Oracle moving its annual OpenWorld conference from San Francisco to Las Vegas

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's convention and tourism industry has suffered a major blow.

As first reported by CNBC, Oracle announced that it has signed a three-year deal to move its OpenWorld conference to Las Vegas.

According to the report, the Redwood City Based Software giant blames skyrocketing prices and street conditions around Moscone Center for the move.

Jay Cheng from San Francisco's City of Commerce says this will be damaging to the city and hopes this is a wake-up call for local politicians to step it up.

"A conference of this size and prestige brings a lot to our local economy just in hospitality but in the restaurant, retail industry, to our tourism industry," Cheng said. "I think this is another example of how City Hall and local politicians have pushed out another business opportunity and economic opportunity out of our city. "

ABC7 News Contributor Phil Matier says this is a big deal.

"It was about a year ago that another major medical convention pulled out of San Francisco saying the place wasn't feeling safe anymore -- now they've agreed to come back but the message was sent and I think we're getting that message again," Matier said.

He also said this will have a big impact, "When somebody like Oracle World says thanks but no thanks we're going to Vegas, that has a trickle down effect all the way down to waiters and waitresses," says Matier.

Daniel Bertolete is the General Manager at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse across the street from the Moscone Center, where the OpenWorld conference is held. He says they consider it just big as the Salesforce convention.

"We up our staff, we have to right?" Bertolete said. He said they see anywhere from 600-700 people a day during that convention.

Restaurant owner John Konstin of John's Grill is optimistic and sees this as more of a growing pain for the city.

"San Francisco will lose millions of dollars but it's also growing," Konstin said. "The city is constantly growing. I think it's a small kink in the chain but ultimately we're going to grow past this."

San Francisco Mayor London Breed acknowledged those problems need to be addressed, but she doesn't believe Oracle's decision will lead to other conventions to abandon her city.

"San Francisco is such an amazing city," Breed said, " People talk about the challenges, but they also talk about the fact they love San Francisco. They love the restaurants. They love the shopping. They think it's one of the most beautiful cities in the world, even though they know that it, along with other major cities face a real challenge around homelessness."
OpenWorld's departure will cost San Francisco an estimated 64 million dollars a year, according to city's tourism bureau.

The conference began in 1997, and draws around 60-thousand people a year.
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