SF waterfront will be impacted if government shutdown continues

October 2, 2013 8:05:21 PM PDT
What happens in Washington affects San Francisco's waterfront. Alcatraz is closed and Fleet Week was cancelled because of budget cuts back in April, so ABC7 News takes a look at how business on the waterfront is holding up.

A lot of people are thankful for the America's Cup event which brought in a lot of tourism. However, with the government shutdown, Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 have had to go to Plan B, but the question is will it work?

A scale model of Alcatraz is what some tourists will remember of the island. Alex Romero of Los Angeles was hoping to see Alcatraz. He told us, "This is as close as I am going to get. Other than trying to swim there, that's it."

Because of the government shutdown that started on Tuesday, those who had tickets to Alcatraz were offered a trip around the island and the bay. The hope is that the good weather will attract many to the waterfront.

"It's a great day to be out in the bay whether you are visiting Alcatraz Island, actually stepping on the dock or seeing it from the water, it's a beautiful cruise," said Denise Rasmussen from Alcatraz Cruises.

But let's not be fooled, if the shutdown continues, businesses fear the economic impact to this part of the waterfront will be huge.

"We would like to see this come to an end and be able to open some of these attractions back up in areas that people come from all over the world and the country to see," said Troy Campbell from the Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District.

Fleet Week, an October tradition, was scrapped months ago because of the government sequestration. About one million visitors, locals and tourists gather to see the main attraction -- the Blue Angels. Instead, the Fisherman's Wharf will have a festival on October 26 and 27th hoping some will come.

Fleet Week brings big business to Pier 39. Instead they are hoping to attract people by having a fireworks show every Saturday night in October. The event is part of the Pier's 35th anniversary.

"I do think it's going to attract people, they will enjoy coming down. Is it going to replace Fleet week, I don't think so, but they will have a fun time celebrating our 35 anniversary," said Sue Muzzin from Pier 39.


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