Oracle Conference Leaves San Francisco, Costing City $64 Million
(Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp. will move its marquee annual user conference to Las Vegas, abandoning its longtime venue of San Francisco due to the rising cost of visiting the city and its homeless crisis.
Oracle’s OpenWorld will be held in Las Vegas beginning next year, the San Francisco Travel Association said Tuesday in a statement. The travel group, in an email reported earlier by CNBC, said the software company committed the conference to Las Vegas for three years, costing San Francisco an estimated $64 million.
Oracle, headquartered about 22 miles south of San Francisco in Redwood City, California, told the travel authority that its conference guests were unhappy with San Francisco’s dirty streets and costly hotel rates, according to CNBC.
Las Vegas is a key destination for technology conferences. Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud-computing arm, Dell Technologies Inc., Adobe Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. are just a few of the companies that host conferences in the desert city -- drawn to its large venues and inexpensive hotel room rates.
Oracle declined to respond to requests for comment on the move.
Oracle also holds OpenWorld conferences in Dubai, London, Singapore and Sao Paulo. The company encourages customers and partners to “register for an OpenWorld near you,” reducing the importance of the San Francisco gathering, where the company unveils new software products. The San Francisco OpenWorld generally attracted about 60,000 attendees. For years, the conference has been overshadowed by Dreamforce, rival Salesforce.com Inc.’s annual confab that the company describes as the world’s largest software conference. Dreamforce had more than 170,000 registered attendees in November.
San Francisco hasn’t been a happy home for OpenWorld or Dreamforce for years, with residents complaining about street closures caused by the conferences and a surge of pedestrian traffic downtown. Local hotels swell room rates in anticipation of demand among attendees.
Oracle held the first official OpenWorld conference at San Francisco’s Moscone Center in 1996, according to its website. The company’s user gatherings date back to 1982, when 50 attendees gathered for International Oracle Users Week at a hotel in San Francisco.
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