local | Economy | Business

Portland Moves Closer To Getting Major Convention Center Hotel

OPB | Sept. 14, 2012 12:17 a.m. | Portland

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Two votes this week have moved Portland closer to getting a major convention center hotel.

The Metro Council Thursday approved pursuing a deal with private developers to build a 600-room Hyatt Hotel.

The Portland Development Commission voted the same way, Wednesday. Union carpenters told Metro they’re interested in the potential jobs. Hotel workers also spoke in favor but emphasized that Hyatt needs to sign a labor peace agreement.

Tim Ramis represents several downtown hotels. He told Metro to take the time to work out a good deal.

He explained, “I think that means getting it vetted, getting it peer-reviewed locally. The second issue, I think, is to see what’s really happening in terms of our competition across the country. Are we really in a period where there’s an expanding market that we can compete in — or is the direction the opposite?”

Several people questioned the level of public subsidy for what would be a corporate-owned hotel. Metro councilors said they’re weighing the amount of subsidy against the level of public benefit.

A final hotel deal would require votes from Metro and PDC, and possibly the city of Portland and Multnomah County.

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