SF’s largest hotel welcomed its first guests in 14 months. They were greeted like celebrities –

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SF’s largest hotel welcomed its first guests in 14 months. They were greeted like celebrities – fr



Applause echoed in the lobby of Hilton Union Square in San Francisco on Monday morning as staff, from cooks to concierges to managers, lined up to greet the first group of guests the hotel has seen since the pandemic forced it to close 14 months ago. A group of four from Arizona entered through the back of the lobby under television screens adorned with the San Francisco skyline that read “Welcome Back.” The group posed for photos with staff members who formed their hands in hearts before being pressed by no less than three TV news crews for interviews.

A passerby could easily have mistaken the scene as that of a visiting dignitary or celebrity, which, for a few minutes, is how Les Lovett, Dawn Belzer, son Justin Belzer and girlfriend Alessandra Davi from Phoenix were treated as the first guests to enter. hotel since the early days of the pandemic.

Davi, an accounting student at Arizona State University, said it was her first time in San Francisco. Visiting Ghirardelli Square and Oracle Park were on his agenda and a hike to North Beach might be in order.

Tourism dollars are crucial to the city’s economy, and hotel occupancy rates have plummeted from the depths of the pandemic last year amid changes in shutdown orders for businesses and states.

The Hilton Union Square is one of the largest hotels on the West Coast with nearly 2,000 rooms and also has one of the city’s largest conference venues. The return of the congresses this summer will be essential to revive the economic engine of the hotel industry and the city.



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