Make the Convention Center Hotel a Reality

Project would bring good jobs and grow local businesses

By Roy Jay | 1/15/2014, 1:10 p.m.
"For the past 20 plus years, there has been talk about the need for Portland to have a convention center ...
Roy Jay

The bonds that are used to pay for a portion of the financing difference are paid back through room taxes that out of town guests will be paying, not you and I. This is not like the situation where we, as taxpayers were holding the bag on PGE Park and the delinquent debts of The Nines hotel. We can no longer allow a small group of individuals and businesses to make a decision for an entire community.

Finally, for those of you that travel to other major cities for conferences, meetings or conventions have you ever noticed that mostly all of those cities have at least one major hotel within one or two blocks of their convention center? Can the Portland area afford to lose a potential 2,000 construction jobs, 900 tourism and hospitality jobs, and $120 million annually in new customer spending at local retailers, restaurants and other hotels – all as a result of people that do not even live here!

Roy Jay is president of the Oregon Convention & Visitor Services Network. He is a Spirit of Portland Award Winner and longtime business entrepreneur that has invested nearly 40 years in promoting Portland and paying employees livable wages.