Jun 29, 2023 - Development

Portland's mixed feelings on the new Ritz-Carlton

Axios Portland readers respond to the Ritz
Data: Axios Portland survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

While city officials and business owners are anticipating the grand opening of the Ritz-Carlton, pointing to the development as a key part of downtown's revival, many Portlanders are not.

Driving the news: The majority of readers who responded to last week's Axios survey reported that they are considering visiting the Ritz-Carlton once it opens to the public later this summer.

  • Of 194 readers who responded to the survey, 42% said they were not going to visit, while 58% responded yes or maybe.

What you're saying: "I'm hoping it's the catalyst for the long-awaited change that is needed in the downtown area," one reader wrote. "We desperately need something to work down there and hopefully it will attract other businesses that appeal to all socio-economic backgrounds."

Yes, but: The Ritz-Carlton's ultra-luxe brand name was a deterrent for some respondents, though.

  • "It feels like an affront to my beloved hometown that is plagued by homelessness and people needing basic services and support, not more luxury housing and super expensive services," another reader said.

The intrigue: Before the Ritz-Carlton broke ground in 2019, the 60 businesses of Alder Street food cart pod, which had been around since the early '90s, were forced to move.

  • While 64% of respondents said they miss the pod, when asked what feature of the Ritz-Carlton they were most looking forward to, 66% of readers said the ground-level food hall.
  • Flock will feature menus from nationally acclaimed restaurants like Magna Kusina, Korean BBQ purveyor Kim Jong Grillin' and birria cart Birrieria La Plaza's first brick-and-mortar location.

The bottom line: With the opening set for Aug. 15, time will tell if the Ritz is received with open arms — and wallets.

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