The Duniway Hotel: Why Portland is Bold and Unafraid of Change

By Ryan Kunzer General Manager, The Duniway, a Hilton Hotel | February 03, 2019

Located right in the heart of downtown Portland's business and entertainment district, the Duniway is a refreshingly lively boutique hotel that embraces the artistic, creative and independent nature of Portland. Indeed, the hotel is named after Abigail Scott Duniway, an author and pioneer suffragist in the Pacific Northwest who devoted more than forty years in the 19th and early 20th centuries to seeking the vote for women and tirelessly promoting women's rights. Her independent spirit lives on today in the Duniway, our employees and the experiences we treat visitors to.

Guests of the Duniway can visit music and theater venues, enjoy tax-free shopping, sip a coffee in "Portland's Living Room," Pioneer Courthouse Square, cheer on our Major League Soccer team, the Timbers, or sample various beers from craft breweries – all within walking distance of our front door. With Portland known as a hub of inventive and exciting chefs and restaurants, guests don't have to travel far to enjoy delicious dining.

Celebrity chef, Chris Cosentino's Jackrabbit PDX restaurant right inside the Duniway marries creative and tasty dishes with an American Institute of Architects-recognized dining room, providing one of the most memorable dining experiences in Portland. And upstairs, the Duniway's guest rooms epitomize redefined luxury with spacious and comfortable layouts where nothing has been overlooked. Each boutique room boasts a 65-inch HDTV with StayCast technology, 500 thread-count Waldorf Astoria bedding, plush bathrobes and even curated book selections. It's thoughtful touches like these that make it a guest favorite when visiting our city.

Portland, known as the City of Roses and more recently for the "Keep Portland Weird" bumper stickers, is growing and changing right before our eyes. This city nestled in between the mountains and the ocean has always been recognized as a 2nd or 3rd tier city. But we are on the cusp of developing into a tier one city, one competing with the San Francisco's, New York's, Vancouver, BC's and Chicago's of the world for travelers' attention and business. All you have to do is peek out the window and count the number of cranes dotting the skyline to appreciate this reality.

While the city is physically growing, Portland is also growing up, maturing if you will. We are still weird and there are no plans to shed that moniker anytime soon, but the city is evolving. This doesn't mean you won't still see a unicyclist downtown blowing fire out of a set of bagpipes while wearing a Darth Vader mask, but you will now also see new small technology startups growing and booming, large skyscrapers being developed where food cart pods and parking lots once stood, and an influx of new residents from all over the globe. 

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.