The argument probably made sense at the time.
When Alcatraz Island was being converted to a federal prison in the 1930s, opponents spread fears that it would negatively impact tourism. Who will want to visit San Francisco when it gets a reputation for housing violent criminals?
“Most San Franciscans have long wished that a prison on Alcatraz did not have to stand right in the eye of the Golden Gate,” a 1933 San Francisco Chronicle editorial began. “Alcatraz is too close in for a bad man’s summer resort.”