A few days ago Metro released the market impact study for the proposed Convention Center hotel. (Here's the Oregonian story reporting that happy fact.) The study, performed by a firm nondescriptly named Strategic Advisory Group, says that the Oregon Convention Center would attract more conventions if a 600-room headquarters hotel were built across the street. I read the study with great interest. Its reasoning seems sound and the methodology is better than what I expected. I was also impressed with SAG because it included one hotel project, Detroit's, in which it concluded that there was not enough demand to justify building a convention center hotel. (Beware the consultant who always gives the same answer.)
The consultancy's website includes a list of eleven convention center hotel projects that it's worked on, which you can read by following this link. One of them is the Portland project, which SAG describes in these words:
The City of Portland desired to increase it marketability within the convention and tradeshow industry. With a recently completed expansion of the Oregon Convention Center, those charged with marketing and booking the facility continued to face obstacles in attracting many key, high-impact events. Would-be customers of the Center and visitors of the City frequently vocalized the need for a larger, first-quality hotel adjacent to the OCC. Therefore, the City of Portland, the Portland Oregon Visitors Association (now "Travel Portland"), and later the Portland Development Commission engaged SAG to create a Headquarter Hotel Strategic Plan and help realize the project. The project involved understanding and defining the market, customer needs, and required hotel
program; assessing the impact of a new headquarter hotel on the existing hotel market; quantifying the economic impact on the OCC and the community; estimating the hotel's cost and financial feasibility.
SAG's description includes this juicy bit:
SAG's Plan did detail a need for a new hotel but also described other necessary steps Portland would need to take to truly maximize its penetration in the industry.
Why is this a juicy bit? The study that Metro released is only part of what SAG did for Metro.
The study that the Oregonian links to doesn't include the list of "other necessary steps" that Portland must take to "maximize its penetration of the industry," that is, to get more convention business. SAG told Metro. Metro should tell us.