Downtown San Jose looks to entice visitors with Valentine’s Day attractions

The City of San Jose is giving its downtown some extra love this Valentine’s Day weekend with new attractions. The city hopes it will entice people to visit and support struggling businesses.

Starting Thursday through Monday, people can visit the Valentine’s Day arch near the Fairmont Hotel and take selfies to win gift cards.

"I’ve taken a couple of pictures," said Dheeraj Mane of San Jose. "It’s cool. I’m going to post it on Instagram."

Some buildings lit up in red. Others with Valentines graphics projected on them.

"We thought it would be fun to light up some buildings to employ some local artists through Local Color to put some brown paper love in the windows," said City of San Jose Downtown Manager Blage Zelalich.

It’s a partnership with the City of San Jose and the Downtown Association doing all they can to help businesses in need of a lot of support right now.

"It’s been super quiet," said Eric Glader of San Jose Downtown Association. "It’s a great city with a lot of heart but there’s a lot of open parking spaces."

It’s a tough time for not just restaurants but hotels, museums, no conventions, not a lot of San Jose State foot traffic.

"The impact is almost universal," said Glader.

"We are getting ready to make lots and lots of strawberries," said Ajay Patel of San Jose Candy Kitchen.

At San Jose Candy Kitchen, chocolate-dipped strawberries is their specialty. Products and hearts are on full window display.

"On Sunday, we already sold out," said Tony Kavoosi of Scott’s Seafood. "Everything is booked up."

Scott’s Seafood is pulling out all the stops with balloons, roses on the tablecloth and surf and turf specials to help recoup their losses.

"Business is down yes we are down about 50 to 60 percent," said Kavoosi.

"This is a little way to hopefully bring some joy, some hope and some love to folks who have been hardest hit," said Zelalich.

The city is offering 90 minutes of free parking in the city garage. The city hopes to paint the town green next month for St. Patrick’s Day.