By Tim Hunt
Putting a positive spin on bad newsUploaded: Dec 26, 2019
You’ve got to give Joe D’Alessandro credit for trying to make lemonade out of a bad lemon situation. Responding to news that Oracle moved its annual Open World out of San Francisco to Las Vegas, he was quoted in the San Francisco Business Times saying, “The bottom line is that people will have to decide what they want: a less expensive place that isn’t nearly as exciting, or a world-class experience. Our efforts will be focused on convincing people that yes, San Francisco is more expensive, but there are reasons for that.”
The OpenWorld event drew about 60,000 people and ran for five days meaning 62,000 room nights in San Francisco hotels. The economic impact is estimated at $64 million.
Oracle signed a three-year deal with Caesar’s Forum, a 550,000-square foot convention center scheduled to open in 2020. The difference in room rates: $255 in San Francisco vs. $69 in Las Vegas.
Oracle cited high room costs and the poor street conditions in San Francisco as reasons for moving out of The City where the event had been held for many years.
When my daughter and I rode BART to Powell Street for our annual Christmas lunch overlooking Union Square, the streets were clean and there was no readily discernible presence of homeless people.
We were fortunate enough to join the thousands of people who have enjoyed Hamilton this month in San Francisco. The play exceeded expectations—high-energy, superbly acted and sung.
What amazed me is how miserable the creature comforts are at the Orpheum, an historic movie theater changed into a site for musical theater by the Shorenstein organization. Way, way back when, when I was attending Amador Valley High I remember taking a field trip to San Francisco to see a movie on the big screen there.
It appears the owners have done almost nothing, other than some Americans with Disabilities Act work, to upgrade. The lines for the restrooms, particularly the women’s were astonishingly long, particularly given the tight 15-minute intermission. And the seats were tiny as was the leg room as I watched taller guys stuff themselves in place with the legs jammed against the seats in front of them.
Rather amazing that the organization can command premium ticket prices with such outdated facilities.
Compare that to the lounge chairs that now are common in many movie theaters.