The month of July is typically a busy time in San Diego. As events started to pick up after the state’s reopening, so did COVID-19 cases, which has resulted in events getting postponed or canceled, according to some event planners.
“We’re starting to feel a little nervous,” said Suher Haidar, a local wedding planner.
NBC 7 has followed Haidar's journey throughout the pandemic, from the shutdown to the business boom, as event planners worked to catch up with rescheduled events planned in 2020. And while business is still doing well, Haidar said some clients have canceled events or are considering postponing, again.
“Twenty percent of my brides are planning to push to next year because they don’t want to take any chances,” Haidar explained.
Haidar said some of her clients are concerned with increasing COVID-19 cases and are worried the spike could lead to new mask guidelines, as Dr. Anthony Fauci eluded to during an interview on CNN Sunday morning. The nation’s top infectious diseases expert said the country's top health experts are reviewing new mask recommendations.
“Some of my couples are waiting around to see what’s happening,” Haidar said.
The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic is hitting some vendors, and small business owners, harder than others.
“I don’t have a single event on my contracts for the rest of this year or next year,” said Allison Davis, a photographer with13 years of experience. She said she’s unsure if she’ll be able to survive in the industry much longer.
“I just don’t know where my path is going to go,” said Davis.
During the pandemic, Davis pivoted to landscape photography and even documented a road trip along the West Coast.
On a larger scale, some business owners in and around downtown San Diego said they still haven’t reached pre-pandemic revenues as they continue to miss out on the influx of visitors who would normally be visiting the convention center. Nearly 30 events are on the site's calendar, but the number of people expected to attend is expected to be far fewer than in previous years.