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Portland, OR Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 108
Total Sleeping Rooms 13,873
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 782
Committable Meeting Rooms* 50
Convention Center Space 462,858 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 255,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 35,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $126
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $66
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $225
*Maximum for a single hotel

Portland, OR Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to our Portland meeting planning guide – a city guide for Portland meeting planning. Named as America's Greenest City in 2008 by Popular Science magazine, Portland is a leader in increasing environmental awareness and making Portland event venues more energy efficient. From LEED-certified meeting facilities to eco-friendly accommodations, Portland provides meeting planners with all of the necessary resources to execute a successful green meeting or event. Over the past few years, the city has served as host to many environmental organizations' meetings including the American Solar Energy Society, the National Wildlife Federation and the U.S. Green Building Council.

Constructed with sustainable products and systems, the Oregon Convention Center was the first convention center to receive its LEED certification. The center has put an extensive recycling program in place, in addition to an organic composting program. Clearly-marked recycling barrels are placed in prominent locations throughout the facility to encourage attendees to discard waste more responsibly.

Not only is Portland's largest meeting space a recipient of the green seal of approval, Portland's largest hotel, the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, is also green-certified. The hotel's eco-friendly meeting practices include double-sided printing on post-consumer recycled paper, individual temperature control in all meeting rooms, donation of leftover food to local charities and availability of local, organic and vegetarian foods. The Doubletree Hotel & Executive Meeting Center is also LEED-certified and several other properties are pursuing certification and implementing sustainability programs. The green experience extends to everyday activities, with eco-tours of organic vineyards and visits to protected tidal and freshwater wetlands making great day trips outside of the city.

Beyond the larger event facilities, the greater Portland area provides numerous unique event spaces. Planners can take advantage of the city's proximity to the water by hosting a small dinner at the covered deck at Salty's on the Columbia. The interactive Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is ideal for larger receptions of up to 2,500 guests. For day trips, several fine wineries less than an hour away such as those in the Willamette Valley beckon guests to enjoy an elegant day trip outside the city. Or, for a chance to revel in the magnificent outdoors of Oregon, several resorts cater to meetings of all sizes, including the Timberline Lodge and the Resort at the Mountain, both located on scenic Mount Hood.

Thanks to far-sighted and innovative urban planning, Portland boasts an excellent public transportation system called TriMet so that guests can reach attractions with ease. The system also services the city's more than 160 hotels. Current hotel rates in Portland are an average of $10 to $15 cheaper per night than hotels in Seattle or San Francisco.

Portland has transitioned from its former trade and shipping-based economy to become a modern mecca of high-tech industries, with over 1,200 technology companies operating in the city. Intel Corporation is one of the city's largest employers, along with Nike, Providence Health System, Columbia Sportswear and Pixelworks.

About Portland, OR / Additional Info

Linked to the Pacific Ocean by the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, Portland is the largest city on the west coast between San Francisco and Seattle. The city dates back to the mid-1800s when it was established as a strategic trading town. As the main shipping port in the Pacific Northwest, Portland grew in size and population through the beginning of the 20th century. Today the Portland metropolitan area is home to more than two million residents, making it the largest city in the state and the 3rd largest city in the Pacific Northwest.

Enjoying moderate temperature and dramatic outdoor scenery, Portland is a nature lover's paradise. With a skyline dominated by majestic Mount Hood, the city below is crisscrossed with waterways, bike paths and over 40 miles of wilderness trails. It is no surprise that Portland has been voted the top cycling city by Bicycling magazine on more than one occasion. The nature-friendly city boasts more than 37,000 acres of park ranging from the beautiful 5,000-acre Forest Park to Mill Ends Park, the world's smallest park at only 24 inches. Portland is home to numerous green golf courses, including Eastmoreland Golf Course and Heron Lakes Golf Course, both of which are included in Golf Digest's list of the nation's top 75 public golf courses. Skiers will find themselves in heaven having four ski resorts nearby and the longest ski season in North America, extending into 90 days of summer. Ice climbing, hiking, and fishing are also popular sports in the area.

Built on top of the Boring Lava Field, this once active volcanic zone has given rise to lush gardens that constitute many of the city's top attractions. Enjoy the fragrance of more than 8,000 rose bushes at the International Rose Test Garden, the oldest official unremittingly operated test rose garden open to the public in the nation. Visit the Portland Classical Chinese Garden built by Suzhou artisans and reawaken your senses amongst magnolias, rhododendrons and bamboo. Explore the winding pathways through the Portland Japanese Garden, which has become known as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. View thousands of plants displayed in over 20 colorful specialty gardens including water features, a 400-year-old oak tree and numerous artistic installations at the Oregon Garden. With an abundance of flora and fauna, it is easy to see how this blossoming city has become known as "the City of Roses."

As a cultural metropolis with a thriving pulse, Portland attracts more than seven million visitors a year. Enjoy a wide range of performances by the Oregon Symphony led by Carlos Kalmar or be captivated by one of the Portland Opera's internationally-cast operas such as Aida or Cinderella. Sit in awe while watching the mystifying acrobatics of Do Jump Theater's "actorbats." Visit the Museum of Contemporary Craft, the oldest cultural institution in Portland, which has housed many captivating ceramic exhibits of artists such as Hilary Pfeifer, Eliza Au, Zen Parry and Susan Taber Avila. Art fanatics will also enjoy the Portland Museum of Art, offering a wide range of media, including its nationally-acclaimed permanent collection featuring art from the ancient times to today.

From recreational to cultural, Portland's attractions are not just varied but very unique. Encompassing an entire city block, Powell's City of Books is the largest new and used bookstore in the world. The historic Pittock Mansion showcases antique furniture representing the splendor of Portland's trading days and has been on the National Historical Registry since 1914. The Oregon Zoo is home to 200 species, but instead of cages used at many other zoos, animals are kept in sunken pits to allow for more open exhibits. Other nearby attractions include the Pearl District, where historic industrial buildings have been transformed into trendy shops, restaurants and art galleries, and the Portland Saturday Market, which showcases local crafts and homemade foods. For a refreshing combination of big city attractions and gorgeous, open green spaces and sparkling waters, Portland is the place to go.

 
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