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|Articles - July 2011|
|Wednesday, June 22, 2011|
In March, the San Diego-based Competitor Group announced it would bring its popular Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series to Portland next May. Moreover, the half-marathon will serve as the official kick-off event for the 2012 Portland Rose Festival.
“This will instantly boost the Rose Festival brand and the Rose Festival’s impact,” Rose Festival executive director Jeff Curtis said at a March press conference. “We’re looking for this going out of the gate as a world-class running event.”
The reaction was less enthusiastic among local companies that manage races in the area. Terrapin Events, organizer of “Bridge to Brews” (and progenitor of the “boycott” stamp), has been the most overtly resistant.
“People can only run so many races,” says Melanie Mueller, Terrapin’s event and sponsorship coordinator. “Anything that is happening two weeks before or two weeks after stands to lose a lot of business and could eventually evaporate altogether.”
That includes her company’s annual Cinco de Mayo Half-Marathon. But underlying the potential loss of participant and sponsorship dollars is a more philosophical schism over Rock ’n’ Roll’s affiliation with the city’s trademark festival.
“It’s unfortunate that they couldn’t find a local option,” Mueller says. “It’s the Portland Rose Festival. It’s a celebration of local pride…and I don’t think bringing in a big outside company to do an event is really what this city is about.”
Sean Rivers, co-owner of the local Foot Traffic retail chain (which operates two races and co-sponsors several more), calls the Rock ’n’ Roll series a “convoluted, overpriced, money-making machine,” but allows that it will bring tourism dollars to the city.
“It’s fantastic for the hospitality industry,” Rivers says. “But you can get that locally. The Portland Marathon is a local race and it does the same thing.”
Of course, it’s taken the city’s signature race years to build that following. The effect of Rock ’n’ Roll brand recognition is expected to be immediate with the event estimated to draw more than 12,000 runners and inject as much as $20 million into the local economy, according to the Competitor Group.
“We have a very strong track record for delivering a significant economic benefit to local businesses,” Competitor Group president Scott Dickey says. “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
Dickey argues that the Rock ’n’ Roll series — a large-scale spectacle that will visit 25 cities next year — caters to a demographic of casual runners who are more likely to patronize local races after participating in a Rock ’n’ Roll event. Still, he’s no stranger to opposition.
“When you’re the 800-pound gorilla in the room, there’s going to be resistance,” Dickey says. “We understand that reaction. At the same time, it’s a little bit old hat to us.”
The debate doesn’t surprise Steve Hamilton, whose Wilsonville-based Hamilton Events operates three of Portland’s most popular races: the Shamrock Run, Starlight Run and Race for the Cure.
“In general, Rock ’n’Roll has a good reputation and Portland is a market that makes sense for them,” says Hamilton. “Yes, it will impact some of the local events but I think there’s room in this marketplace for everyone.”
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
The right sunglasses can protect your eyes and look cool at the same time. This being the 21st century, select shades are socially conscious, too. Portland brand Shwood uses wood and other natural materials and manufactures locally. Founded by Ann Sacks, the brand Fetch dedicates a portion of its profits to animal welfare. But whether you choose classic tortiseshell or aviator chic, please, shed the sunglasses when you walk in the door — and, of course, at night.
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Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.
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Travelers have always come to Oregon for its natural beauty. But will the increasing popularity of agritourism, European-style hiking getaways and forest resorts relax Oregon's notoriously strict land-use laws?
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Mike Morrow and Mike Delos-Reyes first came up with the idea of an ocean power device 23 years ago, when they were students at Oregon State University. They realized a long-held vision last summer, when their startup, M3 Wave, successfully launched the first ocean power device that works underwater.
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Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ANNIE ELLISON
Portland tech veteran Ben Berry is leaving his post as Portland’s chief technology officer for a full-time role producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aimed at first responders and the military. Berry’s AirShip Technologies Group is poised to be on the ground floor of an industry that will supply drones to as many as 100,000 police, fire and emergency agencies nationwide. He reveals the plan for takeoff.
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