Portland City Council voted Wednesday evening to back plans for a proposed hotel next to the Oregon Convention Center.
Unions and businesses testified at City Hall in favor of helping build a new Hyatt Hotel.
Kimo Bertram with Hyatt said it will help the under-used convention center.
“Our experience with the development of the Hyatt Regency in Denver, which similarly lacked a headquarters hotel, gives us confidence there will be a significant increase in the attendance of conventions at the Oregon Convention Center upon the completion of this proposed hotel,” Bertram said.
Critics question a $60 million government bond for the project. The new hotel’s lodging taxes would pay it back.
But Tim Ramos with the downtown hotels said the subsidies amount to a 40-percent discount.
“That discount is covered by the public, who are responsible for the bond payments, and in effect, stand as the guarantor of the performance projections provided by Hyatt - even though those projections are secret,” Ramos said.
The vote included a council request for financial information for two years of operation.
Commissioner Steve Novick voted no.
Metro has already approved the plan. It goes before Multnomah County on Thursday.