It was a busy Monday morning in Pioneer Square.
First, Mayor Tom Potter held a press conference to announce the launch of a new marketing campaign, the Downtown Marketing Initiative, to encourage Portlanders to shop at downtown businesses.
Unfortunately, it rained the whole time and there was no place to park—two problems with shopping downtown that sparked the need for this campaign in the first place.
Potter presented the city's plan to spend more than $1.3 million for the three-year program, which when added to contributions from partner organizations like TriMet and the Portland Business Alliance will generate about $11 million to revitalize the downtown area.
The conference was followed by the holiday tree arrival ceremony, in which a marching band preceded a Stimson Lumber truck bearing a 40-foot Douglas Fir. The truck drove into the middle of Pioneer Square while KINK morning show host Les Sarnoff worked the crowd.
“Shop Portland first,” he cried. “There are a lot of retail outlets here that could really use your business.”
The crowd cheered half-heartedly. Maybe the rain and lack of parking were getting them down.