Hotel Vertigo offers guests a chance to relive a piece of Hollywood film history

There are a lot of places one could stay for the night on a visit to San Francisco.

As the old joke goes, the rooms at the discount motels are just as dark when you turn the lights off as the five-star hotels. But different hotels obviously have different features that appeal to their guests.

Not many hotels, however, have the appeal of once being the site for a classic Hollywood film.

When you visit Hotel Vertigo, you can walk in the footsteps of legendary actor James Stewart and the renowned maker of suspense films, Alfred Hitchcock.

And all you have to do is visit the lobby to see the movie that the hotel is now named after. The 1958 film, “Vertigo,” features Stewart and actress Kim Novak in a tale of love and obsession. It plays on an endless loop in the lobby to pay homage to its place in the hotel’s history.

“I wouldn’t say we receive heavy foot traffic of tourists coming in with cameras,” says Nick Dalisay, area director of sales and marketing at Haiyi Hotels Worldwide, which owns and operates Hotel Vertigo. “Only a few know the history of the hotel and they are the ones who appreciate it. Other guests are unaware. They’ll see the moving playing in the lobby, put two and two together and go, ‘Oh, so that’s how it got its name.’”

It’s been nearly 60 years since the film was released, but its presence at the hotel can still be felt, as you’ll read in this month’s Uniquely Northern California.

“Kim Novak actually stayed in Room 301 during filming of the movie,” Dalisay says. “And in later days, although not recently, she has walked into the hotel just to reminisce every now and then. Our front desk agents who have been here at least 20 years have seen her come through the hotel.”

Dalisay says he loves the film and the history it brings to the hotel.

“It’s one of the key elements that make the hotel what it is,” he says.

Ease the grind
Rich Henry has helped guide the Northern Pacific Division of McCarthy Building Cos. Inc. to become one of the best places to work in Northern California.

Henry recognized that the company needed to be more tuned in to its employees and has built a culture that promotes employee engagement at every turn. Henry also wants them to have fun.

“People work very hard. But if it’s only about the grind of the job and there’s not a little fun worked into it, not only in activities, but in the environment that they work, you can fall into the trap of losing momentum in your business,” Henry says.

“Getting people to work in a collaborative way toward the vision of the business has become immensely important and the focus of leadership rather than just allowing people to do their jobs under very rigid procedures and processes. That is not what is driving successful businesses anymore.” ●