Oracle takes tech conference out of San Francisco amid homeless, drug crises

The San Francisco Travel Association estimated an economic impact of $64 million.

Oracle is reportedly moving its annual tech conference normally held in San Francisco to Las Vegas, according to a statement from the computer technology corporation.

The decision to move the 2020 location of OpenWorld -- which brings nearly 60,000 attendees from about 154 countries -- comes amid San Fransisco's ongoing struggle with the homelessness crisis in major cities across California, street conditions and skyrocketing hotel and travel prices.

"Oracle is excited to offer a modern, state-of-the-art experience for attendees at Oracle OpenWorld and Code One 2020 in Las Vegas," Oracle said 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."

The Redwood, California-based tech company said it "continues to enjoy a strong relationship with the City of San Francisco and partners such as the San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors" and looks forward to "working with our longstanding counterparts in San Francisco on future events."

The San Francisco Travel Association (SFTA), which promotes tourism in the city, expressed concern over Oracle's decision to move to a conference out of San Fransisco, saying their reasoning had to do with high hotel rates and poor street conditions.


"Oracle stated that their attendee feedback was that San Francisco hotel rates are too high," the SFTA email obtained by CNBC said. "Poor street conditions was another reason why they made this difficult decision."

SFTA, which promotes tourism in the city, estimated the total loss of conference over five days and 62,000 room nights in October 2020, October 2021 and September 2022, according to CNBC.

"The estimated economic impact of each of the above is $64,000,000, a huge loss for our city," the email said.

While San Fransisco has the fourth-most expensive hotel rates in the country, more than 8,000 homeless individuals were counted in the city in 2019 -- a more-than 14% since 2017, according to the city's website. Another methodology that the New York Times suggested is more reliable, however, showed a 30% increase at 17,595 homeless people counted in 2019.

And with San Fransisco's large homeless population comes an unprecedented health crisis. The city received approximately 25,000 poop complaints between January to November of 2019, KRON4 reported.


"It's a serious public health concern. It's a public relations concern when you have a city that’s driven by tourism and conventions and visitors from all over the world. It's frankly embarrassing,” a resident told the outlet.

To put the city's housings costs into perspective, families who make $117,422 a year qualify as "low income." Singles who make $82,000 or less per year qualify under the same category. In New York, a family of four bringing in $83,450 per year qualifies as "low income," according to a 2018 report from HUD.