Portland Getting A Ritz-Carlton In 2023

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

While there are plenty of Ritz-Carlton properties in the pipeline, I find this development to be especially interesting.

It has just been announced that Marriott has signed a contract with BPM Real Estate Group to open a Ritz-Carlton in Portland, Oregon. This will be the first Ritz-Carlton in the Pacific Northwest.

This development will span 35 floor, and will include 251 hotel rooms and 138 residential units. This will be a mix-use tower, so on top of that the development will feature office space, retail space, and a ground-level food hall. This is projected to cost nearly $600 million.

Construction will start later this year, and the property is expected to open in early 2023. The property will be located a few blocks from Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Marriott’s Chief Development Officer for North America Full Service Hotels (Marriott sure has lots of job titles, goodness) had the following to say:

“This landmark project is a game changer for The Ritz-Carlton brand and the City of Portland. The Ritz-Carlton, Portland will set a new standard for luxury hospitality in Portland, expand this iconic brand to the Pacific Northwest and introduce locals to the refined elegance and amenities associated with the Ritz-Carlton Residence lifestyle.”

The hotel will feature a fitness center, full-service spa, and swimming pool on the 19th floor. Then there will be an indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar on the 20th floor.

When open, this will be Portland’s first true five star hotel. What makes this so interesting to me is that Portland is a quirky place, and is fiercely loyal to local businesses. Not that other hotels are necessarily ‘local,” but as a general rule of thumb I can’t imagine locals will be a fan of this. That’s especially true since the hotel is opening in the space of the Alder Street Food Cart Pod, which is closing.

Then again, I’m guessing on many levels Ritz-Carlton doesn’t really care what locals think, since that’s probably not their target demographic.

I imagine this hotel will be targeted at high end leisure traffic as well as conferences. In general the Pacific Northwest is highly seasonal when it comes to tourism, and hotel rates reflect that. It’s not uncommon to see rates 3-5x as much in summer as winter, so I’d imagine that will be the case here as well.

Portlanders (and others) — what do you make of this Ritz-Carlton?

(Tip of the hat to Spencer)

  1. As a Portlander I personally think this is good news. I’m sure many will make their gripes about how their displacing so many food carts but we’re talking about a prime block in the center of downtown. The whole idea behind food carts I thought was their mobility which defeats people’s stupid arguments. On top of that this hotel will probably contribute substantially more money to the economy as they will be hiring new staff, probably working with local companies in some degree, bringing in high profile clientele likely to spend a lot in the community and on top of it all they will be paying taxes.

    I also think this makes sense as there is a tremendous amount of people from Cali and around the country moving here. 5 years ago in Portland it was uncommon to see a Maserati, Ferrari, etc but I see them much more often now. Clearly new money is around and I’m sure they tell their friends and family to come visit.

    On top of that we have companies like Nike and Addidas headquartered here and with all the high profile people that stop by Portland this seems like the sort of luxury athletes or “celebrities” would expect.

    I don’t see Beyoncé staying at the Nines lol

  2. This will go over very well here. We have needed a true five star hotel (that people recognize) for a long time. Also this is only 250 rooms, and brand loyalty is large irrelevant considering most people who stay are not from the area. Also the demographic from “quirky” is slowly changing.

  3. There are certain elements in Portland that will try to reject any form of cosmopolitanism or change in general, but I think this is a big win for the city. There’s demand for a luxury hotel downtown. The city has been discovered by foodies, beer aficionados, and other tourists in general, and business travel has been booming as well (led by the companies mentioned above by William).

    Regarding the loss of the food cart pod, Portland has more than enough of these to spare. It’s a great sign of the local economy and furthers the development of downtown Portland as a destination (which has been weakened a bit over the years as big retailers scale back downtown and activity has tilted further north into the Pearl District). Portland is still vibrant downtown but every little bit helps.

  4. “This will be a mix-use tower, so on top of that the development will feature office space, retail space, and a ground-level foot hall”

    I’m probably missing something but what is a “foot hall”?

  5. With Portland’s growth this isn’t a big surprise, but still sort of a milestone in our trajectory. A couple years ago we got our own helicopter tours! Holy cow, never expected we’d ever be “helicopter tour”-worthy! So, yeah- high end lodging is I guess expected next.

    @LM- I think that is “food hall”. They’re aiming to keep the spirit of the food carts, since it’s kind of a big deal to locals.

    This year also a Worldmark opened up downtown, which is their first property here. A little different market, but still something new for Portland.

