Google is moving a technology conference out of San Francisco, as the city struggles with high crime and rampant drug use.
The company will host its Google Cloud Next conference in Las Vegas next year, SFGATE reported. Google held the conference at the city's Moscone Center last week, as it had from 2017-2019, for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It had planned to host the 2024 iteration of the conference in San Francisco as well, but it canceled the booking in July. Google declined to give SFGATE a specific reason for pulling the conference out of San Francisco.
The $1.7 trillion company's decision comes as dozens of other businesses have scaled back their operations in San Francisco as the city deals with widespread crime, homelessness, and drug use. Between 2020 and 2022, homicides increased 40 percent, and fentanyl deaths have also spiked, resulting in a number of companies pulling events, headquarters, and office space out of San Francisco.
Last week, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said his company may pull its massive "Dreamforce" conference out of the city next year, citing public safety concerns. Benioff said this year's conference will inject $57 million into the downtown economy.
Old Navy closed its flagship store in San Francisco, and Whole Foods and Nordstrom have also closed locations in the city. Uber and Airbnb have been trying to abandon their offices in San Francisco, as have many other businesses, leading to almost a third of all office space in the city sitting empty.