The Metro Council voted to move ahead with a deal to subsidize a Hyatt Regency hotel at the Oregon Convention Center, an effort to lure larger out-of-town events and the tourism dollars they bring.
Metro spent more than a year negotiating a deal with Mortenson Co. of Minneapolis. The deal they reached decided the $212-million hotel project would be backed by $60 million in Metro-issued revenue bonds, and by hotel taxes the hotel expects to generate.
The project would also get $18 million in grants and loans from Metro, the Portland Development Commission and state lottery funds.
Metro says the hotel would help bring five to 10 new conventions and $120 million each year in tourism spending.
Opponents of the project -- mainly a coalition of competing hoteliers, including Provenance Group and the owners of the downtown Hilton -- say the subsidy could allow the hotel to undercut competitors during periods when tourism is weak. And if the Hyatt doesn't meet its own projections, taxes collected at other hotels could help cover the gap.
The Portland City Council and the Multnomah County commissioners also previously signed off on an agreement to let the lodging taxes be reallocated from other tourism development efforts.