Portland, Oregon just can't stay out of the headlines for all the wrong reasons. From riots to homelessness to an increase in violent crime, Portland has it all. Travel Portland, a private non-profit organization, is trying to rehab the city's beleaguered reputation.
The tourism agency released a video and bought a full-page ad in the New York Times. The Times' ad states while people may have heard a lot about Portland, "it's been a while since you heard from us," boasting about how tolerant the progressive city is while brushing over the riots that have plagued the area for much of 2020 and 2021.
"We’re a place of dualities that are never polarities. Two sides to the same coin that keeps landing right on its edge. Anything can happen. We like it this way.
"This is the kind of place where new ideas are welcome — whether they’re creative, cutting-edge or curious at first glance. You can speak up here. You can be yourself here.
"We have some of the loudest voices on the West Coast. And yes, passion pushes the volume all the way up. We’ve always been like this. We wouldn’t have it any other way."
The video ad features scenes of the Columbia River, the cityscape, and more than 30 Portland chefs, store owners, athletes, performers, and artists, according to KOIN. While the riots are no longer a nightly occurrence like last year, the effects are setting in with overworked police now having to work with a smaller budget.
The city disbanded the Portland Police Bureau's Gun Violence Reduction Team in 2020. Since then, shootings and shooting deaths have dramatically risen. This is why it is no surprise tourism revenue has taken a hit.
"You could go to any hotel general managers and they can give you multiple examples of guests that have voiced disappointment. It's frightened people away. And that has had a huge impact on our industry. People are of the opinion that Portland's not safe," Benson Hotel Managing Director George Schweitzer told KGW8.
As I told "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday, I only plan on going to Portland for riot coverage.
"Innocent people who have nothing to do with the police are often the first ones to suffer the immediate consequences of this lawlessness." pic.twitter.com/D7jQNCcqsL— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 22, 2021