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Apple's World Wide Developers Conference A Huge Economic Boon For San Jose

SAN JOSE (KPIX) - Apple's World Wide Developers Conference is taking over downtown San Jose.

For the third year in a row, San Jose hosted the big event.

The conference had a $9 million economic impact on the city in 2018, according to San Jose's Office of Economic Development.

"During the conference time around lunch time it's ridiculously busy. Coffee back-to-back. Food flying out the door," said Kevin Pham, who works at Caffe Frascati on South First Street near the McEnery Convention Center, which was full with Apple developers.

The conference, where Apple announced a new Mac Pro and other software upgrades, brought six to eight thousand engineers, coders and support staff from around the world to the downtown area.

"It's been amazing, the city is beautiful," said Adauto Pinheiro, a Brazilian developer who is visiting San Jose for the first time.

The WWDC is Apple's biggest tech event, and for years it was held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

But one Apple analyst says the distance became too hard for the Cupertino company to manage.

"They need a thousand engineers to support this event and they were having problems getting them up to San Francisco. It became a logistics nightmare," said Tim Bajarin, President of Creative Strategies. "Being this close to the Apple campus, they are not having to bring in big bus loads like they did in the past."

Three years ago, Apple moved the conference to its next-door neighbor, San Jose's McEnery Convention Center and it hasn't looked back.

"We're very easy to work with, we have great weather and we have a really walkable, safe, exciting downtown," said Kim Walesh, Deputy City Manager for San Jose.

There were concerns as to whether San Jose was big enough.

When hotel space ran out, Apple looked to San Jose State, which is now renting out student dorms which are vacant in the summer to conference-goers.

"When we welcome a conference, we're all involved, including San Jose State," Walesh said.

One conference attendee said San Jose doesn't have the bay or the bridges, but it has something else.

"I think San Jose makes more sense than San Francisco because this is where the tech companies are -- Google, Facebook, and Apple," said Veit Plogn, a developer from Germany. "And this is where the magic happens."

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