The Hyatt Regency Portland at the Convention Center is Hyatt’s first full-service hotel in the city of Portland. The hotel provides 600 guestrooms, including 16 suites and offers 20 event venues among its 39,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space including the Regency Ballroom, the hotel’s largest event space at 11,822 square feet. All event spaces feature dramatic natural lighting, Pacific Northwest artwork and technology-forward design. Also offered are three dining experiences including Unity-Q, an open-concept restaurant and Spoke & Fork, the lobby restaurant and bar.
The new hotel is exceeding booking estimates. A market study completed prior to the development of the hotel projected a 16 to 32% increase in room nights based on convention center bookings. In the first year that rooms were available, the Travel Portland sales team saw a 43.2% increase in bookings across all Portland hotels over the previous year.
From July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, the new hotel directly resulted in 25 future convention groups booking 129,863 rooms. Meeting planners attribute this to the large room blocks and proximity to the Oregon Convention Center.
Job creation and economic benefits
Visitors to greater Portland spent more than $5 billion in 2018. Conventions played a big role in that. Overnight guests spend an average of $404 per night. This results in an estimated additional $650 million in 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.
Now that the hotel is open, it will support permanent hotel, hospitality and tourism-related jobs. People in these jobs will be eligible for union job security if they choose, thanks to a groundbreaking labor peace agreement between UNITE HERE and Hyatt. To date, Hyatt has hired 120 non-management employees. Nearly half of these were hired through the First Opportunity program that gives preference to people affected by the historical injustice of past racist development decisions like the construction of I-5 and the Memorial Coliseum.
During the construction of the hotel, Mortenson and Metro worked to improve access to both minority- and woman-owned contracting businesses as well as help ease the pathways for minorities and women looking to enter the trades as a career. The overall workforce reached 28% people of color and nearly 8% women. Apprenticeship hours were significantly over goal at 27%.
As part of the Hyatt Regency Portland hotel project Metro, the Oregon Convention Center, and Mortenson Construction dedicated funding to develop construction careers for women and people of color. The Community Construction Training Program provided funding to BOLI-certified pre-apprenticeship programs to diversify the pipeline of future workers. This program exceeded pre-apprentice training goals, directly investing in 112 pre-apprentices to help generate well-paying careers for those who are underrepresented in the trades.
Mortenson invested $300,000 and Metro and OCC contributed an additional $150,000. The program grantees included Constructing Hope, Portland Opportunity Industrialization Center, Portland YouthBuilders, Oregon Tradeswomen Inc, and Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute.
Three pre-apprentices share their stories of how this program transformed their lives in a video.
Additionally, this effort led to the creation of Metro’s Construction Careers Pathways project, which aims to remove the barriers that keep women and people of color out of the trades and make it easier to retain diversity in the trades workforce.
Mortenson invested $300,000 and Metro contributed an additional $150,000 to start the Community Construction Training Program. This program exceeded pre-apprentice training goals, directly investing in 112 pre-apprentices to help generate well-paying careers for those who are underrepresented in the trades. The program grantees included Constructing Hope, Portland Opportunity Industrialization Center, Portland YouthBuilders, Oregon Tradeswomen Inc, and Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute.
Leading up to the opening
In 2011, with the support of the City of Portland, Prosper Portland, and Multnomah County, Metro championed the development of a convention center hotel recognizing its potential to create jobs and economic opportunity for greater Portland’s diverse population.
In April of 2012, Metro, City of Portland, and Multnomah County leaders signed a Statement of Principles, committing them to pursue development of the Oregon Convention Center hotel. Metro issued a Request for Proposals seeking a development team to build, own and privately operate a hotel with a minimum 500-room block for Oregon Convention Center bookings. Later that year, Metro selected Mortenson Development and named Hyatt Hotels to eventually operate and purchase the hotel.
In July of 2013, the Oregon Legislature earmarked $10 million in lottery revenue to help fund the hotel. Later that year Metro, the City of Portland and Multnomah County approved revisions to the Visitor Facilities Intergovernmental Agreement authorizing Metro to issue revenue bonds with net proceeds of up to $60 million, and to redirect Oregon Convention Center hotel visitor taxes to the Visitor Facilities Trust Account to offset bond payments. The Oregon Convention Center committed $4 million from reserves to complete the public contribution to this project.
In June 2014, Metro, Mortenson Development and Hyatt entered into a development and finance agreement including a room block agreement with terms for the project.
From September 2014 to July 2015, the hotel design went through rigorous design review with the City of Portland.
$150 million or nearly 70% of the total $224 million project cost was funded by Mortenson Development, representing a major private investment in the Lloyd neighborhood.
The public investment is a fixed amount. More than 80% of the public sector investment in the project was supported by a $60 million revenue bond that will be repaid with taxes generated by hotel guests versus local residents.
The balance of the public investment includes $10 million in Oregon state lottery funds and a $4 million grant from the Oregon Convention Center’s reserves.