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No High End Hotel Equals Loss For Livermore

While "Star Trek" filmed in Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin Reaped the Financial Benefits

When Hollywood came to Livermore this month, it barely touched down in the community.

. But no one stayed in Livermore hotels, and no confirmed sightings of anyone from the shoot at local eateries or even at the .

However, they were all over Pleasanton and Dublin, with the stars , eating at Dean’s Café,  drinking coffee at Peets,  seeing “The Avengers” at Dublin and even holding their wrap party at .

So why not Livermore? We certainly have our share of good restaurants, coffee spots and even a nice multiplex theater. But what we lack is an upscale hotel.

And although I have no inside information as to why the crew became Pleasanton-centric, Spock’s logic leads me to conclude it’s because of Pleasanton’s upscale Rose Hotel snuggled right in a very quaint downtown area.

Livermore, on the other hand, may have several decent hotels, but nary a single one in the luxury category. And that hurt us when it came to drawing in not only the “Star Trek” crowd, but also the cast of the HBO movie airing this month and starring and Clive Owen.   , they commuted to Livermore from San Francisco.

Had there been a suitable hotel in town we at least had a shot at keeping them around. 

The Livermore City Council has approved a request for proposal on a downtown hotel, located on the corner of Livermore and Railroad avenues. The right hotel in that spot would be fantastic for people who want to come and enjoy what Livermore has to offer.

But of course it has to be the right fit. You don’t just shove a four-story building into that space without careful consideration. What we need is a high-end boutique hotel because honestly, if you just need a room to park your clothes and spend the night, we’ve got plenty of options here.

The only luxury-type accomodations Livermore currently boasts is , and the limited rooms make it a hard sell for any group coming into the area.

The “Star Trek” cast, including Zachary Quinto (Mr. Spock), Chris Pine (Capt. Kirk) and Simon Pegg (Scotty) and producer/director Abrams and producer Bryan Burk stayed at the Rose Hotel in Pleasanton, a really lovely 34-room boutique hotel offering plenty of pampering. They filled 29 of the rooms, effectively turning it into their own personal starship.

The rest of the crew stayed down the road at the Four Points Sheraton on Hopyard. So once shooting wrapped, it was only logical for everyone to head down the road — and away from Livermore.

Which is how Livermore lost the game ball.

Production folks started calling the lab last year while searching for a really cool place to film. They were smitten by what they saw at the lab, but apparently not so taken with the lodging situation here in town.

That creates a ripple effect.

If people aren't staying here, they aren't eating here and they aren't buying here.

If Livermore had been able to offer a plush hotel, we might have been able to see some of that green spread over our town.

