New Portland Visitor Center to open as summer crowds return

The reopening of an informational hub for tourists marks a major milestone in Portland’s post-pandemic recovery, officials say.

Two men walk away from an open shop door next to large glass windows.

The entrance of the Portland Visitor Center’s new location in the heart of Portland’s vibrant downtown.

Photo by Travel Portland

The list of reasons to spend time in Portland is getting longer (it’s home to the country’s official best new restaurant and is about to host Formula E, for starters). As the Rose City’s star rises, so too does the number of people coming to visit — and they’ll soon find a new place to start their adventure.

Travel Portland will open a new visitor center Thursday, June 29, in the heart of downtown. Located at 1132 SW Harvey Milk St., the center will be a hop, skip, and jump away from top attractions like Powell’s City of Books, McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, and Block 216.

A small group of people mills about an indoor room with a polished concrete floor.

People attend a preview event at the new Portland Visitor Center.

Photo by Travel Portland

This won’t be Portland’s first visitor center; the previous location was shuttered during the pandemic. City officials believe that reopening an informational hub for tourism signals a major milestone in Portland’s recovery.

In 2022, regional tourism drove more than $5.1 billion in visitor spending, Mayor Ted Wheeler said at a preview event for the new visitor center. It’s not quite back to pre-pandemic levels, but Travel Portland expects the city to surpass 2019 figures within the next few years.

“Research shows that people who visited us in the past view us more positively and are far more likely to visit us again. So our mission is to get people to come to Portland and see it with their own eyes,” Wheeler said. “Tourism means business for Portland.”

Four city officials cut a flower garland while two people each end inside a well-lit room featuring a large city poster.

Portland Metro Chamber President & CEO Andrew Hoan, Travel Portland President Jeff Miller, Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Commissioner Carmen Rubio joined in a ribbon cutting.

Photo by Travel Portland

At the Portland Visitor Center, people will find information about the city, local events, dining options, attractions, natural areas, and more to help them maximize their trip. There are also plans to offer the center’s resources pop-up style at major gatherings.

Initially, the Portland Visitor Center will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sundays in July before opening full-time by August. An open house will be held Wednesday, July 26, with 1,500 partner businesses and the downtown community.