cool. I think that’s really important for locals to understand that right? They’re like, well, we’re not we’re not losing, what we’re doing is we’re saving we’re capturing.

Rocky 8:04
Capturing the collectiveness and the soul in the spirit of the ocean view is that it’s the most beautiful part is the command. It’s not the commoditized part. But it’s the part that cannot be replicated. And it’s beautiful. It’s the human beings of ocean view, and the spirit and the soul of what made it, you don’t want to lose that. And so the more we can capture that and let people come and see the joy and exciting part of it as it gets built up, because it just will because it’s a beach town, and we can already see what’s on its way. We want to hold on to that so and really be able to promote and say this is part of what ocean view is. And I like that, I think by holding on to our pasts and knowing who we are, we’re able to then begin to change.

Eric 8:38
Now, I didn’t know and I find it interesting that it was community leaders that came to you. So you know, you said Tommy Yeah, so so he, he came to you, Councilman Smeagol as Councilman Smeagol. Okay, so he came to you. So really, the other benefit to having a business association is because of the fact that the local businesses are we’re the ones interacting with on a daily basis. The the residents here that live here, many of us most of us are residents and live here. We’re able to take all of that code those collective voices and concerns and impact the decision makers instead of having a bunch of people making decisions from city government level happening away from us that know nothing about it, we’re able to play a part in that and have a voice. So that’s, I think, why it’s so important and important for locals to support the businesses.

Rocky 9:34
Perfectly exactly the same way that a civic league supports the supports the residents, the Ocean View Association supports the businesses, but it’s almost a business civically, if you own a sense, or at least to look at it that way. At least that’s the way I envisioned it. And therefore, to be able to go to the different civic leagues and share what’s going on amongst the businesses and getting a poll and a pulse from the residents of the Civic league to say what businesses would you like what needs to get done or change now we’re all We’re working in community together and we don’t feel a disconnect or a distance. We want our residents to fall in love with the businesses and business owners because I personally have dedicated my life to serving the residents of Oceanview. I put a business here and that’s every day I care about my residents. And I care about my clients and my community, and everyone else does as well. So yeah, it’s a great way to be able to do that and connect with them.

Eric 10:21
Yeah, it’s been so much fun to come to the meetings to get to know other business owners in the area. And just, yeah, and every single one of them is passionate about the area and the people that live here.

Rocky 10:33

Eric 10:34

Rocky 10:34
That’s the spirit, I think of what’s driving the business association is absolutely as loving and caring for the community and holding on to the spirit of it. And I think there’s this fun undercurrent that happens. And I know it’s something that people don’t always talk about. But you have a speech of ocean view, and you have Willoughby, and they’re all three very separate, but they’re also three very similar in a sense of geographic location, but you’re watching the way that it’s changing and forming and transforming into something that’s connecting all three. Yeah. And I think that’s, it’s fun and beautiful to watch. I think it’s going to be a very organic thing that happens.

Eric 11:10
Yeah. Yes.

Rocky 11:11
So it’s neat to be part of.

Eric 11:13
And so I think one of the things that I’ve seen and heard undercurrents of with the Business Association, being more and more involved in is recapturing some of the and I think you even used, I can’t think of the example but something like the the we’re not wasn’t eclectic, but the arts background, stuff like that. And I know that you’re, you know, the OVBA is working on some mural projects and things like that. So why, what is the first off, what are you working on? And why?

Rocky 11:42
Yeah, so we just got done this morning, actually sitting now some folks from the city and just discussing art in color and ocean view, it’s definitely a passion. It’s a passion of mine, I am an artist, and I enjoy it. And we have a handful of artists that are a part of the business association. And we thought, we don’t have any money. We don’t have any we don’t have a lot of time. We want to make a change. We want people to see that we’re out here. What can we do? And we say, you know, you can’t tear down every building. You can’t. You can’t flip everything overnight. You can’t. There’s a lot of red tape and loopholes. What is it that we can do as a business association to show people that we care and to show people that we’re trying to do something to show people our initiative of bringing joy brand connection of building something, and we thought, Well, what about murals?

Rocky 12:28
So Coaster Coffee, had already been looking into doing a mural for their business. And so we jumped in together and did the hashtag Adobe, biz, and welcome to ocean view. And that became a big staple. And obviously, that’s where we currently meet for a little bit longer until we go to the Boat Mariner Brewing Company. But it’s a beautiful thing to see you go Wow, that looks so much more engaging and enticing and interesting, and it makes you remember it to see a mural. So we began talking to other businesses, which it turns out that you don’t need permission from the city to put a mural on your wall if you’re a business you need to make sure there’s no advertising but if it’s art, you don’t necessarily need it because it’s your wall.

