PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After decades of hoping and years of planning, Portland finally has a Convention Center headquarters hotel.

The $195 million Hyatt Regency is located next to the Oregon Convention Center in the Lloyd District and is just one block from the Moda Center. It held its grand opening in January.

With 600 rooms and 39,000 square feet of meeting space, it’s the largest hotel in Oregon and a game-changer for the Rose City’s visitor industry.

Inside the Hyatt Regency in the Lloyd District of Portland, February 11, 2020 (KOIN)

“What an opportunity to be the first headquarter hotel in Portland,” said Hyatt Regency General Manager Shane Nicolopoulos. “We’re hoping to be a stepping stone to really show the world what Portland has to offer.”

Ever since the Convention Center opened in 1990, the Portland visitor industry has pushed for a large headquarters hotel within walking distance to attract major conventions and events.

The Convention Center’s recent $40-million upgrade coincided with the opening of the Hyatt Regency.

The new hotel was designed for Portland and features Oregon amenities, including local coffee and beer. The chandeliers in the lobby are even made of bicycle chains as a nod to the city’s bike culture. It has a ballroom that can hold up to 800 people, meeting rooms, a fitness center and a lounge.

Inside the Hyatt Regency in the Lloyd District of Portland, February 11, 2020 (KOIN)

The investments are already paying off.

“It’s coming fast and furious and the demand is definitely there for us,” said Nicolopoulos.

Portland is a tourist and vacation destination, with its vibrant restaurant scene and access to the outdoors.

Including the Hyatt Regency, Portland has increased its hotel inventory by 40% since 2017 to more than 16,000 rooms. This new hotel will help Portland successfully handle huge events that draw thousands of attendees.

“We’re in the process now of bidding on the 2024 and 2025 Women’s Final Four and, again, the addition of this hotel and the package this hotel can help us offer was a major step,” said James Jessie with Travel Portland.

In 2018, Portland’s visitor industry generated more than $5 billion in direct spending — employing about 36,000 people, according to Travel Portland. And large-scale events could propel Portland into a new chapter as a “major city.”

“It’s going to be a different place 10 years from now,” Nicolopoulos said. “I can assure you that.”

Inside the Hyatt Regency in the Lloyd District of Portland (Courtesy photo)