The convention center is now a LEED® Platinum green building. Earning LEED® Platinum, the highest level attainable within the U.S. Green Building Council certification program, is especially rare for a building of our size, but also for a building that was built in the pre-LEED® era.
In just a few years, the OCC has transformed itself into one of only two convention centers in the U.S. that can claim this distinction. The OCC also became the first convention center to attain Level Four of the ASTM Venue certification, the industry’s new global standard for venues that provide event planners and suppliers with the most stringent, measurable specifications for producing sustainable events.
The social and economic benefits that these achievements provide to the region cannot be overstated. National groups have long recognized the OCC as being among the most progressive venues for green events – now one of the fastest growing markets in the convention industry. While we often exceed the expectations of these groups in providing green features and services, we also need to accommodate the growing number and size of these groups in order to stay competitive in the industry as a whole.
To help meet this demand, Metro and the OCC are actively negotiating with Mortenson Development and the Hyatt Corporation to build a 600-room hotel adjacent to the convention center. The hotel will attract more national conventions and lifestyle events, bring visitors to the area, and create and sustain jobs – all of which will generate new and increased spending and revenues, for the center and the community. It will also have a transformative effect on our Lloyd District/Rose Quarter neighborhood, which is already seeing a boon of new commercial and residential construction projects.
In fiscal year 2013-14, the convention center hosted nearly 550,000 visitors leading to $516.6 million in local, regional and statewide spending. This spending supported approximately 5,000 jobs and produced about $22.5 million in new tax dollars for important regional and state services. Additionally, roughly $11.4 million in transient lodging and motor vehicle rental tax revenues supported convention center operations. These numbers, which are thoroughly detailed in this report, provide clear evidence of the convention center’s continuing success and its role as a vital economic engine in the region, one that will only grow when the convention center hotel finally opens its doors.
The Oregon Convention Center staff is ready and able to meet the challenges these dynamic and exciting changes will bring and I am extremely proud of our staff. They have always maintained and operated the convention center at a world-class level without compromising their strongly held commitments to service excellence and community involvement.
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