Convention Center hotel bill passes legislature

Bill’s passage would validate Metro’s plan without a popular vote.

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A bill that would realize Metro’s plan for a taxpayer-backed hotel near the Oregon Convention Center in Portland is heading to Gov. Kate Brown.

Senate Bill 927 passed the House in a 35-24 vote Monday. reports:

The 600-room Hyatt Regency hotel is already headed through the permitting process, and the Metro Council has approved a plan to issue $60 million in revenue bonds to be paid back through hotel lodging taxes. Under Metro’s projections, the hotel by itself would generate enough lodging tax revenue to pay back the bonds.

The $212 million hotel would also be subsidized with $10 million in state lottery funds and $8 million in other public loans and grants. Metro has said the hotel would would help attract at least five new mid-sized conventions each year, bringing with them conventioneers who would spend $600 million during their stay and help boost hotels citywide.

The bill — and plan in general — has been fought at every step by a group of downtown hoteliers. Metro pursued a legislative solution to clear the way for the hotel.

From Willamette Week

Metro introduced Senate Bill 927 to clarify that Metro’s charter—which declares most of its capital projects are exempt from a vote—supersedes state requirements to send such projects to the ballot.

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