April 29th, 2009 5:33 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: City Hall, Multnomah County

Metro and Multnomah County: Go Slow on HQ Hotel


After Mayor Sam Adams recently jump-started the on-again, off-again quest for a headquarters hotel, the next step in the 20-year-long process is supposed to be a vote by July 1 by the City of Portland, Metro, and Multnomah County. The question each of those three governments must decide? Whether to proceed with the spending of $12 million to generate design drawings and a firm price for the proposed 594-room, $250 million hotel.

The three governments are partners in the collection, administration and spending of a visitor tax which proponents hope to use to supplement revenues for a hotel aimed at attracting more business for the Oregon Convention Center.

But Multnomah County Chairman Ted Wheeler is in no hurry to move forward on the hotel. Wheeler's chief of staff Tom Rinehart tells WW that although his boss received the report Adams' task force recently completed, Wheeler is still waiting for city officials to provide more detailed information explaining the assumptions on which the project depends.

"The chair has repeatedly asked for more information and has not been satisfied by what he's been sent," Rinehart says. "We understand the need for a thriving tourism industry. We're not sure this [the proposed hotel] is the answer."

Metro is not exactly chomping at the bit either, as shown by a letter (PDF) the agency's councillors sent yesterday to City Hall and the county commissioners.
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