Experts say California’s economy won’t recover until 2024, but 1 city in the Bay Area could recover sooner
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – California is unlikely to fully recover before 2024, but experts have reason to believe that San Francisco may recover sooner.
A month after the state reopened its economy, business owners in San Francisco are seeing the effects.
“It’s definitely busier than it was a month ago,” said Kurt Niver, manager at one of the city’s landmarks, Tadich Grill. “We started to shift into high gear.”
RELATED: ABC7 Explores What Has Changed Since California’s COVID-19 Restrictions were lifted
Since June 15, says Niver, all of his staff have returned to the restaurant, which is always full whenever there is lunch stress.
“We haven’t seen it so crammed in a year and a half,” he said. “It feels like the old days.”
Niver says the restaurant now requires reservations for the first time in 170 years. A promising sign that business travel is picking up speed again.
“People come straight from the airport, not just from all over the city but from all over the country,” he said.
RELATED: How the Bay Area Prepares for the Tourist Season
Next door at Perbacco – same story.
“The numbers are going in the right direction,” said owner Umberto Gibin. “We’re pretty sure we’ll see a big change after Labor Day.”
Three consecutive conventions are planned for September at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, each of which is estimated to accommodate an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 people. However, concerns about the delta variant may affect these numbers.
“We don’t know what the Delta variant could do to some groups,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of SF Travel. “It might make a little hesitation for people who are still worried about traveling.”
WATCH: Vaccinated CA man gets groundbreaking COVID case after trip to Las Vegas and spreads to family
Last month, only eight conventions were confirmed at the Moscone Center for the entire season. A big decrease compared to the typical 30 to 40 conventions held annually. But D’Alessandro has more hope for next year.
“Our goal for next year is 30, 40, 50 conventions,” he said. “We’d love to see more robust conventions that will really fill our hotels and restaurants as they did in 2019.”
Kelly Powers, director of the San Francisco Hotel Council, says hotel occupancy in the city has increased about 15% on weekdays and 20% on weekends since the state reopened.
“We’re seeing more and more demand as people come to our city,” Powers said. “Many of our hotels have a high demand for booking weddings, anniversaries and birthday parties.”
RELATED: Newsom Signs CA Budget Including $ 100 Billion Recovery Package
In the past two weeks, iconic hotel bars such as the Top of the Mark, The Fairmont’s Tonga Room and the Redwood Room of the Clift Hotel have reopened. Another advantage – the cable cars will be running again soon.
“In August they will run!” Power said. “The Powell Line will be free for our guests and visitors. So this is terribly exciting.”
All good signs of progress, but Powers is still concerned about the Delta variant and the recent surge in city crime.
“We want to make sure that we are united in all the elements that make our city safe,” she said. “It is absolutely important that visitors come back.”
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.