The regional government for greater Portland has voted to issue an RFP for a convention center hotel project. While the proposal was a hot-button back in 2009, and now it appears it could be moving forward.
Critical aspects of the hotel proposal have changed. The RFP would call for a hotel complex offering a minimum of 500 rooms, on one of four potential sites adjacent to the Oregon Convention Center. But Metro Council President Tom Hughes, and Councilor Rex Burkholder, describe the public financing on this project as "minimal."
Burkholder said the RFP would let Metro test the market and try to negotiate a good deal with developers.
Burkholder said, "This is opening the door for that discussion. We're trying to get the best opportunity that we can."
Some downtown hoteliers who opposed the plan last time around are cautious optimistic about the new plan. Consultant Len Bergstein represents them. He says if the initial phase were designed on a smaller scale and expanded later, the players needn't worry as much about a glut of new rooms flooding the market.
He adds they wouldn't rule out bidding on the project themselves.