Just under 69,000 people visited the new St. Pete Pier during its inaugural week. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, attendance was capped at 10,000 people per day, allowed to explore the 26 acres of parkland, scenery and restaurants at will.
Free tickets were required for the first week, to ensure capacity was not exceeded. The ticket requirement was then lifted.
According to the City of St. Petersburg, the most-visited days were Thursday and Friday, July 9 and 10.
From the City:
PEAK OCCUPANCY PER DAY (People at one time)
7/6 – 7,263
7/7 – 4,138
7/8 – 4,123
7/9 – 4,855
7/10 – 5,606
7/11 – 3,657
7/12 – 3,342
Total through gate: 68,474
“Our goal,” Mayor Rick Kriseman told the Catalyst, “was to regulate attendance during the first week to avoid the ‘rush’ associated with opening an exciting new amenity, and I think we largely succeeded.
“We really want the St. Pete Pier treated like all of our outdoor amenities and restaurants. It is an extension of our waterfront park system, not a single building like the old pier that everyone piled into.”
On social media, reaction to the new pier was overwhelmingly positive. An informal City survey declared the architecture and landscaping the most talked-about features of the facility, followed by the Splash Pad and the restaurants.
Face masks were omnipresent during Week One, which Kriseman applauded. “All the COVID-19 government orders related to restaurants apply to those at the pier,” he said. “While we have no outdoor mask mandate, we encourage people to wear masks as often as possible, but certainly when near others who are not a part of their immediate family or people they cohabitate with. There will be opportunities in the future for bigger celebrations.”
The St. Pete Pier opens at sunrise daily, and closes at 11 p.m., although restaurants are permitted to remain open later.