The organizers of 26 conventions have chosen Portland after construction began on the Hyatt Regency Portland hotel, validating projections from hotel boosters about the project’s impact on the local economy.
In 2012, the Strategic Advisory Group estimated the headquarter hotel would grow the region’s convention business by a third, increase the Oregon Convention Center’s economic impact and increase the Portland area’s annual hotel business by 70,000 to 110,000 room nights as a result of new mid-sized conventions that would choose Portland because of the addition of a 600-room hotel across the street from the convention center. Construction of the hotel is slated for completion by late 2019.
Five additional conventions that were already considering Portland have also booked room blocks at the Hyatt, bringing the forecast total to 31 conventions by 2027. The conventions combined are an estimated 140,000 room-nights, which would bring about $115 million in economic impact to the region.
“Kathleen Wert from the American Statistical Association has been waiting 15 years to book her convention in Portland, requiring 3,500 hotel rooms on peak with 16,625 total. These city-wide conventions are a game changer for our economy,” stated Cindy Wallace, director of sales and marketing at the Oregon Convention Center.
Overnight guests spend an average of $404 per night, resulting in an additional $650 million in anticipated annual convention-related tourism spending leading to the generation of $5.6 million in new state tax revenues and $4.7 million in new local tax revenues.
The hotel project is also anticipated to bring approximately 2,000 construction jobs and 950 ongoing hotel and hospitality jobs. To ensure the diversification of the hotel worksite, Mortenson Construction invested $350,000 to maximize apprenticeship opportunities and retention strategies for laborers of color and women on the worksite. Metro contributed another $150,000 to the effort.
“I believe the long-term benefit from this partnership and investment with Mortenson will result in a more diversified construction workforce on many projects beyond this one. We are already seeing an increase in the COBID contractor submissions for the upcoming convention center renovations,” said Scott Cruickshank, general manager of Metro’s visitor venues.
To date, about 30 pre-apprenticeship positions have been supported through the program. Over the course of Metro’s Community Construction Training Program that number will reach nearly 100. Hyatt Corporation will utilize Metro’s First Opportunity Target Area recruitment strategies to employ people of color and women.
Metro and Mortenson Development agreed to target the most robust and optimistic of the public partner jurisdictions’ workforce goals. These goals aim for 20 percent apprenticeship participation with workforce representation of 30 percent people of color and 15 percent women. Progress reports from Mortenson continue to demonstrate their efforts are delivering results.
To date, the overall workforce is approaching 29 percent people of color and 8 percent women. Additionally, apprenticeship hours are significantly over goal at 25 percent. While the number of apprentices fluctuates, there have been more than 130 throughout the project thus far. Finally, as of October 2018, approximately 135 craft workers are on-site daily with 236,000 hours of work completed.
To stay up-to-date on the hotel’s progress, visit Metro’s website.