Fun events bring good news for SF economy

October 10, 2009 12:13:24 AM PDT
The Blue Angels are by no means the only show in town this weekend, which is a long awaited piece of good news to San Francisco's bottom line.

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The Hotel Vitale is booked through next week and that is terrific news after a slow year. The Hotel Griffon across the street also booked. It's the same story all over town, which is great for the economy, but it is making things a little crowded.

Even their practice runs draw a crowd, but this year the usual stars of the show have some competition.

The Presidents Cup is in full swing at Harding Park with top players like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson drawing huge crowds, there is also a wine festival on Treasure Island, the Italian Heritage Parade in North Beach, and Oracle World kicks off. The Oracle conference will close Howard Street for nine days and consume a huge bulk of hotel rooms. Tourists say it all made finding a hotel room quite a challenge.

"A lot of places were booked out especially in inner city areas. It was a little bit difficult," says Jenny Cornish, a Sydney, Australia resident.

Even Fleet Week organizers had to adjust their plans.

"We are usually at one hotel on Fisherman's Wharf and Oracle World is there now and so we are down the street a little bit," says Fleet Week spokesperson Mary Hickey.

Of course, this is all good news for a city that depends so much on tourism. The pedicab operators on Fisherman's Wharf estimate their business is down 10 percent this year. They're excited about this weekend, but don't think it can save them.

"One weekend doesn't make a whole year," says Brian Gisler, a pedicab operator.

All these events might not be able to make up for a slow year, but locals say they also have a positive effect on the city's psyche.

"These are kind of scary times and I think when you have and invigoration of energy, it makes everybody feel a little bit better," says Ben Williams, a San Francisco resident.

Organizers of Fleet Week told ABC7 all of the events can work off of each other. They're hoping that people who are in town for Oracle World will come over to Fleet Week and watch the show. The only problem will be, moving around.

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