by Sarah J.F. Braley | June 01, 2014
Why Here?
With a LEED Platinum-certified convention center and a host of hotels dedicated to green operations, Portland's commitment to sustainability easily extends to meetings. Attendees also will appreciate the outdoorsy culture, along with great shopping, excellent restaurants and plenty of local brews.

Outside of Town 
Adventures in the great outdoors beckon nearby. Swing through the canopies at Tree to Tree Aerial Adventure Park, featuring ziplines and an aerial obstacle course.

Blue Sky Whitewater Rafting offers everything from easy floats in glass-calm waters to roaring expert rides on the Clackamas, Hood, Molalla, North Santiam and Sandy rivers.

Devoted Cyclists 
Portland has more than 300 miles of bikeways, with more than 50 miles to be added. A bike-share program is in the works, but there are plenty of places to rent wheels; find them at

Cosmic Collection
Newly opened in the Brooklyn neighborhood is the Museum of Modern Life. The venue's debut exhibit is called "Comets, Vortices and Colliding Gallaxies," with works by Julia Stoops.

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Local Update  

• The Metro Regional Government, which oversees Portland, Ore., and its surroundings, continues negotiations with a developer for a headquarters hotel that will service the Oregon Convention Center. Details are being hammered out with Minneapolis-based Mortenson Development, which wants to build a $197.5 million, 600-room Hyatt hotel. The project has encountered local opposition, however, and is being reviewed in court. Stay tuned.

• The Oregon Convention Center has achieved LEED platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, one of two such facilities in the United States (the other is Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center) to earn the highest level, a particularly difficult task for an existing building. In the past five years, plumbing retrofits,

Lighting projects, HVAC upgrades and more have taken place to bring the facility to this level. 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 full bar, an indoor pool and an exercise room. For groups, the hotel provides 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 have free access to the region's transit system. The agreement between the Metro Regional Government and TriMet gives TriMet about $386,000 each year to provide transit fare to attendees of citywide conventions held at the convention center and booked by Travel Portland, the city's destination marketing organization. The passes are distributed to attendees at registration.

The Radisson Hotel Portland Airport recently finished an extensive renovation that included 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 $2.3 million guest-room renovation has been completed at the 127-room Hotel Lucia, with an accent on all things tech. "Coming on the heels of Hotel Lucia's recent collaboration with Intel Labs to create an interactive social media installation in the lobby, this room renovation continues our creative re-imagining of the nexus of technology and design," said Bashar Wali, president of Provenance Hotels, in a statement. In addition to the room revamp, the entire hotel has been upgraded with a fiber-optic network. Phase two of the project, to be finished this year, will redo the lobby, the 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 elegant vibe at Multnomah Whiskey Library comes from the wood accents, leather chairs and shelf after shelf of bottles filled with jewel-colored liquids and sparkling glasses. The library, which also serves a curated list of cocktails, beers and wines, as well as upscale bar fare, welcomes groups of up to 100 people for evening receptions. (503) 954-1381;

Contact: Travel Portland, (800) 962-3700;