Oracle Moves OpenWorld Conference From SF to Las Vegas

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Oracle's weeklong convention, OpenWorld, keeps workers at Moscone Center busy. It also fills hotels and restaurants. But the software giant is taking the annual event to Las Vegas, delivering an economic hit to San Francisco.

OpenWorld took over Moscone Center in September, delivering thousands of people and millions of dollars to the city. But Oracle isn't renewing the contract.

An SF Travel email says Oracle blames high hotel prices and poor street conditions for signing a three-year convention deal in Las Vegas.

The president of the Handlery Union Square Hotel says it's a tremendous loss to the tune of 63,000 rooms.

The SF Travel email says it's a $64 million annual hit for the city. Everything from hotels to restaurants to retailers lose out for each of the next three years.

Jon Handlery says it is past the time for City Hall to address concerns about people living on the streets.

At Moscone Center Tuesday night, scientists attending the American Geophysical Union Conference said San Francisco does have big city hotel rates. The street conditions got mixed reviews, with some not noticing any bad conditions and some seeing a lot of homeless people and trash in the streets.

SF Travel says it will work to book conventions to replace the Oracle event. The mayor's office said in a statement it is working to address street conditions and will talk with the hotel council about pricing.

Oracle also released a statement saying it looks forward to maintaining its relationship with San Francisco and organizations here.

The San Francisco Travel Association called Oracle’s decision disappointing but emphasized no other groups have called to cancel or even express similar concerns.

"The dates that Oracle was here in San Francisco are very popular dates," said Joe D’Alessandro, SFTA President. "We’re already talking to various groups interested in coming to San Francisco on those dates."

Mayor London Breed agreed, saying she’s optimistic about filling the void.

"People love to come here despite what we know some of the challenges that exist," Breed said. "But we are working on it. They are improving and getting better. Not as fast as I’d like them to get, but San Francisco is a great place, and people want to come here."

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