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One of my favorite cities in one of my favorite states

Portland, Ore., is a city I always enjoy visiting even though I have been there numerous times. Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard that it rains there all the time, an exaggeration no doubt originated by someone who spent the winter months there, a time of year during which you and your group members are highly unlikely to schedule a visit. 

My latest Portland trip came complete with glorious sunshine and daytime temperatures around 72 degrees, which is very difficult to improve upon!

Portland is a different kind of city. First, it boasts a great public transportation system. It costs a whopping $2.35 to get quickly from the airport to anywhere you might be headed in the heart of the city, as well as just about everywhere else in the metropolitan area, on the MAX light rail system.

Indeed, transportation on the MAX and the Portland Streetcar is free between all points in the central part of the city, on both sides of the Willamette River. It is also a very “green” city. Not only does the visitor find standard trashcans on street corners, but also adjacent recycling containers so that much of the waste can be reprocessed. 

One does not even need to carry bottled water if doing extended sightseeing or shopping, since convenient water fountains (many of the historic “bubbler” type) can be found throughout the city. I’ve continually been amazed since all of them I’ve encountered actually work! 

Lest I forget, the downtown area is vibrant, the city is clean, and the residents friendly. If you’d like more information on Portland and the surrounding area, I’d suggest that you contact Greg Eckhart at Travel Portland. He’s one of the most helpful and professional “DMO” representatives in the country. Greg can be reached at (503) 275-9756 or

Bob Hoelscher, CTC, CTP, MCC, CTIE, is a longtime travel industry executive who has sold his tour company, bought a motorhome and is traveling the highways and byways of America.  He is a former chairman of NTA, and was a founding member of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP).

Well-known in the industry as both a baseball and symphony aficionado, Bob is also one of the country’s biggest fans of our national parks, both large and small.  He has already visited more than 325 NPS sites and has several dozen yet to see.  He is currently traveling the country to visit as many of those parks as possible.  His blog, “Travels with Bob,” appears periodically on The Group Travel Leader’s blogsite, “Are We There Yet”.

Bob is available for contractual work in the industry and may be reached at or by calling (435) 590-1553.

Street corner recycling receptacle