Virginia Beach man’s new app connects residents and visitors to local businesses, venues

VIRGINIA BEACH — Finding something fun to do may be a simple as swiping your finger across a screen.

Since launching Local Life Virginia Beach in July, Richard McGrath, and his partners Tim Druzgala and Rick Carter, have created a one-stop app that allows users to find local restaurants and entertainment.

“We tried to develop that space for people, whether they were coming into town as a visitor, or whether they were someone local, to be able to give them all of the things we feel, here in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads, make us a great place to live and visit,” said McGrath.

As a longtime resident of Virginia Beach, McGrath believed that there was a need for both residents and visitors for a more efficient method of choosing leisurely activities without spending hours on Google.

According to McGrath, habits and ruts can make going out dull for locals while a lack of knowledge of the area can keep tourists from experiencing all the city has to offer.

Carter pointed out that with businesses and restaurants coming and going throughout Virginia Beach, Local Life Virginia Beach helps to maneuver that landscape.

“If it’s hard for us locals to keep up with what’s going on, imagine if you’re a tourist with no local point of reference or local guide,” Carter said.

Local Life Virginia Beach contains lists of categories of activities and businesses throughout the city.

Depending on what a user wants to look up, they can tap on a category and choose from a list of venues that have their own pages within the app.

According to McGrath, every category will contain a rotating banner with the top locations for that particular listing. Users can also choose any other location, which will have its own page or link to their website.

“We’re contacting the [businesses] that we feel are representing the best of their brand and the best of their category so that they can be in the app,” he said.

Along with page listings within the program, Local Life sends users push notifications for business partners to provide updates on new events and specials.

McGrath said those featured on the app also live up to a certain standard and engage residents and visitors in the city.

“We expect the member partner to do their part, which is to provide the offers weekly that’s going to drive business to them, as well as the push notifications, but also to be a great community partner, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

McGrath and his partners have launched several other apps prior to launching Local Life Virginia Beach under their company Local Life Inc., including a app in Key West, Fla.

McGrath and his partners are looking to develop similar programs for several other cities over the course of the next two years.

“We’re looking to do this for a number of different locations, and it’s not just going to be here in the state of Virginia,” McGrath said. “It’s going to be more expansive than that. I grew up as a boy in Norfolk in Bay View, so I am definitely looking at what we can do to enhance the flavor of Norfolk as well.”

Local Life Virginia Beach, which is not affiliated with the city, is free and iPhone- and Android-compatible.

Like the article? Reach out to Jordan on Twitter at @JordanEGrice, or send him story ideas at Jordan@localvoicemedia.com.

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