Rocky 13:04
So now with that, well Oh, we happen to have other businesses and our business association let’s start asking so that’s certainly become a party initiative. We set up the city again today to make sure that we weren’t crossing any things we weren’t supposed to to do it but we’re going to be reaching out to more businesses to start doing murals we’ve been discussing for a little while having more safety and on the crosswalks in ocean view. So is there a way to make colored crosswalks how neat would it be to yellow and white going across maybe that would slow people down the bike lane search to certainly did that as well. we’re now seeing the neat line scooters or lime scooters and and be able to hopefully ride up and down and experience that wouldn’t it be neat to have art along the way things to make you want to slow down things to make you realize you’re in a beach town? It’s okay, you can slow down for a second lifestyle right? We’re all so busy going to and from adding a bit of color and adding a smile I think can clean up crime it can clean up it can create more fun, it brings a different environment as you’re driving up into that area.

Eric 13:58

Rocky 13:58
And it’s fun.

Eric 13:59
Yeah, well because I like to you know, the more connected we are the less we’re going to be against others the more we’re going to be for others and then you’re going to get into you know lowering crime and stuff like that just by

Rocky 14:12
Yeah just bring a more cheerful vibe everybody should be more happy and it all is good and ocean view is such an incredible beautiful place I mean you get you’re staring at the ocean It’s beautiful. There’s there should be no worries and I like that that that good calm. Let’s bring more smiles and ocean view.

Eric 14:26
Yeah, there you go. There you go. I like that. I like that. Alright, very cool.

Rocky 14:29
And we want to get a love sign keep up keep our you can’t have love without OV. That’s right. And we like that. That’s been something that Robert Duncan came up with that we’ve been trying hard to get an L O V E sign over and community beach. So when you’re driving by you just see LOVE I think there’s a neat thing about that too. It just reminds you of what it is we’re striving for.

Eric 14:46
Nice. Now, do you consider the ocean view as including the three communities of East beach through ocean more Ocean View proper up in through to the To Willoughby.

Rocky 15:00
That’s what Councilman Smeagol kind of says that well, what is the you know, what is the area we’re looking at? He said, there’s over 700 businesses that are registered that are between where the share lands are little creek kind of area all the way up to Willoughby. And he said, So for that, that’s what we’re focusing on. So that’s what I was told to focus on. Certainly connecting the three is something that is a juggle that I think everyone’s trying to figure out, what are they the same? Are they different? Should they be marketed together? Should they and that’s something I think we’re still going to be open for curiosity with and I think as the Business Association grows, we may find that it ends up breaking off into two or three different ones like that could be a thing that happens later. But for right now, we’re trying to have a unified focus. Some people want to see more art and a speech some people want to see Yeah, and we did a we partner with the plein air event and resume we raised over $50,000 for a sculpture for a large sculpture, then the question becomes, where will that go and what will happen? So I think everyone wants to see art, it’s the matter of figuring out how to share and figuring out priorities and I I think that’s where we’ll see a little bit trickiness. And that’ll be Yes, I’m gonna do it as we go along.

Eric 16:06
Yeah, very cool. Very cool. So do you think would it be in the future where there’ll be some type of resource that list the like, all the murals if somebody wanted to make sure they got around to see them all or the different desires?

Rocky 16:19
Yeah. So eventually, we I, I think we started originally having the dream and Marilyn had this dream originally Malin, but we’re ocean do arts. We’re discussing a lot about having an ocean view Arts District. Her name is ocean new art. So we decided I think there was a difficult to be able to just add districts. But we were trying to figure out, what does it take to become that and that was certainly a driving force. At the beginning, it was our first passion was to begin looking at art. It’s difficult to hold excited to anyone vision, because all of us have a business to run. This is all volunteer, none of us are getting anything from it. We spent hours a week, simply because we want to serve our community. And so it’s neat, because the people that are showing up like the five business owners, they showed up for three hours today that they took time we got it, you know, he had to leave your house at seven o’clock to get there 738 o’clock and have a meeting for three hours. And you say Why? Because we’re talking about how you colorful sidewalks. Why? Because we care about the smiles of ocean view. We care about the residents, and we want people to come in and want to stay here longer and spend their money here and eventually live here. Because it’s a great place to be.

Eric 17:21
Yeah, yeah, it’s really it’s so it really is all about making it better. For the people that live here, the people that that work here, and the people that decide to come here and play and spend a few hours and spend time in in our businesses, helping us have strong businesses that are here for the long haul for the people that live here.

Rocky 17:45
You got exactly,

Eric 17:46
They’re all connected.

Rocky 17:47
So we have a new marketing piece coming out right now it’s things to how to spend a day in Ocean View night, it’s all about what do you do for breakfast? What do you do for lunch? Where are the places you can go, you know, the ocean view, historic Museum, learning the history and the culture of ocean view. That’s another thing we’re really trying to magnifies some incredible history, things that happen here. It’s absolutely amazing going to that museum and recognizing that. We’re talking today. And if anybody out there wants to do it, I give you full rein, but creating some sort of a historic tour that you could go on where you download an app, it has the top 20 places to go and ocean view and you can jump on a little electric scooter and just go tour yourself and go experience. Where did Abraham walk? Where did those two battleships actually go? Where did Where did this start? Where did this start? Where was that roller coaster? Where was that movie? You know, any of those things? So yeah, it would be neat.

Eric 18:34
That’s very cool. I’ll make sure I link to it in the show notes that go with this episode. But I actually interviewed the director of the station Museum, the historic Museum, and he shared with his his whole that whole episode is he just shared some great stories. He’s he’s he knows some stories.

