Friday, March 23, 2007

Restaurants May Close For A Day To Protest High Cost Of Doing Biz In the City

Tourism is San Francisco's number 1 industry. The City has attained this reputation in part by being a world-renowned culinary center. But several recent developments are irking the restaurant biz to the point where they may stage a strike of sorts, by closing down for a day. Is this a big deal? Oh you betcha...

With a number of high-profile events and conventions on the horizon — two major national conventions in April that will overlap and bring more than 17,000 people, the ever-popular Gay Pride weekend and the upcoming televised All-Star baseball game — the association could likely garner national and international attention and cost The City millions.

Now, I work in the tourism industry and I travel quite a bit, and I am constantly astounded at how other cities have so much better tourist support than San Francisco. You would think, for such a prime tourist destination, that the City would make an extra effort to make sure tourists were comfortable or, at the very least, have easy access to the information that they need. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Getting tourist info about S.F. is like pulling teeth, and even small things like getting a one-week pass for MUNI can be a real pain in the ass - particularly compared to cities like New York or Philadelphia. I guess they figure people are coming here no matter what so they don't have to make any effort.

Official opinion of tourists and the tourism industry ranges from dismissive to openly hostile - a legacy of the Socialist attitudes of the city. In a city where anyone with a roof over their heads is considered "bourgois," tourism is routinely looked down upon, despite the fact that, in many ways, it is our life-blood.

And this from one of SF's Commies in Chief...

Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who, along with Mayor Gavin Newsom, has championed The City’s new universal health care ordinance, said he has tried to work with the restaurant industry and other businesses to address concerns and postpone implementation.

“I guess no good deed goes unpunished. They’re having a two-year-old tantrum, embarrassing themselves and San Francisco with their self-importance and sense of entitlement and privilege,” Ammiano said.

Now, the restaurant association has ruffled a lot of feathers in the City by being very involved in politics, but, considering the lengths the City is going to to make doing business difficult, one certainly can't be surprised that they're taking such a proactive stance.

Read the whole SFGate story here

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