Sausalito Business Rethinks Approach Amid Decline In Tourism

Tourism in Sausalito has dropped at least 80% or more since the shelter in place orders went into effect back in March, now struggling businesses are developing a long-term strategy that has a local twist. 

Isaac Lappert owns three small restaurants along Sausalito’s bridgeway, ground zero for tourism in the waterfront town.

“Usually we have people visiting from around the world this time of year, said Lappert.

He lost the majority of his business, until people from Southern Marin came to the rescue.

“It was just a landside of support,” said Lappert.

But support from the local community won’t bring his pre COIVD-19 sales back. He’s thinking of re-focusing to draw regional customers. Ken Robinson is already doing that at his two downtown gift shops, mostly through online sales and free delivery.

“The days of last summer, I don’t expect to see those for a long time,” said Robinson.

Juli Vieira is CEO of the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce, she said the town may need to focus on Bay Area visitors.

“Maybe tourism is not everything that we need, maybe we need to pivot and think of some different ways,” said Vieira, “this might not be the only time that we have a disruption in tourism.”