Rocky 18:51
I can’t even imagine.

Eric 18:52
Yeah, he’s a wonderful go in there is it is such an amazing play. And I had no idea that so much history, and not not just but eclectic, interesting, fascinating history.

Rocky 19:05
I think it’s fun. And I think it’s that same history that has the spirit of ocean view. It just is like, those are different stories. Like and Ocean View is different. That’s the best part is that it’s fun. Interesting. Lee is it’s so different cousin it shows. Yeah, it makes things different.

Eric 19:22
That’s great. That’s great. Well, hey, we’re gonna start wrapping this up. Just real quick, then is there anything else you wanted to share? Make sure you get into this?

Rocky 19:33
Just that we’re trying the best we can that we tried to we’re trying to do more food trucks in ocean view we got excited when? Well, after the green space we recognize was being torn down. We said, Well, what what’s going to go there, we’re a business association, we should care because that’s a business property. And so it’s something that we’ve gotten excited about. We tried to do food trucks there for a time and we’re, we care as much as everybody about making sure that something exciting goes there that really enriches Ocean View. And so if people have any interest or ideas or thoughts, we’re not saying I can actually do anything. But it’s certainly we’re taking a poll and a post, and I’m happy to deliver that to our Councilman or see at the city. If people have thoughts on that. I know there’s a million different ideas and thoughts. I don’t have any control over it. Yeah, but it’s fun to talk about. And I think we are in a really neat place for anybody that’s a resident, anyone that is a business owner, anyone that cares about the area, if they ever have thoughts or needs that regarding especially the business side of things, or restaurants that they would like or if they have connections, please pass it to our way, and we’ll get them connected with the city.

Eric 20:32
Yeah, and the next time you’re in a local business, ask if they’re part of the Oh, VBA. Yeah, and if you have something to share, you can share it with them. Because we’re, we’re not trying to drive our agenda. You know, it’s nothing like that. It’s literally we’re trying to be the collection point of the voices to take to leaders.

Rocky 20:52
That’s exactly right. And the more voices we have, the more I feel like it’s a real opinion, this is not about my opinion, the more it becomes about, well, what is rocky think and I’m like you guys don’t understand, yeah, one person that I really, you know, want all my opinions. So, so I love that we have such a large team, I think we have 12 people on our board. Now, we have, which means we have close to 12 different committees going on. We have networking for business owners, we have arts, we have marketing, we’re trying to create all those marketing pieces, we’re trying to get more connected with people like visit Norfolk and the city to be able to advertise ocean view more so that when tourists do come, they actually see a thing that says, oh, how to spend it in ocean view, I believe should go check that out for a day. And what else focus on development, and events and putting on more events, the food trucks, we’re partnering with fest events this summer, they were wonderful enough to put us on the back of their brochure and have given us a space to be able to show that we the businesses care about ocean view, and we’re having music and we’re having movies playing and we’re having all these different things that it’s all about just having more fun in Ocean View.

Eric 21:55
Great. So if somebody wants to check out the Business Association, or see a list of events, is that available on the ocean view website?

Rocky 22:03

Eric 22:04
The vision Ocean View Business Association website

Rocky 22:06
Ocean view dot biz is the game plan. And if you search hashtag ob biz, I believe you can find it that way as well. We have a Facebook page that is we’re certainly thriving on we have an Instagram page, we try to keep up with solidly, we post our events there. We also have an events page on our website. None of us are savvy enough to do apps, if anyone wants to donate their app time. Feel free to come come to that as well. But to have an events page of some sort app would be wonderful for now it’s just on our page, but you can certainly Ovid ocean view dot biz will get you all the events that we know of that are going on.

Eric 22:39
Yeah, and help you find all the social networks. So I think for this best thing to do is people just head to ocean view it up is.

Rocky 22:45
Yep. Oh and last thing I want to say which is on our social media is something very exciting that we’re all trying hard to do is Matt Kean from key interior designs and Catherine veranda are both trying to interview business owners and give a one to two minute blurb of Hey, tell me about your business, who you are and what you’re doing. I think if you could go onto a site and be able to see the actual business owners explain who they are, why they do what they do and why they’re serving Oceanview and giving a quick tour and example, it’s a neat way to be able to see what type of people are running your local businesses. So please be sure to check out all your local businesses on our website and on our social media.

Eric 23:22
All right, well, hey, Rocky, thanks a lot.

Rocky 23:24
Thank you very much. Take care.

Eric 23:26
I want to thank you for listening today. And I want to say thank you to Rocky for spending a little bit of time with me as we explore the future of ocean view. Now we have put together a linked list of some resources that we mentioned in the episode. You can find those resources as well as more at Ocean View dot biz/002 that take you to the show notes right here for this episode. And also while you’re there, you will find a link that you can click on to leave us a rating or review in iTunes. That’s how helpful it helps other people find us and tell you what if we if you leave a rating in review, make sure to give you a shout out sometime on an upcoming podcast. Well again, thanks for listening to the Discover OV podcast.