Burning Man Exodus Impact – Myth or Reality?

Some of Tartine Bakery's menu items. File Photo

Some of Tartine Bakery's menu items. File Photo

The conventional wisdom is that with Burning Man raging in Nevada, the crowds here for difficult to get tables and the lines outside places like Tartine Bakery.    The NYT’s has a piece on this today and it is true that the streets felt a little emptier. 

But, I wonder about the Burning Man effect and whether it isn’t dulled by all of the tourists who do come into the city.  The line to get bread at Tartine Bakery on Sunday has usually eased off by 6 p.m., but it was longer than ever this Sunday.  Ditto at the Creamery.  On Friday morning, the intrepid George Lipp headed over to Philz expecting no line.  “Well Lydia, so much for theory.  The place was packed.”    Anyone out there have an experience that lends credence to one view or another?

Filed under: Mobile, SNAPS, Today's Mission

One Comment

  1. Sam

    In relative terms, the number going to BM don’t make much difference. There are probably far more SF residents out of town for vacation and other reasons this week-end, and that should have a bigger effect. On the other hand you always get a lot of people coming into SF from the rest of the Bay Area, and that compensates along with it being peak season for regular tourists.

    The article cites a local proprietor saying there were less locals and more tourists, which makes sense on one level although it’s impossible to really say unless you actually know all your regular customers.

    What has always been good about the “exodus” for BM has not so much been the numbers that go there but the kind of people who go there. SF just seems a lot more sane, normal and reasonable without the weirder element.

    Again, the kind of people who historically go there are generally not the types who eat in expensive restaurants (although that may be changing somewhat) so I’m not sure that it’s suddenly easier to get into the hottest restaurants. And if people think they can get in easier, then that pumps up demand anyway.

    I don’t worry about it too much. It’s not less crowded, and I just enjoy that there is less whackery than usual.

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