Blues Fest big business for Portland

Credit: Daniyl Hicks, waterfrontbluesfest.com

Photo courtesy of Daniyl Hicks, waterfrontbluesfest.com

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by KGW.com staff

kgw.com

Posted on July 5, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 5 at 7:00 PM

PORTLAND – Portland is becoming a must-visit destination in the summer with tourists flocking to the Rose City for a different kind of experience.

Television shows like "Grimm" and "Portlandia" put the city in the national spotlight, and a diversity of attractions draw folks from all over.

This weekend’s Waterfront Blues Festival is a summer signature event and is bringing in some cash for local hotels, restaurants, and shops.

“I think that we'll find we're somewhere in the $15 to $25 million range for economic impact in the city,” said Susannah Morgan, CEO of Oregon Food Bank.

Down by the Riverfront Hotel, just next door to the blues festival, records are being broken.

“The hotel was up probably 10 percent from last year and 15 percent for the bar and restaurant," said Ryan Kunzer, general manager of Riverplace Hotel.

That business is spilling over to area restaurants, including Quartet along the river, which has been open just five months.

“They get to see the place, touch and feel it and that's fabulous, so we look forward to them coming back,” said Frank Taylor, president of Quartet restaurant.

Overall tourism contributes some $4 billion a year to the state economy and some 29,000 jobs alone in the metro area.

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