Convention Center Hotel a No-Go in Portland

Despite wanting one for 20 years, officials in Portland, Ore., have canceled plans to build a convention center hotel adjacent to the Oregon Convention Center, they announced last month.

The 600-room hotel, according to Mayor Sam Adams, Metro Council President David Bragdon and Multinomah County Chairman Ted Wheeler, is no longer feasible, given the country's economic downturn and paralyzed credit markets.

"Today we have agreed that now is not the right time to move forward with predevelopment efforts to build a convention center headquarters hotel due to the current economic climate," all three said in a joint statement. "The current climate requires a focus on maintaining what we have and we will work with partners and stakeholders to develop new strategies for making the most of our existing facilities."

Together, the city and county had planned to spend $12 million for the planned hotel's architectural drawings. Because those drawings were to be paid for by hotel tax revenue, however—which has fallen dramatically this year—they have had to cancel the entire project.

"The tourism and hospitality industries have been hit hard by the national economic recession," Adams, Bragdon and Wheeler continued. "The Portland metropolitan area remains an attractive tourist destination, an important economic center for the region and a vibrant hub of the arts and cultural activities. We acknowledge and are grateful for the efforts of many individuals who have worked hard on this project."