Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff, 2017 was yet another year of notable milestones and achievements for the Oregon Convention Center. Here's a quick review of some of the highlights.
Upgraded parking garage lighting and ticketing system
In spring, the OCC electrical department completed a lighting fixture upgrade in the parking garage. We replaced 275 light fixtures with LEDs, which should help us reduce our energy usage by more than 50%. To offer better customer service and improve parking efficiency, we also installed a new ticketing system with pay-on-foot stations and the ability to use hand-held devices.
Craig Stroud hired as new Executive Director
Craig Stroud joined the OCC on August 1, 2017 as our new Executive Director. Craig is a native Oregonian who wants to help our community continue to grow and thrive – both economically and culturally. “I’m honored to work with the teams at Oregon Convention Center and our great partners in the region,” says Craig. We're all happy to have him on board!
Construction of new convention center hotel begins
We have needed a convention center hotel for several years, and finally broke ground on the new Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center this past August. “We expect the hotel to attract about 10 new conventions to Portland each year, increasing overall convention-related visitor spending to nearly $900 million dollars per year,” explains Metro Visitor Venues General Manager Scott Cruickshank. “We are thrilled that this hotel will help Portland attract many more visitors to our wonderful city to see all that we have to offer.” Construction of the hotel is in progress and on schedule to open in January 2020.
Awards and certifications
We won the Smart Stars award for Best Convention Center from Smart Meetings magazine - for a fifth year in a row! Our positive impact on the environment and our community also helped us to meet re-certification requirements under the APEX/ASTM green meetings program, and why we received the top Gold level certification through the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program.
New spire and crescent lighting
On October 31st, we ran the first color scenes on our newly installed spire and crescent LED lighting system. In honor of Halloween, this ended appropriately with a festive orange and black display that stayed on through the evening. OCC’s Production Services team worked through a number of technical considerations to find the most effective programming options. The new system is being offered to our event clients as an exciting new branding feature. The LED fixtures will also consume less than half of the electricity needed by the older fixtures!
First year using solar power
In its first full year of operation, our new solar panel array generated 25.4% of the facility’s electricity! To put that in some perspective, the 1.8 million kWh it has produced to date could power 166 average American homes. By using solar, we also kept 1,598 tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere - which, as you might know, is equal in weight to 14 blue whales, or the amount created by driving a typical gas-engine car for 3,784,488 miles - the same as 16 trips to the moon!
As we prepare for another busy and exciting year in 2018, we want to thank all our clients, partners and visitors for helping to make the past year such a success!
The Oregon Convention Center is owned by Metro and managed by the Metro Exposition and Recreation Commission. OCC is a LEED Platinum certified facility that hosts groups from around the world and brings millions of dollars into the Portland and Oregon economy.