PORTLAND, Ore. -- A brand new Hyatt Regency Hotel will soon be going up right across the street from the Oregon Convention Center.
The 14-story building will have 600 rooms.
Officilals with Metro said Portland loses out on about nine to 12 conventions every year. That’s roughly $120 million that could flow into the area, but doesn’t because there’s not a big enough hotel close enough to the convention center. Officials hope the new hotel draws more events to the area.
Aki Laruson is originally from Iceland but he’s studying in Hawaii. He and many others from around the world are attending a conference at the convention center.
“A lot of our people are staying in AirBnB places and in the dorms,” said Sally Otto from Vancouver, British Columbia.
“We got a max pass for the week so it's pretty nice,” said Laruson.
They say it's been easy for them to get to and from the Convention Center. While they said a nearby hotel might be helpful, they had some concerns.
“For a convention like us, you have many PhD students, masters students, so if the hotel means expensive rooms it's not going to be very useful,” said Guillaume Martin from Montpelier, France.
People who live and commute in the area were on the fence.
“I think it might be a lot more crowded than it already is,” said Roxan Delacerda.
“Whatever's good for the economy I'm all for it,” Laird Oconnell said.
Tom Hughes, the Metro Council President, said the hotel will bring 2,000 to 3,000 construction jobs and new life to the Lloyd District.
“We're beginning to see a lot more construction in this district now,” said Hughes.
The hotel will cost about $224 million. A combination of private money, money from the Oregon Lottery, and a lodging tax will pay for the hotel.
It's taken years for the project to get up and rolling, partly because some downtown area hotel owners were concerned about the competition. That issue has been resolved.
The new hotel may also mean good things for basketball fans. Hughes said once the hotel is built, Portland could finally get to host an NBA All-Star Game.
Previous criticism from the NBA indicated that Portland doesn't have a big enough hotel close to the Moda Center.
The Hyatt Regency going up at the corner of Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Holladay Street could change that.
The hotel is expected to open in August 2019. There will be an official groundbreaking this July.
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