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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Convention center business is a no-win proposition

And it's only going to get worse, as this story, and especially this graphic, illustrate. And that's for cities with decent airline service. Portland should start converting its convention center into something even mildly useful. The floor is open to your suggestions.

Comments (20)

It looks like the repubs will be elected to four new years to ruin... errr.... I mean run things, so:

additional prison space for unleashed CEO's, unregulated ponzi scheme artists and other various "job creators."

And, it's Portland, so:

indoor velodrome.

Memorial Coliseum is a natural for a velodrome. The flatter, inner circles could be running tracks, the higher up circles for the bicycles, the uppermost for motorcycles.

How about a streetcar warehouse?

The entire convention center complex and adjacent property must be sold at a very high price to a coalition of Oregon Tribes with an agreement to allow a casino and shared profits with the public.

Relative to many other locations Portland has no reason for major conventions to come here.
There is nothing for conventioneers to do.

A streetcar, Tram or bike ride are not special.

The Tribes can build the casino and hotel
turning the yearly Metro operation losses into big profits to be shared with the city, schools, region and state.

For simplicity I'd recommend the generous public's slice be turned over to the Metro or the Oregon Lottery for the legislature to appropriate but they suck at it.

Can you imagine the lunacy in another $250 million in lottery bonds going to the Southwest Corridor Light Rail project?

Or Metro hijacking it for environmental justice projects?

There would have to be some new invention for allocating the millions in order to prevent the many still entrenched defects from rat holing it away.

That graphic ought to reproduced on billboards all over PDX near City Hall and near the Metro headquarters in the Lloyd Center so that the elected Councillors and Commissioners see it daily.

Headquarters hotel my *ss.

crApartments for hipsters...

Someone needs to tell the schmucks at Metro there is this place called Las Vegas; and it has convention facilies light years ahead of Portland. Even the Reno-Sparks Convention Center is a better location; having acres of free paved and secure parking right across the street, and a skybridge to the Atlantis Hotel-Casino-Spa that can house hundreds of convention goers in upscale rooms and suites.

We all knew nearly 20 years ago that this would be a bust. Worst fears were confirmed when the city expanded it to help it to be "more successful".

It was never going to be a win-win. CoP builds this crap to feed the real estate developers. Period.

I forgot to add the obvious...

... and politicians keep pushing this stuff to keep themselves employed.

Convention Mom, that makes so much sense. A casino in that location would draw more visitors to Portland than a convention center ever would. It probably would actually support a Hyatt. The tribes could own it and give some of the revenue to the city and state. Then the Grange idea could be dropped. Why haven't our leaders thought of this?

The one thing we are well known for is strip clubs. But dang they are gross , and far apart. Turn it into a strip club mall. Twenty joints all lined up inside , put cops all over
[ heck they already hang at the clubs...] and make the place clean. And Hey , it is so convenient for the Blazers... We might get all the good players to come here then!
But seriously , I vote for convention mom's idea , with one fix. I would distribute the cash directly to each citizen. Don't let ANY politician even touch it , just Direct Deposit for each of us monthly !


I wasn't advocating getting rid of the convention center but rather selling ti for the Tribes to run with an added casino and hotel they would build.
That combination would make the entire complex profitable big time.
That's the ONLY way to attract more conventions to Portland.
Give conventioneers something to actually do.

And I like the government out of the entire operation all together while receiving the hefty yearly revenue benefit forever.

The entire Convention Casino/Hotel- Rose Quarter-Coliseum- Lloyd District would flourish without any more need of the Portland Development Commission or their disgusting Tax Increment Financing schemes.


1. A new City/County/State government complex, which in turn would allow the various governments to sell off their current dilapidated complexes and have them redeveloped and returned to the property tax rolls.

2. A new education complex - combining various schools and college facilities into one all-in-one center.

3. A mixed-use development - inexpensive apartment housing, shopping mall, community service center - all in one place, close to downtown and with lots of transit access.

4. A combination of any of the above

Another suggestion would be to leave the Convention Center as is - but shut down and sell off the Expo Center as industrial land (yes, industrial - as in factories, smokestacks, lots of trucks and trains going in and out 24/7), convert the Memorial Coliseum's Exhibit Hall into a parking garage (it could always use more parking), and have Metro buy out the Washington County Fairplex, just to turn around and sell it off to developers for residential and mixed-use development (since it does abut both residential land to the south and commercial/aviation land to the north).

Not a bad idea, actually. The Expo Center is way out of the way and difficult to get to for most area residents, in fact wasn't it originally the home of the Multnomah County Fair, next to the old Stockyards, both holdovers from a time when Multnomah Co. still had a serious farming contingent? (Which wasn't all that long ago.)


The PDC will not tolerate being pushed aside!
Sorry Conventopion Mom, those folks will never die, they are the zombie development team.

PSU wants to drop $50M on a basketball arena. Discuss.

That's what I've been trying to tell everyone for the last couple of years. I've been watching multiple openings and renovations on local convention centers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, and they're all hurting for business. When our newest convention center's biggest customer is a local comics and science fiction expo (the attendees of which are notorious for being so cheap that they use both sides of the toilet paper), that says a lot about how cheaply it's giving up the space just to get some use. (Mind you, this is the show that, when running last March, had the local fire marshal counting attendees and only allowing new ones in as others left, so it was great for headliners such as Patrick Stewart. For everyone else, particularly vendors and concessionaires, it was an absolute nightmare.)

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