The Oregon Convention Center in Portland is one step closer to getting a large hotel next door to it, with the announcement Thursday of a deal between government officials and hotel developers.
Rising costs have driven up the Hyatt Hotel’s price tag from $197 million to $212 million.
Elected officials with Multnomah County, city of Portland, and Metro approved changing hotel taxes back in September, to cover the public side of the hotel cost - which remains at $78 million.
Andy Shaw at Metro says the new deal meets the conditions promised to those leaders.
“It’s ensuring that we get the level of quality, that we get the size, all the amenities in the facility,” Shaw says. “And then a room block agreement with Hyatt that allows the convention center and Travel Portland, to book future conventions into the hotel.”
The room block arrangement would work like this: the convention center could reserve up to 500 rooms, at least three years in advance - or up to 300 rooms, at least two years ahead of time.
Andy Shaw says negotiators gave up on trying to set a rate “floor” of minimum room rates, as some operators of existing hotels suggested. Shaw says they couldn’t find a model for such a structure, anywhere in the country.
Using public funds for a privately-owned hotel has drawn opponents. They’re trying to use the courts or ballot box to stop the project.
Metro is holding a hearing next week. The hotel would open in 2017.