Businesses brace for IUCN World Conservation Congress impacts

Businesses brace for IUCN World Conservation Congress impacts
Published: Aug. 28, 2016 at 8:25 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 29, 2016 at 9:42 AM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Neal S. Blaisdell Center and the Hawaii Convention Center will be hot spots during IUCN's World Conservation Congress, which kicks off this week, and surrounding businesses are bracing for the impacts.

"We're kind of worried because it's all going to be blocked off," said William Hwang of Sura Hawaii Korean Restaurant, which sits right across the street from the convention center.

Hwang is worried road closures, heavy traffic and heightened security will draw customers away from the restaurant. "I feel like we're going to be throwing a lot more ingredients than giving it to the customers," he said.

About 8,000 delegates and dignitaries from around the world, including President Barack Obama, will pack Honolulu this week as the most prestigious environmental event gets underway.

City officials say crews will begin putting up barricades at 10 p.m. Tuesday. One of the roads set to be closed is Victoria Street near the Blaisdell Center, between Beretania Street and King Street.

That's right in the path of Ramen Bistro Junpuu, which just opened its doors four months ago.

"We get a lot of regulars who come in for lunch especially," said worker Jessica Pasadava.

Some businesses near the convention center saw big losses during 2011's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative forum, but city officials say the World Conservation Congress should generate less headaches and less traffic congestion.

Opening ceremonies will take place Thursday morning at the Blaisdell Center where on-site parking will not be permitted.

Click here for a full list of road closures during the 10-day conference.

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