September 1, 2003 -- Summer in Portland, Oregon, lasts through September 30, nine days more than elsewhere. At least, that's what the tourism people there have scheduled, when their "Cool Summer Deals" program ends. Our favorite? Hotel rates as low as $49 a room.
Forty-two Portland-area hotels have special rates for this promo, and there are tax-free shopping days, discounts, value vouchers, even deals on transportation. Beginning with the hotels, the Downtown Days Inn (City Center) has rooms starting at $49, but 18 other lodging places have deals, some at $79 (Park Lane Suites), $99 (Marriott Downtown on the Waterfront) or $119 (The venerable Benson). Outside the city center, hotel rooms run from as low as $52 at the Days Inn Portland North to $135 at the Resort at the Mountain (meaning Mount Hood).
For shoppers, you save 15% off your first purchase of $25 or more at several stores, $5 off ditto at others. There are vouchers for this in the free booklet on Portland's Cool Summers put out by the Visitors Bureau, and a dozen more for attractions, and even a couple for dining out.
You can fly in, getting special Internet prices on the Southwest Airlines website, www.southwest.com. Better yet, you can take the Amtrak Cascades (www.amtrak.com/trains/cascades.html), a sleek (at least for the USA) train operating up and down the Pacific Coast between Eugene and Vancouver in British Columbia, with Seattle as its Big City stop. When you get to Portland, Enterprise Rent-a Car will let you save up to 10% on your choice of autos. Contact them at www.enterprise.com. Some blackout dates apply to the car and train deals.
For a free booklet or more information, visit www.travelportland.com or phone 877/678-5263.