  6. will be great if they price this as 50k per night, then we can use our yearly free night certs there. A miracle if it gets priced at 35k

  7. This makes sense. The Nike and Adidas presence means they get a lot of high profile business people and celebrities and the Nines or one of the Kimptons probably wasn’t going to cut it. The food truck scene was cool, but I always wondered how they justified having mobile carts permanently taking up a prime city block.

  8. I’ve lived in Portland for 23 years and have seen a lot of change. We picked to live in Portland precisely because it wasn’t Seattle, San Francisco, or LA. A colleague of mine (and a life-long resident of SF) who relocated from there to Portland 5 years ago, said to me that Portland is everything SF wants to be.

    I’ve met tourists that come here. I’ve talked with people that have relocated here. Nobody came to see any iconic structure or theme park (perhaps other than Mt. Hood), but all have mentioned the cultural notoriety of Portland’s quirks and a key component of that they wanted to experience is the food carts. They came for Portland’s Vibe, and nobody has ever expressed disappointment at the lack of an RC here.

    The Nines is indeed a 5-star hotel and there have been plenty of high-end luxury cars parked out front (Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, RRs, etc), and it is THE place where celebrities stay. All visiting NBA teams stay there. The RC will bring competition to the Nines, no doubt.

    I have mixed feelings. An erosion of one thing that is key to the city’s notoriety and draw that is to be replaced by something the city is not noted – or celebrated for – I’m not sure could be characterized as a ‘big win’. On the other hand, some will herald this as progress. I agree there are plenty of other food cart locations downtown, but this was the location that is always in the travel books, was featured on The Amazing Race, and is the location I’ve always pointed to folks to go to since it had the highest concentration. That doesn’t feel great – more of a loss than a win – though I do recognize the high value of the lot.

    As a person involved in the commercial real estate industry in Portland, I can say the developers missed the mark on a HUGE opportunity to create a win-win. Instead of a ‘Food Hall’, they could have incorporated space on at least one or two sides to accommodate the return of at least some of the food carts as a better way to honor one of the most significant key elements that draw people to Portland (and helicopter tours aren’t it).

    And frankly, there are some in the real estate circles here who think the RC may struggle. Time will tell. Would I be heartbroken if the RC didn’t succeed? No.

    Overall, :^\

  9. Doesn’t seem to address much of a need and there other options immediately around Courthouse Square, I’ve had a pleasant experience at the Downtown Hilton which usually has bargain rates, you can stay there this weekend usually ~$200/night. Not sure how well a RC is going to do there.

  10. Yay! A hotel where Marriott elites don’t get breakfast or lounge access!

    Oh wait, that was sarcasm.

  11. Well, I think that RC and the developer better care about what at least 138 ‘locals’ think. Projects like this only pencil if the residential units sell and lenders won’t usually finance the project as a whole without evidence of a threshold of firm unit sales. Not an expert on Portland but I have doubts about whether folks are going to pay for premium condo units, in a RC, in Portland—especially with Chinese investment tapering off. Would be a challenge even in Seattle where there is at least some precedent for it.

  12. I hate this corporate PR BS. It is so incredibly dumb.
    “This landmark project is a game changer for The Ritz-Carlton brand…”
    A new Portland hotel is a “game changer” for the whole Ritz Carlton brand. A brand that operates over 100 hotels worldwide, but this one property in Portland CHANGES EVERYTHING. How is that?

  13. Hmmm… would the Ritz be that much better than the Nines? I think this will all be about getting the design and details right. Pine Street Market has been a pretty big success that the developers could possibly emulate.

  14. @kelly – the nines is not a 5 star hotel. When you say athletes and celebrities stay there now it’s because there’s nothing better. Your disproving your own point. Is it a nice hotel, yes, but 5 star service and amenities like the ones offered at RC’s or other 5 star brands? I don’t think so.

    NBA players let alone celebrities are making $5 million a year let’s say. That’s almost $14k a day, I don’t think the nines is their first choice. And btw the NBA contracts with hotels, so that’s not exactly the players choosing to spend their money there. Really if you think about it, this is business travel for them, don’t you think they’d expect greater luxury in their free time?

  15. Please change it to Portland Oregon, the older Portland Maine should be respected. And the elder Portland really needs some good new hotels.

