Black Meetings and Tourism

July/August 2014

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B M & T ••• July/August 2014 ••• 57 PORTLAND'S GREEN MEETINGS ARE CAPTURING THE PLANNERS EYE BY SOLOMON J. HERBERT II You want a unique place for a meeting and affordable accommoda- tions to match. You want great cul- ture, memorable meals and delicious microbrews with no side order of sales tax. You want delegates to be zipped easily from the airport to the convention center while being easy on the environment, too. You're not asking for too much. You just want a place like Portland. Being that there is no sales tax on food and beverage Portland lets you stretch your meeting budget. Your bottom line will thank you, as will your delegates, who'll use the money they save to take full advantage of Portland's acclaimed dining, shopping and cultural offerings. Portland's flourishing event venues will give meeting planners many options to offer their clients' meet- ing/conference. Whether you're hold- ing a small intimate gathering such as a wedding reception or birthday party to a larger company conference 'The City Of Roses' has got you covered. The Oregon Convention Center (OCC) is the largest convention facil- ity in the Pacific Northwest. The facil- ity offers 255,000 sq. ft. of contigu- ous exhibit space, 50 meeting rooms, two grand ballrooms, full-service catering and an 800-space under- ground parking garage. Visitors can get to and from the downtown hotel core and Portland International Airport with ease via MAX light rail. Located in the heart of downtown Portland, The Eliot Center accommo- dates 10-900 guests in a blend of his- toric and contemporary venues including the newly built, LEED Gold- certified Buchan Building. With two reception halls, two auditoriums and 16 surrounding classrooms, Eliot Center is ideal for conferences, meet- ings, performances, weddings, recep- tions and much more. Portland offers a wide array of hotels and lodg- ing in the down- town and con- vention center area for confer- ence attendees' c o n v e n i e n c e . Many of these hotels are desig- ned to hold large self-contained events on site. For this reason Portland serves as one of the most confer- ence friendly cities when it comes to hotel service. Despite daunting barriers and dis- crimination, African-Americans have made important contributions to Oregon in politics, medicine, the envi- ronment, sports and the arts. The his- toric heart of Portland's African- American community is the Albina district of North and Northeast Portland. This is where you will find civic institutions such as the Urban League of Portland and the Portland Trail Blazers Boys and Girls Club, as well as beauty stores, barbers, African groceries, music and dance clubs. Leading the charge is local entre- preneur Roy Jay, president & CEO of the Oregon Convention & Visitor Services Network and major player in the Alliance of Minority Chambers of Commerce. Give him a call to get started plan- ning your event in Portland. Reflections Café and Talking Drum Books is a great place to find out what's going on in Portland. Reflections hosts community events every week. Take a tour of the city's "Walls of Pride," a collection of murals and public art in North and Northeast Portland, created by local painters and sculptors. Conference attendees can view multicultural art exhibits, dance and performance at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center. Don't for- get to visit the Alberta Arts District to explore local music, food and art. Alberta Street is home to a popular gallery walk and street fair on the last Thursday of every month. The Portland International Airport (PDX) is located nine miles north of downtown Portland and is conve- niently connected to the city center via MAX light rail train. The trip between the airport and downtown Portland via MAX light rail takes about 38 minutes. AREA GUIDES P O R T L A N D Oregon Convention Center Photo Credit: Oregon CVB • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Hilton Portland & Executive Tower 782 Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront 503 Holiday Inn Portland Airport 284 The Benson Hotel 287 EXHIBITION FACILITIES Oregon Convention Center total exhibit space 375,000 sq. ft. largest ballroom 35,000 sq. ft. meeting rooms 52 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Oregon Convention & Visitor Services Network (800) 909-2882 African American Chamber of Commerce (503) 796-8667 ROY JAY

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