New PDX hotel targets tech-savvy business travelers

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

If basic cable and free pastries don’t cut it

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An artist’s rendering of what the Aloft hotel near Portland International Airport will look lik

PORTLAND — Got sass? Starting next summer Portland-bound hipsters need not travel downtown to get theirs. Aloft Hotels, marketed as a “sassy, refreshing oasis,” broke ground in June near the Portland International Airport.

In keeping with the trend toward hotels with a “personality,” Aloft poses as a tech-savvy young business traveler — which just happens to be their target market. Check-in/check-out kiosks, akin to those in airports, let guests choose their room’s floor plan. Flat-screen televisions with laptop and MP3 hook-ups will be de rigeur, and pool tables and board games in the bar aim to entertain and encourage socializing among Gen X road warriors. Lota LaMontagne, spokeswoman for Aloft, says the hotel is designed to be an antidote to the usual. “For people who travel a lot, typical humdrum hotels can be excruciating.”

Partnering in Portland with Pollin Hotels III, the hotel is one of the first eight test sites for the Aloft brand by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Ken Anderson, senior manager of aviation properties for the Port of Portland, says the market for airport hotels is strong, with the three existing properties filling up frequently. Anderson says Aloft will be the first new airport hotel since the Embassy Suites opened in the mid-’90s.

— Brooke Matschek

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