by Alex Palmer | June 05, 2017
This year, San Francisco is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moment when almost 100,000 young people descended on Haight-Ashbury, sparking a musical, artistic, and countercultural movement that left a permanent, flower-shaped imprint on American culture.

To celebrate the Summer of Love, San Francisco and the wider Bay Area are going all out, with more than 60 exhibitions and events honoring the culture and history of the late 1960s era. But as it looks at its past, this city, and the state in general, has plenty of new developments to observe, as well. Celebrating its own anniversary (30 years since it opened its doors), the Hotel Nikko San Francisco has recently wrapped a $60 million renovation. The new design of its lobby, public areas, ballroom, and 405 of its 533 guest rooms and suites draws on the property's Japanese heritage, echoing "the fluid lines of a traditional kimono" as the property phrases it. Just steps from Union Square, the Nikko also offers 20 flexible meeting rooms as well as the signature restaurant ANZU, serving California-inspired Japanese cuisine. The InterContinental San Francisco (which itself is turning 10 in 2018) last month began renovations of the lobby/concierge area, followed by its guest rooms later in the year.

Another Union Square gem, The Westin St. Francis, completed a $6 million renovation of 50,000 square feet of its meeting spaces. The historic Bently Reserve also completed renovation of its Banking Hall, two meeting rooms, and added a new meeting space, bringing the total to nine state-of-the-art spaces.

The wider Bay Area is seeing its share of developments. The 360-room Hilton Oakland Airport (which offers 16,000 square feet of meetings and events space) recently wrapped up a $7 million renovation. In the nearby city of Concord, the fall will see the unveiling of The Veranda -- an upscale, open-air shopping center, complete with a movie theater, restaurants, and retail shops. The area will offer lush landscaping as well as water features, creating a pedestrian-friendly gathering place for visitors and for holding special events.

But there's plenty happening beyond the Bay Area as well. All the way up and down the state there is reason for planners to celebrate.