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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Putting a positive spin on bad news

Uploaded: 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.

Local Journalism.
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Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 28, 2019 at 12:10 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.


I go to SF via BART on occasion and I agree with you regarding the cleanliness of the city. I read all the news regarding how filthy it's supposed to be but I just don't see it.
I suppose if you go to where the homeless encampments are you'll see much more blight...But who goes there?

Posted by rotarymachiness, a resident of Avignon,
on Dec 29, 2019 at 7:15 am

rotarymachiness is a registered user.

Thanks for sharing this mate.

Posted by Pedal Power, a resident of Danville,
on Dec 30, 2019 at 4:09 pm

Go about a block in the wrong direction and you are liable to run into less salubrious people, particularly around homeless shelters, but we have never been actively hassled.
Seat space: Theater volume is fixed so any moves to increase legroom would necessarily reduce the number of seats, leading to either reduced revenue or increased ticket prices, to compensate.

Posted by Long term resident, a resident of Danville,
on Dec 30, 2019 at 9:19 pm

People can continue to turn a blind eye and overlook the problems with SF and BART. However, companies and people are voting wither feet and there is more to it than just cost. This past year, Bechtel and McKeeson moved their corporate headquarters out of SF and CA. I often have visitors from Europe and Asia. More times than not, they are sorely disappointed in SF after reading about it their entire lives and wanting to visit. BART is not only filthy, but downright dangerous much of the day. It's amazing people are willing to accept the deteriorating standard of living or electing to overlook it.

Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jan 1, 2020 at 4:59 pm

BobB is a registered user.

Agree that the streets around Union Square are fairly clean. BART, despite the new cars, has plenty of problems. It is hit or miss.

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