SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco’s world-famous Fairmont Hotel is now hosting guests after a six-month closure. The city also announced Friday that more openings might be on the way. Could it be enough to help the city turn the corner on the worst of the pandemic?
“I came because I wanted to see San Francisco before everybody starts coming back,” says Rochelle Mills, visiting San Francisco from Los Angeles.
Mills came to see a quiet San Francisco, and she’s staying in a very quiet Fairmont Hotel.
“Pretty much,” she says. “The side of the building that we are in, I haven’t seen anyone yet.“
“I think what we are seeing, certainly, and what San Francisco I think has seen, is you have to open and the customers will follow,” explains Faiermont General Manager Markus Treppenhauer.
Treppenhauer says guests are interested in coming back, now that the city is starting to open up a little bit, and Mayor London Breed said Friday the next step, indoor dining at 25% capacity, could come by the end of this month.
“I just think that everyone has been working really hard to get to this moment of indoor seating,” said T, the manager at Tacolicious on Valencia Street.
Restaurants say moving back inside would be a welcome next step, but they’d also like to see some more customers around the city.
“As far as hotels and stuff, that would just add to the biz and that movement forward,” said T. “So yeah.”
For so many restaurants, hotels, and businesses in between, tourism is the engine that keeps things moving. With those gears finally moving again, some are starting to see a way forward through the next six months.
“The sense that you have tourists, you have activities, you have dining, you have hotels you can stay in,” Treppenhauer says. “If done responsibly, and how we approach it from a safety perspective, I think that can be sustainable into next year when things can become safer from a vaccine perspective.”