APEC 2023: Reaction, reviews are mixed post-summit in San Francisco

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Monday, November 20, 2023
APEC 2023: Reaction, reviews are mixed post-summit in SF
After a week of hosting world leaders for APEC, metal security fencing is coming down around Moscone Center and reviews are coming in.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Streets in downtown San Francisco are reopening and metal fencing is coming down in the wake of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit at Moscone Center. Now that APEC visitors and dignitaries have returned home, city officials including Mayor London Breed are weighing in about how the city performed on the world stage.

After a week of hosting world leaders and APEC ambassadors, San Francisco is dismantling the party. Metal security fencing, stretching for blocks is coming down around Moscone Center and reviews are coming in.

"We're very pleased with how it went by and large," said SF Travel President Joe D'Alessandro.

D'Alessandro said he's getting positive feedback about APEC.

The city will benefit from this, we'll get tax revenue, people were employed as a result, so it's an important place for San Francisco to be on a world stage," he said.

But for some small businesses, the summit was a failure.

They say APEC didn't deliver the customers they'd hoped for.

"It ended up being the slowest week since we opened," said San'a Cafe Manager Abdul Saeed.

Saeed says he hired extra staff but APEC attendees didn't show, and his regular customers couldn't get here.

"I expected it to be like Dream Force -- it was busy -- but it (APEC) was really slow," Saeed said.

"There were issues with some businesses not receiving the impact in the security zone, not getting visitors at all, and we're concerned about that," said D'Alessandro.

In a post-APEC interview, San Francisco Mayor London Breed told ABC's Martha Raddatz, her city is dealing with challenges like homelessness and rampant drug use and an image problem outside the Bay Area.

"But when people are coming to San Francisco, they are surprised things aren't as bad as they thought they were. Are they perfect? No. We continue to work aggressively at it to solve some of our most pressing problems. I'm not pretending we don't have problems, but we can't just throw our hands up. We have to keep working toward solutions, and we have to be prepared to make hard decisions to get to a better place," Breed said.


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