J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference coming back to SF in 2024 but wants hotel costs addressed

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Tuesday, June 6, 2023
J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference coming back to SF, with 1 concern
While organizers say the city was clean and they felt safe, they have concerns about "the price gouging and lack of flexibility exhibited by San Francisco's hotels."

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Organizers of J.P. Morgan's healthcare conference say they will be back in San Francisco in 2024, but they've pointed out one concern.

In a recent letter to Mayor London Breed obtained by ABC7 News Insider Phil Matier, those with J.P. Morgan said they had a successful conference in January and announced their return next year.

"I say thank you J.P. Morgan Chase for making the decision, having the confidence in the city that we can pull it off, that's based off their recent experience," said Jim Wunderman of the Bay Area Council.

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A simple 'thank you' from the business community in San Francisco.

It's estimated that more than $86 million was brought into San Francisco because of the conference.

But while organizers say the city was clean and they felt safe, they wrote, "One major concern we continue to hear from our clients is the price gouging and lack of flexibility exhibited by San Francisco's hotels during the conference period."

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"So we're coming out of this doldrums of the pandemic saying, 'okay welcome everybody back but you better be willing to pay,' but that puts us in competition with places like Las Vegas and that's the downside of it all," said Matier.

While competition from other cities is strong, Wunderman believes prices will soften as more conventions come to town. That said, he believes officials must work with hotels on this.

"Ultimately it's up to the hotels probably to decide what they want to do, but in their own interest long-term, if they want to see this particular convention here I think that they're going to need to moderate their prices a little bit," said Wunderman.

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San Francisco's recent national image, fair or not, has been one of shoplifting and unhoused individuals on the streets. This letter though is proof of the positive experiences being had here.

Matier says the conversation is now focusing on the cost of doing business in a city like San Francisco.

"San Francisco has always been a fun place to have a convention and it's always been an expensive place to have a convention, the question is given remote work, giving the changing economy, can it continue to be both?" said Matier.

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