Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 18, 2008 2:15 PM. The previous post in this blog was From the archives. The next post in this blog is Have a great weekend. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, July 18, 2008

Build it and they still won't come

When Metro builds the Convention Center Hotel and drags Portland further into fiscal calamity, they can't say they weren't warned. The astronomical air fares that are now blossoming due to the oil price crisis are already cutting into business travel, and they are going to put a serious hurt on the convention business.

But of course, nothing succeeds in Portland like expensive failure. Today the dupes or liars at the O have to pipe up with this choice tidbit of misinformation: "In the past seven months alone, the region has lost 32 conventions, and a potential economic windfall of $63 million, largely because we lack a headquarters hotel across from the convention center."

That one merits a BS alert. Rowe and Bhatia, did you fact-check those figures? Or did you just call Hank Ashforth's office and ask for some numbers?

Comments (25)

That number is likely true; I bet there were 32 conventions that passed up on Portland.

I doubt we would have won them all (or even most) with a hotel.

It's not the hotel, or the absence of it. It's the crappy air service (about to get worse), the long distance from the nation's population centers (never going to change), and the weather from November to April (unlikely to change any time soon).

The national convention business goes to New York, L.A., Chicago and the southern half of the country. No other city has done well with it, regardless of the hotel situation.

The first phase of the Convention Center was a halfway decent idea. Portland probably did need a regional convention facility. But everything since then has been a waste of money. It just doesn't pencil -- never has, never will. But Hoffman Construction wants the work, and Mr. Lloyd Center's throwing his considerable weight around, so all the ex-Neilies are committed to sneak it past the public somehow.

It's the crappy air service (about to get worse), the long distance from the nation's population centers (never going to change), and the weather from November to April (unlikely to change any time soon).

These criteria all apply to Seattle as well. Does anyone know how their convention center peforms?

Air service to Seattle is better than to Portland.

I think it's more likely that Hank Ashforth and Wayne Drinkward (Hoffman's CEO) wrote this editorial for The Oregonian. They want to ram the CC hotel project through the political hoops as fast as possible. I wouldn't be surprised if Metro were to hold its vote on the hotel next month rather than the fall.

I hear the Oregon convention center charges out-of-market rates which are significantly higher than surrounding convention centers like the one up in Tacoma. It is simply cheaper for groups to go elsewhere.

If that list of 32 conventions includes the Democratic National Convention, that one convention could easily account for a third or a half of the monetary total.

It seems that Portland is always included on the big list of 50+ cities invited to apply for the DNC, but we always don't apply or get rejected due to hotel capacity.

But here's a little not-so-secret: The convention wasn't coming to Portland anyway, whether or not we had one more hotel. Political considerations are much higher priority (which is why it's in Colorado this year.) Also, they need corporate sponsorship to make it happen - and we aren't a headquarters city.

If they're including the DNC in that total, they're being entirely disingenuous.

Kari has a good point. However, I think Denver was chosen some time ago.

Jack and others have good points, too re: airfares etc.

If you want to know why there aren't as many conventions as we hope, one need only envision the following conversation:

Convention planner: "So, what is there to do around the convention center?"

Portland: "Well, there's a Red Robin, a Denny's, the Lloyd Center Mall, and, and, and ... ."

Convention planner: "Anything else?"

Portland: * Click *

Right this minute, air service to Portland is actually pretty good: at least 4 non-stops daily to & from NY (not long ago there were none); daily non-stops to Tokyo, Amsterdam and Frankfurt; regular schedules to Guadalajara and Mexico City; non-stops to Boston, Dulles and Orlando, as well as Honolulu and Maui. Service to Coos Bay and Pendleton are under threat, and Jet Blue has announced reductions/suspensions of its transcontinental non-stop, but it's generally pretty good and the Port has figured out how (with bribes, I assume) to keep some of the carriers happy here. That said, I share the general conviction that Portland will never be a destination for conventions, with or without a subsidized hotel.

Never fear, with the influence of Sam-the-Scam, that hotel WILL be built. And then it will lose money, lose money and lose some more money. Oh, BTW, it will cost a hell of a lot more than they estimate too (but you already knew that). Just another rat hole to throw tax money down.

Oh, and for the 'things to do around the convention center' question - how could you forget that tourist magnet the TRAM (rimshot). Better than an E ticket ride at disneyland. I can't believe the sheep that live in this town.

I read the quotation to mean: "If we had a convention center hotel, each one of these 32 conventions would have come to Portland instead of wherever they went to."

It should be simple for Metro to list the 32 conventions and the cities they chose instead of Portland.

