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In May 2012, I blogged that the Hospitality Industry is on the road to recovery and Metro, Portland’s regional governing body, was once again considering an Oregon Convention Center (OCC) hotel.  On September 13, 2012, Metro approved a proposal by local developers to construct a Hyatt Regency Hotel.  The full development team consists of Mortenson Development, Mortenson Construction, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, ESG Architects, Ankrom Moisan Architects, Piper Jaffray & Co., Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels and Star Terra LLC/Schlesinger Companies.

The Mortenson team proposed four development options, two options for the StarTerra, LLC property (directly north of the OCC) and two options for the PDC-owned site (directly east of the OCC). For each site, Mortenson proposed two different development programs achieving approximately 600 rooms. The development program options include: 1) a 600-room Hyatt Regency or 2) a combination 420+/-room Hyatt Regency and 181-room Hyatt Place.  Metro favored the Mortenson team because this team has extensive hotel development and financing experience. Further, Metro recognized that Hyatt currently does not have a strong presence in the Portland market and a Hyatt Regency hotel could serve national convention clients at the convention center as well as introduce new corporate Hyatt-based group business in Portland.

What do the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Timbers, NBC Universal’s television series Grimm, Timberline Lodge, the Oregon Brewers Festival, the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, the Intertwine, the Portland Highland Games and the Oregon Dental Association all have in common?  They were all recognized at the 33rd Annual Tourism & Hospitality Industry Awards Celebration breakfast, hosted by Travel Portland.  Hosted during the celebration of Travel & Tourism Week presented by the U.S. Travel Association May 8-15, 2012, Travel Portland had a lot to celebrate.

Unfortunately, Travel Oregon’s President Todd Davidson was unable to deliver the keynote address as he was busy in D.C. unveiling the United States’ strategy to attract a projected 100 million international visitors to the United States annually in the next decade.  The strategy is the result of input from local government and business leaders, including the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB), which is chaired by Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon) CEO Todd Davidson.  Travel Portland did get to share “Brand USA,” the U.S.’s branding campaign to promote tourism at last week's breakfast.  Those interested in the campaign can find additional information about the campaign at www.discoveramerica.com.  Take note - Brand USA CEO Jim Evans provided testimony on "Where the Jobs Are: Travel & Tourism" before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade on May 16, 2012.  Jim's prepared comments to the House Committee can be found here.

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Greg Duff
Editor
Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.

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