  16. You betcha they’ll clear the homeless out of that area after 2023.
    Two things not addressed:
    1) Portland has an ordinance mandating that any rental units also include small percentage of low-income and minority housing either on-site or in a separate building nearby. Guess what the developer opted to do? Yup. No poor folks or minorities will be living in this tower. That ain’t woke!
    2) the son of Jeff Grayson, Barclay, who went to prison for embezzling hundreds of millions in union pension money (his daddy died before sentencing), is attached to this project.
    On both counts, I’m quite surprised the local woke media here hasn’t played at this angle.
    Personally I think this is great and I’ll look at buying a place there. I’ve been a good hall supporter from day one and I love the idea of high rise amenities near where I work and live.

  17. People in the Pacific Northwest who complain about anything resembling wealth moving in are so annoying. They want Seattle and Portland to stay dirty and nasty until the end of time, apparently. I went into downtown Seattle recently, and all the highly educated workers from Amazon has finally made the area decent. I no longer felt like I had to take a 3 hour shower after returning home. Still some dirty parts but not as bad as before. I’d rather have highly educated people everywhere than uneducated hippies. Newsflash: big cities aren’t supposed to be cheap. Move outside the city if you want cheap rent. Vandalizing Amazon employees’ cars is not the answer.

  18. I grew up near Portland and went to University there. Being an Oregonian, I can’t really see a Ritz being there. I still have family there and still see myself as a local. Though with Seattle and SFO/LA kicking out the homeless and shifting them up to Portland and the cost of homes/apartments going up and up, I guess this is the next logical thing. I can see skiers and shoppers staying there maybe. Things are changing in Portland and costs are rising. I just hope my home town doesn’t stray far from the Portland I know.

  19. About time. There is a new Hyatt going up by Moda, but that is not 5*. In addition Portland needs a new and /or larger convention center if they want to attract meetings of any decent size.

  20. Lived there for 8 years. Not even a RC in Seattle? PDX is very budget compared to Seattle. The people there may not welcome it. AND not in a nice way. The food trucks were very iconic on Alder, but yeah it’s a prime spot so….. Lucky, you have to go to PDX for the Starlight parade. It is such a funky event. PDX is gorgeous too. My husband is flying up to get me some Voodoo donuts next week. I don’t have time to go, but my kids were raised there and it will put a smile on their faces.

  21. The people of Portland don’t really want this. They got rid of something that made Portland unique for a boring, corporate structure that doesn’t really fit the city. You shouldn’t be cheering this @Lucky.

  22. Got a perfectly good hotel room in PDX for $69 a night last year.

    Who are these people paying $200 or $300 a night, what for and why? I’d rather spend my cash on other things.

  23. I wish people would specify which Portland in the headlines. You do know there are actually 2 of them?

  24. Ronald W.
    Actually there are about twenty cities or towns named Portland in the U.S. It’s just that the one in Oregon is the largest and is becoming the one most associated with the name.

  25. Portland should have a few five star hotels and I’m quite shocked that they don’t. My opinion is it won’t impact the locals.

    They are not aiming for those that would take issue with their property, as those people wouldn’t be the ones to ever support a Ritz in the first place, regardless of where it was located. They don’t have the money to spend.

    Clearly the target audience are those who either are in the area for business or pleasure, and want a 5 star during their stay. It’s a smart move and again I’m surprised it took this long. They have no competition and will do quite well. Four Seasons should have jumped on this a long time ago. Not everyone loves off, odd and quirky.

  26. As a recent transplant from the East Coast (14 months), I am very excited that the RC is coming to Portland. The brand is topnotch. It enhances the wide range of hospitality options this great city has to offer. It will create jobs and cater to a clientele that will visit, dine-out, shop, and contribute to our local economy. It provides 5-star accommodations for locals looking for a special evening out. They tend to have a quiet, elegant vibe that in no way will infiltrate the strong sense of quirkiness Portland holds near and dear.

    It was my understanding the food trucks were just relocating to The Pearl, not disappearing altogether.

    Having experienced the RC Residences in Boston, my husband & I will certainly look into the units being offered in 2023 and believe many others to be interested as well.

  27. “The Ritz-Carlton…will…introduce locals to the refined elegance and amenities associated with the Ritz-Carlton Residence lifestyle.” Word to Ritz Carlton’s marketing team: locals do not need to be “introduced” to “refined elegance.” We know it–we just reject it. Just because we live a more casual lifestyle doesn’t mean we’re country bumpkins. Our many amazing restauranteurs understand the local scene. Chefs like Gabriel Rucker and Vitaly Paley create world-class food served with zero pretense. “Refined elegance” in the form of a white tablecloth/dress code/stuffy maitre’d is NOT what folks are looking for here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *