Portland hotelier and CEO of Provenance Hotels Gordon Sondland took the stage at the Business Journal’s Power Breakfast this morning to talk about his family’s dramatic past, his passion for art and his role in helping boost state support for the Oregon film and television industry.
On his parents fleeing Germany as Hitler rose to power:”My parents left Germany in a very, very precarious way. My mother was able to get out of Germany because her father was Russian and those with a Russian passport could leave. My father was not so fortunate. He had to be smuggled out of Germany by being tied to the bow of a vegetable freighter that was leaving in the North Sea. He almost lost a leg because it was so cold, but he ended up in France.”
On the $1 million endowment that he and his wife, Katie Durant, made to the Portland Art Museum in 2008 to provide free admission to the Portland Art Museum for kids: ” We noticed that they had to charge for kids who were under 18 years old, so a family of four or six going to the museum, you start adding up the prices for admission and that could range into a couple hundred dollars by the time you bring six people through the door.
Read the whole thing here.
Watch Gordon explain how he bought his first hotel in 1985 here.