Devil’s Slide closure wasn’t that harmful

While a number of businesses saw a steep decline in customer traffic after the coast’s main artery was shut down for months due to weather-related sliding, some merchants north of the damage say they actually saw customer counts go up.

The uptick in business has contributed to what city officials are predicting to be a slight increase in sales tax revenue in the next fiscal year, some good news in spite of a less-than-rosy budget outlook that is sure to include some $1.1 million in cuts.

Devil’s Slide, a precarious section of coastal Highway 1, was closed for months after the rain-soaked roadway underneath started to buckle in April. The closure cut off the roadway from much of the Peninsula, leaving several businesses and hotels in the doldrums.

Doug Bowman, whose wife owns Patty’s Hallmark in the Linda Mar Shopping Center — which is located north of Devil’s Slide but south of most Pacifica shopping districts — said business in the immediate area dropped sharply, prompting several merchants to consider shutting down. Bowman estimates that he and his wife experienced a 30 percent drop in business, which is just now starting to level off to pre-slide figures.

But the closure may not have had the same effect on business in all parts of the coast.

Sales tax is not a huge line of revenue for the city, which functions largely as a bedroom community composed of residents who commute out for work, Interim City Manager Bill Norton said. But his office is projecting a slight increase — they are unsure exactly how much — in sales tax revenue for this fiscal year, up from a projected $1.4 million in 2006-07.

Councilwoman Sue Digre said that this news is in keeping with what she learned while chatting with business owners in Pacifica. While Linda Mar took a hit, other shopping centers — such as Rockaway Beach Plaza and spots on Palmetto Avenue, located north of Linda Mar — were able to thrive when people “got stuck” in Pacifica.

“The slide allowed Pacifica to be found,” Digre said. “And it looks like while people were here, they said, ‘Lets get something to eat, while we’re at it’ or ‘I can maybe buy that while I’m here anyway.’”

tramroop@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

National Weather Service flood watch in the San Francisco Bay Area for Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (National Weather Service via Bay City News)
Storm pounds Bay Area, leaving over 145,000 without power as damage mounts

Torrential rainfall causes flooding, triggers evacuations in burn areas

On Sunday, California bore the brunt of what meteorologists referred to as a bomb cyclone and an atmospheric river, a convergence of storms that brought more than half a foot of rain to parts of the Bay Area, along with high winds, concerns about flash floods and the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada. Much of the Bay Area was under a flash flood watch on Sunday, with the National Weather Service warning of the potential for mudslides across the region. (NOAA via The New York Times)
Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
Plan Bay Area 2050: Analyzing an extensive regional plan that covers the next 30 years

Here are the big ticket proposals in the $1.4 trillion proposal

A collaborative workspace for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in Coordinape is pictured at a recent blockchain meet up at Atlas Cafe. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Business without bosses: San Francisco innovators battle bureaucracy with blockchain

‘The next generation will work for three DAOs at the same time’

Most Read