From Metro News
Portland’5 is one of four venues managed by Metro, Portland’s regional government, along with the Oregon Convention Center, the Oregon Zoo and the Portland Expo Center. Combined, these publicly-owned visitor venues supported nearly 10,000 jobs and generated about $969 million in economic activity in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties last fiscal year.
The biggest returns come from the Oregon Convention Center, whose conventions, tradeshows, meetings and more generated $729.2 million in spending last fiscal year.
Because many of its events draw out-of-town visitors for multiple days, the convention center generates more spending than the other venues. Big, multiday conventions and tradeshows can pack local hotels and restaurants, bringing significant investment to Portland that may otherwise go to another region. On average the “high-impact” attendees these events attract spend $404 per day while visiting Portland, the report said.
This is among the chief reasons why Metro Council is advancing a hotel adjacent to convention center. “As stewards of these facilities, it is our responsibility to invest wisely to generate healthy returns for the region. Metro has a good track record for doing this,” said Metro Council President Tom Hughes.
Attracting more multiday conventions and tradeshows is central to the Convention Center’s business strategy—a strategy that appears to be working. From 2015 to 2016, the number of convention and tradeshow attendee days—the total attendance at an event multiplied by the length of the event— increased by 11 percent.
“We really build our business around what’s going on at the convention center,” said Felicia Rahm, director of sales for the Crowne Plaza Portland Downtown, which is located near the convention center. Rahm said business from convention center events is particularly important in the rainy months, when other types of tourism are lower. “What’s really nice and inspiring as a hotel and a hotelier is to see that push for off-season business.”
Another focus has been attracting large-scale sporting events, including the recent IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships, which involved building a 7,000-seat stadium within the center. “OCC is committed to attracting national conventions that produce the greatest economic impact to the region,” said Matt Pizzuti, the convention center’s interim executive director.
Read the full article at Metro News
The Oregon Convention Center is owned by Metro and managed by the Metro Exposition and Recreation Commission. OCC is a LEED Platinum certified facility hosting groups from around the world and bringing millions of dollars into the Portland and Oregon economy.