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.

About

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.

Archives

Links

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

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
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
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
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 Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

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
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
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
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
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

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
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

"mokita,"

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!

Don,
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!


Sponsors


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

In Vino Veritas

Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend

The Occasional Book

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: 372
At this date last year: 234
Total run 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