Golden Gate Bridge looks to improve tourism

November 24, 2009 4:58:56 PM PST
The Golden Gate Bridge District is stepping up its efforts to find new ways to offset a big budget deficit.

The bridge is facing a $132 million shortfall over the next five years.

Wednesday, officials began the process of looking for a firm to create and operate a revenue-generating "visitor experience" at the bridge.

"Create a historic visitor center, history center, whatever you want to call it, where people can have an educational and information experience here at the bridge and also looking at an actual physical experience in an area that's not currently open to the public," bridge district spokesperson Mary Currie said.

A plan has not been defined, but it could include the catwalks beneath the bridge, as long as safety and security are not jeopardized.

The idea came from the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia, which has been offering tours for years.