SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Hundreds of Bay Area party goers who paid $100 or more were turned away from the W Hotel in San Francisco where they had planned to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Tiffany and Freddie came from San Mateo, dressed for an evening of fun. Instead, they stood in line for two hours in front of the W Hotel along with 500 others and never got into the event.

“I couldn’t tell you what went wrong…we had no idea,” said Tiffany.

Some party attendees were so upset they called the San Francisco Fire Department to complain about the long lines, the overcrowding on the streets as well as the danger from passing vehicles.

San Francisco Fire Department Inspector Mary Tse responded to the 911 call at 11pm.

“They were making comment like they oversold this venue. We have been waiting for a long time. This is so overcrowded. Go and shut them down,” said Tse.

She told KPIX5 that when she entered the hotel, she saw no overcrowding. Instead, Tse said there was a lot of empty space with about 700 people inside a venue with a capacity of over 2000.

Following the Fire Department visit, Tiffany and Freddie say the event organizers then turned away the crowd of people waiting in line.

But Tiffany and Freddie are glad they’re getting a refund even though they know they won’t get back the evening they had planned on. Tiffany said, “It’s just horrible. You know, I feel like that’s kind of taking advantage of people, their money and their time.”

Toby Proesther, CEO of, organizer of the event said the problem originated when the LA company hired to set up the audio and video displays got behind. He said it was not the fault of the W Hotel.

He promised refunds to those who didn’t get in.

For refunds, email him directly at


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