Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 16th, 2009 at 10:39 am
Aloft hotel near the airport.
Portland is fortunate to have a bike-accessible (and friendly) airport just a few miles out of town. It’s a good thing too, because there are also growing number of people who bike there to catch a flight. We also get our share of car-conscious visitors (meaning, folks that would rather not drive once they get here in order to experience our world-famous bike scene).
The options at the airport for either parking your bike for extended periods, or for taking your bike with you aren’t so hot. As we’ve discussed recently, prices for bikes as baggage can be pretty high. And as for parking, there’s no secure area for biking travelers to park (there is however, a locked and gated parking area for airport employees).
Leave it to a bike-loving general manager of a hotel near the airport to see an opportunity.
The new Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station hotel now offers loaner bikes for visitors and they have a new “Bike and Fly” program.
“As a member of the hospitality industry, the more we can create exposure to guests coming into Portland of what we’re all about, the better.”
— Glen Lewis, Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station
This morning I spoke with Assistant General Manager Glen Lewis. He says they’ve got a small fleet of Electra cruisers and a couple of Bike Friday folding bikes on hand for guests to use. They’re free and they’ll also set you up with bike maps. The “Bike and Fly” program grew out of the many ‘park and flys’ offered at other hotels. Lewis noticed those and thought, “There might be some people who want to ride out [to the airport] and get the same service.”
The bike parking at Aloft is in a locked storage area. The service is free with your room (which a staffer this morning said was about $139 a night) and they’ll store your bike for up to 10 days. The service comes with a free shuttle to the airport, or you can jump on the MAX light rail at a station a few steps from the hotel.
Lewis says making his hotel welcoming and supportive of bikes is, “a great opportunity.” “As a member of the hospitality industry,” he adds, “the more we can create exposure to guests coming into Portland of what we’re all about, the better.”
As an aside, in light of our recent coverage, Lewis told me that he has contacted the Port of Portland (the owners of the airport) to express his support for a “Bikes Fly Free” policy and/or program.