To our valued lineage of Congress attendees:

Live continuing education in the Pacific Northwest is scheduled for October 15 – 17, 2021 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Portland.  Great Western Council of Optometry (GWCO) Congress opened online registration on Tuesday, June 22nd.  Already, there are ODs loyal to GWCO who are signing up to attend our in-person event. A few of the doctors who received the email notification have asked questions related to travel/safety.  GWCO would like to address some concerns we have received regarding traveling and the safety of Portland, Oregon; the location of our 2021 Annual Congress.

Portland continues to be a vibrant and beautiful city, one that is waiting to welcome travelers back. Portland, like so many cities during the last 16 months, has dealt and continues to deal with assorted issues involving social justice, homelessness, and the COVID-19 pandemic. We the GWCO Board of Directors are confident that the official city government and the State of Oregon are undertaking measures to heal social wounds, rebuild lives, and move businesses forward safely out of the pandemic. Thankfully, the GWCO Congress’s headquarter hotel is located near the Oregon Convention Center and a considerable distance from areas where earlier news footage had filmed disputes, protestors, demonstrations, etc.

Below is a statement from Travel Portland, with a link to their Safety in Portland FAQ page. We encourage you to read this and all information in the link.

Yes, Portland remains a safe city for visitors. We recommend that visitors to Portland exercise the same caution, concern and common sense as when traveling to any metropolitan destination.

Given isolated incidents of violence at public demonstrations, it is recommended visitors avoid demonstration areas, which are typically removed from many businesses and attractions popular with visitors to our area. Visitors are unlikely to see signs of the protests that have been shown in national news media.

In response to bad street behavior by people experiencing homelessness, Portland has increased police foot patrols in high-foot-traffic areas and enhanced the Clean & Safe program in the downtown area.

Portland’s rate of violent crime remains lower than the average for U.S. cities of a similar size.

Travel Portland: Safety in Portland FAQ page

If you continue to have any questions or concerns, please reach out to GWCO at [email protected].