by Sarah J.F. Braley | September 01, 2014
Why Here?
Cities in the scenic Pacific Northwest are working hard to win more meetings business. Boise, Idaho (above), is doubling the size of the 50,000-square-foot Boise Center, and in Portland, Ore., progress continues on the creation of a new headquarters hotel.


A 159-room hotel will be built from the ground up in Seattle by Commune Hotels & Resorts and its partners. The Thompson Seattle will be part of a mixed-use development in downtown, adjacent to Pike Place Market, to open in spring 2016.

A $2 million renovation has been completed at the 358-room Seattle Marriott Waterfront, focusing on the lobby and 11,354 square feet of meeting space.

Taste of Tulalip
Seven eateries, from fine-dining to an Asian restaurant and a sports bar and grill, are among the fun spots at the 370-room Tulalip Resort near Seattle. For groups, 30,000 square feet of meeting space awaits.

read more

Local Update

 Metro, the government entity that owns the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, has approved the final development agreement for a new headquarters hotel. Plans for a 600-room Hyatt Regency, which is expected to cost $212 million, are now in the design and preconstruction phase. Building is slated to begin next summer, with a projected fall 2017 opening. A block of 500 rooms will be reserved for the convention center and the city's convention and visitor services bureau, Travel Portland, to offer set rates for groups planning 36 months or more in advance.

 In unveiling its new Curio Collection recently, Hilton Hotels & Resorts indicated that a new hotel in Portland, Ore., will be part of the group when it opens in late 2016. The 300-room property, on which construction is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2015, will have a themed restaurant on the ground floor, function space, a rooftop restaurant and lounge, and a fitness facility complete with an indoor pool and spa. The to-be-named property is being developed by Widewaters Hotels LLC.

 The Oregon Convention Center has achieved Level Four certification under the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards, administered by the Convention Industry Council. The center offers two ballrooms, 50 meeting rooms and approximately 255,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space.

 The 223-suite Residence Inn by Marriott opened in April in the city's trendy Pearl District. The all-suite property offers complimentary breakfast, grocery delivery service, free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour market, dry-cleaning services, a laundry room, a bar, an indoor pool and an exercise room. The hotel also has a 2,010-square-foot ballroom, 1,600 square feet of prefunction space and a boardroom.

 Attendees of events held at the Oregon Convention Center and booked through Travel Portland have free access to the region's transit system. The passes are distributed at registration.

 The Radisson Hotel Portland Airport has finished an extensive renovation of all 190 guest rooms, the business and fitness centers, the lobby and more. The hotel has more than 2,500 square feet of meeting space.

 A recent $2.3 million guest-room renovation at the 127-room Hotel Lucia focused on technology. The property worked with Intel Labs to create an interactive social media installation in the lobby, and the collaboration has been extended to the guest rooms. The entire hotel also has been upgraded with a fiber-optic network. Phase two of the project, expected to be finished this year, will redo the lobby, all 2,458 square feet of meeting space and all public spaces.

Meeting Hotels: Among properties for groups are the 503-room Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, 477-room DoubleTree by Hilton Portland, 331-room The Nines, 276-room Embassy Suites Portland Downtown and 240-room Crowne Plaza Portland Downtown Convention Center.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center: Oregon Convention Center; exhibit space, 255,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 50; (800) 791-2250

Airport Transit:
 Portland International Airport, about nine miles from downtown. Transfer cost via taxi, $35; via shuttle, $14; via light rail, $2.50

Taxes: Room tax, 11.5%; Portland Tourism Improvement District tax, 2%; sales tax, 0%; total tax on rooms, 13.5%

Group Venue:
 The historic Center for Architecture, once a stable, has been renovated with sustainability in mind. The 1880s building is now LEED Platinum-certified and houses the AIA Portland, AIA Oregon, Architects Without Borders and the Center For Architecture. The 1,200-square-foot center welcomes groups of 10 to 100 people. (503) 223-8757

Contact: Travel Portland, (800) 962-3700