Two of the largest hotels in San Francisco are set to close, following a trend of businesses fleeing the Democrat-led city as it faces a surge in crime.
The owner of the city's largest hotel, the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, and its fourth-largest, Parc 55, will cease payments on $725 million worth of loans and enter foreclosure on the hotels because the city is facing "major challenges."
The decision was "very difficult, but necessary" because of "concerns over street conditions," office vacancies, and reduced conventions, said Thomas J. Baltimore Jr., CEO of Park Hotels & Resorts, which owns the two hotels.
"Now more than ever, we believe San Francisco’s path to recovery remains clouded and elongated by major challenges, both old and new," Baltimore said.
The hotels are far from the first businesses to flee. Old Navy last week announced it will close its flagship store. Whole Foods and Nordstrom have shuttered businesses in the city over safety concerns. The latter's exit is costing the city 380 jobs. The downtown area of the city has lost half of its businesses since the start of the pandemic.
Democratic mayor London Breed and several city officials held an outdoor meeting on crime last month in the city's United Nations Plaza, known for drug use and crime. A crowd of spectators screamed insults and booed the officials, and one of them threw a brick that almost hit a child, local outlet KRON4 reported. The city officials adjourned the meeting amid the disruption and continued it from inside the city hall building.
Even comedian Dave Chapelle is concerned about the state of San Francisco. He asked an audience there last month, "What the f— happened to this place?"
"Y’all ... need a Batman!" Chappelle reportedly told the crowd. The comedian recounted his experience at an Indian restaurant in the city, where he saw a homeless man defecate in front of the building as he entered.