After a lengthy deliberation, the Tri-County Lodging Association on Monday issued what reads like the final nail in the latest version of a long-planned
"headquarters hotel" adjacent to Metro's Oregon Convention Center.
The influential hotel association made three key points in its May 18 letter
(PDF) to Metro Council President David Bragdon Multnomah County Commission Chairman Ted Wheeler, and Portland Mayor Sam Adams. (Adams has made development of the hotel a centerpiece of his administration; the other two leaders, whose jurisdictions are also stakeholders, are lukewarm at best).
1. The group opposes any increase in the Transient Lodging Tax to finance the project or any use of the current lodging tax to support hotel operations.
2. The group wants the hotel to be either privately owned or to have substantial private equity backing the project. (The current proposal calls for a publicly owned hotel that would include only about 1 percent private money).
3. Perhaps most damning, the lodging association's members think the numbers produced by the Starwood hotel group, which has been working with the city-owned Portland Development Commission to finance the project, "may not accurately reflect Portland market realities
," and may overstate net operating income by up to 40 percent per year.
City Council, Multnomah County and Metro are supposed to vote by July 1 whether to spend $12 million to develop design drawings and a guaranteed maximum price for the proposed 594-room hotel.