Historic Nob Hill in San Francisco was once the go-to spot for tourists visiting the area but more recently, those tourists, business travelers, and conference guests have been heading more towards downtown or Fisherman’s Wharf. Following that trend, four Nob Hill neighborhood hotels are up for sale after seeing the exodus of business travelers from their area to accommodations closer to the Moscone Center.
According to the San Francisco Examiner, the four hotels for sale are the Fairmont Hotel, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, the Huntington Hotel, and the Stanford Court Renaissance Hotel. Though these hotels all have conference facilities, they just can’t seem to match those of the Moscone Center, which is over 250,000 square feet and houses 106 meeting rooms. The South of Market facility saw about 920,000 people with 92 total events for the 2009-10 fiscal year with numbers this year expected to top 1 million.
Scott McCoy, general manager of the Stanford Court in Nob Hill, comments, “Some of the energy centers here in The City have shifted. Part of our play is we have that piece of uniqueness in San Francisco. It’s a bit of a retreat up here, but you can still experience The City.”
There’s still hope for the neighborhood, however, and hotelier and founder of RSBA & Associates Rick Swig seems to think it’s in residences. Although the Fairmont’s plans to covert part of their facilities into condominiums did not pass – leading the owners to sell – Swig seems to think that a mixture of hospitality and conversion to residences is the right choice. He explains, “The opportunity to reinvent those hotels is over.”