By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
WAIKIKI (Hawaii News Now) – "It was ridiculous. It was idiotic. I hated it," Waikiki resident Corey Taniguchi said about the just concluded APEC 2011 conference.
Taniguchi and other Waikiki residents who spoke to Hawaii News Now said they are glad to see APEC go. The worst part, they said, about the conference was the affect security had on traffic. Road blocks, lane closures, and security check points led to congested roads and long waits in traffic.
"Come on, I mean, to be trapped .. trapped in your own area because you don't want to leave because you don't want to get caught in traffic coming home. Saturday night it took me three hours from McCully 7-11 (to Waikiki). Three hours," Taniguchi said.
"It was horrible," said Waikiki resident Heather Carollo. "The restricted access. The streets being blocked off. I couldn't get a cab to take me home at all," said Waikiki resident Heather Carollo.
"Just to get across the road it takes 30 minutes. And if I take a trolley, yea, doesn't move," added Mizuho Yoshinaga while walking near her Waikiki apartment.
While every single resident we talked to had a horror story about the APEC impact, some say it was bearable … but for just one week.
"It could be the only time that I ever see anything like this. So, it was a little exciting. I can handle it for a week. Any longer though it would have really been pushing the limit," said Sarah Beth Delgado.
Some Waikiki businesses thrived.
"Compared to the Saturday before, I would say probably half - probably 50% less business. Maybe that's a little high, but it was significantly slower," said Isreal Stevens, bartender at the Harbor Pub.
The Harbor Pub is right on the marina at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. It was a difficult place to get to because of security road closures and detours.
About a block away - on the mauka side of Ala Moana Boulevard , Snappers Sports Bar and Grill was easier to access and did better business.
"Our regulars were probably down a little. I think they probably avoided the traffic in Waikiki. But the tourists came in in flocks, pretty much walk by business. I would say our business was up 35% to 40%," commented Snappers owner Mike Wenzell.