Despite San Francisco’s progressive image, sky-high prices and run-down streets covered with all manner of human filth are chasing away investors and hundreds of millions of dollars from the city.
Now, a tech conference estimated to bring in nearly $200 million over a three-year period is moving locations after disturbing problems turned tech moguls off to hosting it in the City by the Bay.
OpenWorld, an annual conference put on by tech giant Oracle, has been held in San Francisco for about the past two decades.
Although the company is based in nearby Redwood City, CNBC reports their iconic event — a major source of income for city industries as it attracts over 60,000 attendees — will be held in Las Vegas for the foreseeable future.
This should not come as a surprise to San Francisco. Issues cited by Oracle have been brewing in this progressive hub for years.
“Oracle stated that their attendee feedback was that San Francisco hotel rates are too high,” a San Francisco Travel Association statement acquired by CNBC said.
Although high hotel prices are sure to scare away some attendees, the horrific state of San Francisco’s streets also appeared to make an impression.
“Poor street conditions was another reason why they made this difficult decision,” the email explained.
Who could blame them?
Nothing is further from the crisp and clean image of a tech company than crumbling streets overflowing with human waste, intravenous needles, medieval diseases and rampant crime.
The state of San Francisco’s roads and walkways has been well-documented, and now their abysmal reputation is costing the city some serious dough.
The city’s stressed infrastructure is further burdened by the yearly event, which clogged roadways and caused traffic jams for travelers and residents alike.
The SFTA’s cancellation notice stated that Oracle would be hosting its major event in Las Vegas until 2022 at the earliest.
According to the email, the 2020, 2021, and 2022 conferences would cost San Francisco an estimated $64 million each in lost revenue.
From the hotel industry looking at unfilled rooms to local restaurants no longer able to profit from such a large influx of people, the damage is going to be ugly.
Uber and Lyft drivers, likely salivating at the prospect of carting around rich out-of-towners, will now have to find other ways to make up for the massive amount of cash they could have earned.
Workers in Las Vegas, coincidentally the site of massive conservative events, will now reap the rewards of having a cleaner, functioning city.
Unfortunately for San Francisco, it looks like some major work needs to be done before it becomes an attractive destination again.
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