SF gets ready to host APEC 2023, the 'Super Bowl of World Economies' in November

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Friday, September 22, 2023
SF gets ready to host APEC 2023, the 'Super Bowl of World Economies'
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit will draw leaders from 21 member economies to San Francisco in November.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In less than two months, San Francisco is going to be front and center on the world's stage.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit will draw leaders from 21 member economies.

It's San Francisco's biggest international event in decades.

Restaurants are looking forward to the influx of visitors in mid-November.

City leaders say San Francisco is the right place for APEC.

"Yes I think we are ready. I think San Francisco is a great place to hold APEC with our large Asian population," said Rodney Fong, the President and CEO of SF Chamber of Commerce.

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As many as 30,000 visitors are expected --including two dozen heads of state, a thousand CEOs, and hundreds of foreign journalists.

At bus shelters all over the city, there are digital signs announcing that APEC is coming. The global trade summit means big exposure and big bucks for San Francisco.

"$50 million of direct economic impact to the city," said Fong.

Clifton Clark is the Area General Manager for Marriott Hotels and the GM of the Westin St. Francis Hotel.

He said Dreamforce, which brought 43,000 people to San Francisco, was an important stepping stone.

"It was a great dress rehearsal for something like APEC," said Clark.

The hotels that Clark oversees are packed with guests and staff for APEC.

"Many of the hotels have blocks with secret service," said Clark. "A lot of hotels have delegations too. We (also) have groups of CEOS staying with us."

Clark says his hotels have been doing a lot to get ready.

"I've set up calls with different hotels on a weekly basis starting next week to discuss details of in-depth planning for security," said Clark.

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When it comes to logistics for the global summit, Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director of the Department of Emergency Management said, "We are working with Secret Service, White House and the state department."

Expect thousands of extra state and federal officers arriving to help out.

"We are going to be crawling with law enforcement," said Carroll.

Some people are worried about San Francisco's homeless, drug use, and crime.

But the Convention Facilities Director for the City of San Francisco, Ken Bukowski said San Francisco has proven itself.

"We demonstrated that, just like last week at Dreamforce, we know how to produce an amazing show here, definitely at Moscone Center," said Bukowski.

Mayor London Breed has allocated $10 million to help pay for overtime for police and city employees.

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Meanwhile, the city of San Francisco has a goal of raising $20 million additional dollars in private donations for APEC. So far, it has raised more than $12 million dollars.

But, city and business leaders say San Francisco is getting more help every day from private donors like Sutter Health.

"This is an important component to our city; it's important to our region, It's important to our country," said Warner Thomas, President and CEO of Sutter Health. "To be able to have this event and host this event in San Francisco is amazing. So, I think you'll continue to see people and organizations lean in and be part of this incredible event."

Thomas said APEC is much like a "Super Bowl of world economies."

Some of that money will help pay for various events and receptions for APEC attendees and foreign media.

The City of San Francisco is calling for 800 volunteers for APEC events. They'll help with credentialing, registering, and helping guests get around at the conference center.

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