I'm sure we have lost some potential business because the convention center DOES need more adjacent hotel support... but it just doesn't need the city footing the bill.

As far as airfare goes, I had a Cancun trip booked for October via Mexicana Air... alas, they're due to discontinue service out of Portland in Sept. Things aren't going to get better anytime soon.

As far as airfare goes, I had a Cancun trip booked for October via Mexicana Air... alas, they're due to discontinue service out of Portland in Sept. Things aren't going to get better anytime soon.

Look on the bright side, your carbon footprint will be SO much smaller.

Go by streetcar!

Unless, of course, you go anyway

The print version had this sentence after the 32 conventions lost.

"Not all said "no" because we lack a headquarters hotel, yet in many cases, that was indeed the main reason".

I'll bet Portland was only on a list for the whole 32 conventions and some removed cities without a convention center hotel but that doesn't mean Portland would have been the ultimate choice.

But this is what these BSers do and the editorial board doesn't know squat about what convention would have actually come here had we a Hotel.

I'll wager not a one had preferred Portland if it had a Hotel.

Liars and the duped are ushering this forward.
I'm shocked!

I don't think entertainment and nightlife considerations are all that important in the selection of a location for a major political convention.

After all, in September the Republicans will descend on St. Paul for their week-long shindig. Much of the convention activities will be held in downtown St. Paul. That place is dead after 6:00.

Fortunately, there are no plans to build a convention center hotel there before the convention.

Perhaps it ought to be pointed out that the Oregonian editorial in question concluded by saying that the hotel should not be built unless it is sustainable. It did not say "build it and they will come." The editorial also noted the problems facing conferences these times.

But did it say what should have been said -- "There is no way this deal will ever be anything but a white elephant; it's time to kill it once and for all"?

No. The O will never say that, or anything like it.

It's like when Vera Katz shrieked "$15 million -- and it better be a picture postcard!" at the end of one of the crucial City Council meetings on the aerial tram [rim shot]. Everybody knows that the story's an obvious lie, but no one wants to tell the truth. It makes those lunches at the University Club too awkward.

Howard Rheingold wrote a book about cool words in foreign tongues that express concepts that require a bunch of words in English -- like


which is defined as "The truth everyone knows but no one says."

It's a word used by the Kiriwina people of Tobriand Island, or so he says.

How about "Welcome to the Hotel Mokita"?

Welcome to the Hotel Mokita
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel Mokita
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here.

I would support public funds if the public can buy out the private investors (after it fails), for $1.00.

Then we could actually offer "low income families" some nice housing. And turnback/towel service too!

Are you nuts?
Perhaps it ought to be pointed out that the Oregonian editorial in question didn't bother to explain what numbers would make sense or how "sustainable" makes sense out of it. This is classic Oregonian support for another boondoggle without any basis what so every. Their insulting and lame pretense that they have some privileged information, insights and wisdom kills me.

"Sadly, Portland lacks the other half of what could be a "double green": marketing whammy".

Oh gag me.

"By rights, it would be open already"

This editorial is ALL about build it and they will come.

"more [hotels] are planned if this new hotel is built"

Their pitch spells price doesn't matter. Just gather together a public financing scheme, don't bother with other priorities or where the money draws from and call it a linchpin that "would build on Portland's green success story".

Where's the proof this hotel will boost convention business? Only in the minds of our boondoggle makers.

metro has an impressive track record on biting off more than we [taxpayers] can chew.
a somewhat smaller money matter coming up in Nov. [if the polls continue to look good] is the $125 million for the zoo.
seems to me that the current director has spent money since his arrival on new exhibits while letting sorely needed maintenance go neglected. the zoo has become a place of non stop tear down and rebuild with no peace for the animals.
maybe it's a zoo version of the winchester mystery house.
with the reduction of public area due to exhibits closed for remodel, one now crushes as many as 13,000 guests through the place in one day [8 july 08] .
you gotta' wonder if metro can grasp how numbers play out in the real world

Seems to me that if Portland really wanted to emphasize its "green" credentials, they'd get out of the convention biz altogether. After all, conventions can't be held without a massive "carbon footprint" - conventioneers fly in or drive in, they don't just magically appear.

Max is right.

What we need is a multi-story Yurt platform that is "off the grid" (only wind and solar power, no flush toilets, rainwater for drinking/showering). It will offer a "sustainable" lodging option for true eco-warriors who must attend an event at the Oregon Convention center.

Can't lose, baby.

"What we need is a multi-story Yurt platform"

Comedy Gold!


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics