SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – San Francisco’s tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, but it will receive at least a little boost from Salesforce’s Dreamforce Convention at Moscone Center this week.
Dreamforce is typically the largest convention in town, attracting around 170,000 attendees each year. This year it has been reduced due to the delta variant’s COVID surge. Hundreds of people are expected to attend the event which is by invitation only and requires proof of vaccination.
The three-day tech convention begins Tuesday – the second convention at the Moscone Center since the start of the pandemic.
The Foo Fighters will kick off the Dreamforce convention with live music and speakers will include actors Will Smith and Jane Fonda.
“Go ahead, we’re ready! Were open. We’re ready for people to come back, ”said Forest French, Managing Director of Tabletop Tap House across from the Moscone Center.
The sports bar and restaurant were closed for 14 months. They just reopened three months ago. The manager said they are normally closed on Tuesday but will open this Tuesday thanks to the convention.
“It’s a start, it’s going to be a slow start but it’s a start,” French said.
Nearby, at Joyride Pizza, workers were also hoping for additional foot traffic.
“What I’m definitely looking forward to is to have more events, to have more people coming here and enjoying this area,” said Joyride Pizza bartender Dean Cotrone.
What’s good for business is good for workers. Some of them at the convention told KPIX that they were recently out of unemployment to work their first convention since the COVID-19 strike.
“Glad to be here – the 14 hour days, the time and a half overtime – it’s money!” Said LaTonya Hartman, who works in security at the Dreamforce convention.
Joe D’Alessandro is CEO and President of San Francisco Travel. He said the city’s high vaccination rates would encourage other businesses to host conventions here.
“Salesforce places great importance on this globally, so it’s important. Second, it’s important to tell the world that San Francisco is open. It’s open for business, you are welcome here, sure to come and meet you here, ”said D’Alessandro.
He said that this convention, even if it is reduced, is a step in the right direction for the tourism industry in San Francisco.