Pacifica Pier local businesses excited to see partial reopening after storms cause closure

Lauren Martinez Image
Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Pacifica Pier local businesses excited to see partial reopening
Local business owners are excited to see Pacifica Pier partially reopen on Wednesday after storm damage.

PACIFICA, Calif. (KGO) -- The bustle of fishing and crabbing on the Pacifica Pier all came to a halt when storm damage forced a five-and-a-half-week closure.

Now local business owners were excited to see the pier partially reopen on Wednesday.

Joel Dacoron, founder of Vivid Snares & Fishing, remembers fishing on the pier when he was a child and his father would catch salmon.

It's become a getaway place and somewhere accessible.

RELATED: Pacifica Pier closed for repairs after being damaged by strong waves

"I had an injury. My dad has an injury, and it's hard to go fishing on the beach. And the pier made it super easy for all of us," Dacoron said.

Dacoron sells handmade crab snares, which are designed for the bait. He said the closure, not only affected those who fish for fun, but also those who rely on the business.

"It's hard to be honest after the closure. It was hard for a lot of us to make enough sales," Dacoron said.

And it's not just those in the fishing community.

Small business owners off Main Street -- a block from the water -- have noticed a dramatic drop in business.

MORE: Coastal Bay Area cities monitor high surf after damage from powerful waves

From East Cliff to West Cliff, Santa Cruz looked more like the North Shore of Hawaii with the sun shining bright over the blue water and big waves.

Aaron Gregory owns Cotton Crustacean.

"That pier is a legendary fishing pier on the California coast. And so with it being gone, now there's just nobody coming down here," Gregory said.

Gregory said the beginning of the year is historically a slower business month. But adding weather and the pier closure just made it a "perfect storm."

"You add the pier and the weather -- I mean, I would say 80% to 90% less than what we would normally see. There's a time where I stand here in my shop, and you know, perfect shot down Main Street and there's no one," Gregory said.

MORE: High surf damages Capitola Village less than a year after historic storms

Some Capitola businesses pummeled by the high surf on Thursday but owners say the damage is nowhere near what it was earlier this year.

Gregory said the pier is one of the biggest draws to the neighborhood.

"That out of town tourist traffic that we need to thrive has just not been happening," Gregory said.

The city's public works engineering division said a complete assessment of the damage won't be completed until March. But engineers have recommended opening half of the main deck of the quarter-of-a-mile-long pier.

Small business owners like Gregory consider it a win.

He said the fishermen bring energy and business to the neighborhood.

MORE: Dungeness crab season is now officially open in San Francisco

"Parking is tight, and there's people walking everywhere. It's fun, so it's exciting, you know, and that all translates into business in some way, shape or form," Gregory said.

Crabbing season is still underway and Dacron is excited to get back out there.

"Oh yes, it's going to be super packed. You're going to see all of us out there. You're going to see everyone with their crab snares. Besides, the business -- it's great for everyone, and you know their mindset. It's a culture," Dacoron said.

Jun Quitain of More Than Fishing captured how welcoming and friendly the fishing community was during the dungeness crab season opener in November.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live