SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco is facing a big financial loss. Oracle is pulling its OpenWorld conference from the city.
The annual event draws crowds of people and brings in tens of millions of dollars for the city, but it is now headed to Las Vegas.
Oracle says people attending its conference held at Moscone Center said prices are too high in San Francisco and the streets are dirty.
This week, the American Geophysical Union, an international nonprofit scientific association is holding its annual conference at Moscone Center. It was held elsewhere in 2017 and 2018 while Moscone Center was under construction for its expansion project.
"San Francisco is such a nice city. I'm kind of glad to be here," said Begum Kurtoglu who came from Missouri to attend the conference.
But she says even budget motels are expensive so she and others in her group are staying at a hostel in the Tenderloin and they're concerned about their safety.
"We did see someone get mugged on the street the first day we were here at 1 o'clock in the afternoon," said Emily Cunningham of Missouri.
Redwood City-based Oracle said people who attended its conference found that San Francisco's hotel rooms are too expensive and the streets in poor condition.
Oracle has signed a three-year agreement to hold OpenWorld at Caesar's Forum.
Oracle wrote in a statement, "The city and its vast amenities are tailor-made for hosting large-scale events and we look forward to bringing the industry's most comprehensive technology and developer conference to America's premier hospitality destination."
"It's a huge loss for the whole city because they brought in over 60,000 people. $64 million is being lost in revenues," said Vas Kiniris with the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Association. It's a coalition that represents small businesses in the city. He said the state of many streets has gotten progressively worse.
"We're in a crisis in San Francisco. It's affected our small businesses for many years. Now it's affecting our big boys, our big corporations." said Kiniris.
The San Francisco Travel Association which has a contract with the city to attract conventions and tourists said in a written statement, "We are sorry to see Oracle OpenWorld move to Las Vegas after more than 20 years in San Francisco, but we will be booking other events to fill that space in the future."
"I don't know if I would come back if the conference was here. Seems like there's crime even in the nicer parts of the city," said Cunningham who's attending the American Geophysical Union conference.
But seismologist Renate Hartog from Seattle disagrees,"I would much rather go to San Francisco than Las Vegas."
In written statement, Mayor London Breed said in part, "We are continuing to invest in expanding street cleaning and adding more shelters and affordable housing to help people off the streets and into housing. At the same time, we know the high cost of hotel rooms is a real challenge for conventions, and we need to work with SF Travel and the Hotel Council to address that because we don't want the cost of staying here to discourage people from visiting and experiencing all that San Francisco has to offer."