SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — Not all of the one million tourists projected to visit San Francisco this weekend will spend money like sailors on leave, but they’ll still leave a major mark.
“It’s a monster weekend in San Francisco, it’s sort of undeniable,” said Matt Stiker, Chief Marketing Officer for the San Francisco Travel Assocation.
Stiker said a recent study by his organization – the city’s tourism bureau – showed visitors spend about $300 per day in the city. With one million people visiting, this weekend San Francisco could see an economic impact of about $300 million per day.
“The average day you spend just over $300, and that’s a combination of everything,” Stiker said. “About a third of that is spent in the hotels, and so that means two-thirds is spent outside the hotels. That means restaurants, retail, museums, galleries and other arts and cultural experiences. It means transportation.”
Aside from the Blue Angels and hundreds of other military personnel here celebrating Fleet Week, the city will host numerous major events. Among them, the America’s Cup World Series, Giants playoff games, a 49ers game and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.
“It’s not all concentrated around Moscone Center or Fisherman’s Wharf, and so what that means is we’re not just talking about limited or finite geographic economic impact. We’re talking about it all over the city,” said Stiker.
Michael Pace, General Manager of the W Hotel in San Francisco’s South of Market District, said his hotel could break a record this month.
“September actually was an amazing month for us,” Pace said. “In fact, it was our busiest month for occupancy since 2009. This could potentially beat that record. We’re within a percentage point from doing it again.”
“It’s going to be very busy and very profitable,” said Aaron Minor, a bartender at Pier 23 on the Embarcadero which is seeing noticeably larger crowds this week. Minor said tips could approach a car payment, “depending on the car.”
Small packs of uniformed military members stopped in to Pier 23 Restaurant and Bar on the Embarcadero Wednesday night. Some left just as quickly as they arrived; deciding San Francisco drink prices were a bit too steep.
“It’s pretty good for the city, I guess, helps the economy,” said sailor Adam Benefil of the U.S.S. Makin Island, who added that there was a mutual benefit.
“It’s great publicity for the Navy. It gets us out here and sheds a good light on the city of San Francisco,” said Benefil, who is originally from Dallas. “I mean, y’all have been nothing but welcoming so far, and I’m excited to spend the rest of my time here.”
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