Local May 25, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Our little downtown sex shop isn't going to last much longer, I'm sure!! It's nothing like it used to be before the renovations downtown!! They hardly have anything there besides a bunch of nasty porn in the back. Not that I have ever frequented the place LOL Its creepy in there and there is always at least one creepy man in there browsing the porn. YUCK. I used to like to go there to get birthday cards and novelties for my friends, they were hilarious. While I think Not Too Naughty has its rights to remain open right where it is, I won't miss it! And Charlotte's Web is a great little shop and I'm sure they're not going anywhere!!!
Trader Lu May 25, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Dee, there is always ways to keep occupancy up, especially with the internet. Special offers or rooms can be discounted at the last minute. It could be very profitable, if the initial costs of building and meeting government regulations could be kept down. It would be very good for our economy, but let's build it with private funds.
Lindsey May 25, 2012 at 07:23 PM
The Livermore wine country desperately needs a hotel downtown!!!
Sue May 25, 2012 at 07:52 PM
hey now Jaime-we don't have Hooters either. that is Dublin.
Sue May 25, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Maybe the little police sub-station has a jail cell and that can be used as a bed and breakfast?
LivinLife May 25, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Maybe it's because of the high crime rate in Livermore? I am researching places to live on the east bay and I adored Livermore when I visited. Upon further investigation, the crime rate is high, particularly forcible rapes!!
Pamela Ott May 25, 2012 at 08:32 PM
For several years the Livermore Valley Fim Commission has been working to attract major productions to the Tri-Valley area, and those efforts are now reaping reward. Each production will have its own set of requirements such that the economic benefits may be focused in one city for a specific project but over time will be spread across the Tri-Valley as the cast and crew need an array of goods and services. By thinking regionally we'll all benefit.
Michael Delfino May 25, 2012 at 08:59 PM
There's obviously a few people around town who would love to see Livermore go back to being a cow town of a couple thousand people with one stoplight in town. Well, that aint' happening. Growth is inevitable, but it needs to be sensible growth. I think a boutique hotel by downtown can be a great idea. But if it's a great idea, find a private investor to put up the funds rather than the city putting up the money. It's not the city's job to get into business ventures. Hotel revenue is a big money make for cities just due to occupancy taxes. When you toss in the extra tax dollars of guests spending money downtown, etc., there's no real downside to it.
DC May 25, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Hide your kids, hide your wife. And hide your husband, cuz they raping everybody out here... Please. I challenge you to provide the specific sources for your "investigation".
Mrs. Brown May 25, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Hmm so Livermore doesn't offer a hotel that is good enough for the celebrities that chose to eat at Hooters and Dean's. Apparently their discriminating taste only applies to lodging... Nothing personal against Hooters OR Deans but they aren't exactly known for high end food either. Just seems kind of funny.
Christopher May 25, 2012 at 09:46 PM
I agree, growth is inevitable. But I do not want some generic looking hotel around one of my favorite areas of town. City governments seem to be quick to get the easy money without taking much time to work towards something interesting. I'd rather not have another block of the same old shopping centers or malls (looking at you Modesto). Let's have an interesting hotel that fits the character we already have. I'm sure there's lots of good ideas floating around. Hopefully the City will listen to them. And yea, keep the city/council from funding these. It's the city Governments job to guide and make sure laws/ordinances are being followed, not to be a bank. If they cant make it here then it's probably not the business that's needed.
JoAnne May 25, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Why isn't the Purple Orchid Inn "starship" worthy?
J D May 25, 2012 at 11:04 PM
The hotels near 580 are "business" type hotels and not geared towards tourists at all. A nicer hotel in downtown $100-$150 / night rooms (and more for suites) is very much needed. I hope it comes soon.
Paisley May 26, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Yipes really? There is nothing else to do around here. This isn't Napa which has spas and other crap. There is no way that wine tasting can support those room rates. Our restaurants are marginal at best. I mean, we've been getting better lately. But still. I know it sounds good because you want it - but if you were going on vacation would you pay that for what we've got?
Sue May 26, 2012 at 01:13 AM
I was born and raised there, my husband and my daughter the same. Never have we had a problem.
J D May 26, 2012 at 02:45 AM
I would pay the rate and sure the quality and services have to be adequate. If I wanted lower rates I would go to the Sands Motel or Motel 6..
BKW May 26, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Why so much focus on Livermore Cinema? What about the true gem of Livermore downtown: The Vine Cinema!
BKW May 26, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Why so much focus on Livermore Cinema? What about the true gem of Livermore downtown: The Vine Cinema!
Chris May 26, 2012 at 02:54 PM
What I would like to know is, does Susan Young ever write an intelligent artice?
a local citizen May 26, 2012 at 03:05 PM
What I would like to know is why people don't understand that his is an "opinion" column. Just because you don't agree with her, does not mean it's not an intelligent article. (Article is spelled with a L.)
sonja williamson May 26, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Why just think a high-end hotel would only be used when Hollywood royalty comes to town? What about recently with the Amgen Tour bike race, or Wente's wonderful summer concerts, Annual Wine Celebration over Labor Day, Livermore Rodeo; just to name a few things that come to mind...
Chris May 27, 2012 at 03:34 AM
j00 fond teh typoz!! j00 iz soOo smeart! Of course it's an opinion articlLe. One that says we should add an additonal Hotel to the 15+ that we already have. Brilliant.
MVS May 27, 2012 at 05:17 AM
Livermore is doing a great job so far! I do love the idea of an upscale boutique hotel!! The more attractive places to entertain the merrier!
Christian Chukwuma May 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM
It's so laudable that we show great interest in our beautiful Livermore community! I'm sure the article is food for thought for private investors to explore the opportunity of a classy upscale downtown hotel. In a wine community, I'm not so sure if Hollywood stars should be the target. May be a classy Spa/resort type hotel with water fountains will complement our wine community and attract more vacationers. And they do eat and spend while enjoying the promenade of hot vacation spots. I think that will attract more revenues year- round than habing occasional film celebs.
LivinLife May 27, 2012 at 01:51 PM
DC, here are 2 links citing FBI as their source: AreaConnect shows Livermore had 16 rapes in one year (http://www.areaconnect.com/crime/compare.htm?c1=Danville&s1=CA&c2=Livermore&s2=CA). Sperlings compares town crimes on a scale (http://www.bestplaces.net/crime/?city1=50641992&city2=50617988). Please let me know if these data sources are incorrect, as I would love to reconsider Livermore (with hopes that other residents welcome communication exchange with a bit more respect and professionalism than you have shown me).
Cindy May 27, 2012 at 05:07 PM
I agree, Terri. I think there is a way to create a boutique hotel downtown that fits with what the look and feel of our downtown. Perhaps this is also something some of the wineries should consider as well: small boutique inns on their properties that wine tasters and out of towners could take advantage of.
a local citizen May 28, 2012 at 05:07 PM
The high end hotel is coming. http://independentnews.com/app/pdf/03-01-12.pdf
Quoth the raven.... May 29, 2012 at 03:37 AM
methinks...a lovely boutique hotel next to railroad tracks and loud whistling trains in the evening and early mornings is not at all attractive to prospective clientele
Sue May 29, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Quoth the raven------obviously you have no idea where the Rose Hotel sits in downtown P-town. Right next to the tracks where every train that comes thru downtown blows its horn at least 8 times (no matter what time of the night) and as much as 15.
Cherry June 01, 2012 at 03:53 AM
I have been blessed in the "hooters" dept. I will gladly serve wings to Kirk & Spock during their next visit to keep them in Livermore if need be.

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