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Publicly owned venues such as the Oregon Zoo and the Convention Center are losing money, according to a new report presented to Metro on Tuesday. The other venues controlled by Metro are the Expo Center and the Portland Centers for the Performing Arts. The annual study shows that, together, the four spaces lost $18.6 million in the last fiscal year.
If 2011 wasn't a great year for those venues in Portland, it was a big year for local mergers and acquisitions. A Canadian investment company took over Jeld-Wen Inc. in the fall. That was a high profile deal, but there were many more that didn't make the headlines. The Portland Business Journal released its annual "M&A list," which showed a total of 104 mergers and acquisitions in 2011. As we've discussed before, the economic impact of deals like this can be mixed.
Here's an unequivocal economic bright spot: the Port of Portland announced it will start exporting cars to Korea this month. The port has long been an importer of foreign vehicles and they say a new export contract with Ford is just the beginning of new exporting opportunities.
Will this new export contract impact you? Do you visit the zoo, the Convention Center or other publicly owned venues? Were you surprised by the report to Metro? Were you affected by any of the mergers and acquisitions of local companies last year? What other business news has been on your mind?