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Hotel History

At University Place Hotel, we’re proud of our property’s long and interesting past. Originally a Red Lion property, the hotel was built in the mid-1960s as part of an urban renewal and redevelopment plan. Noted landscape architect Lawrence Halprin was hired to develop the overall thematic approach.

In keeping with Halprin’s goal of creating inviting and people-friendly public spaces, the architecture of the hotel was kept low profile. A central courtyard with a heated pool and lush, colorful vegetation matches the aesthetics of Halprin’s nearby public spaces, such as Lovejoy Fountain (a great place to see Mount Hood on a clear day) and its tree-lined walking areas.

In the 70s and 80s, the hotel bar was one of the largest in Portland, and regularly featured live music.  Many long-time Portlanders still share their stories of times and events they experienced here. In 1996, the Hilton Corporation purchased the property and branded it as a Doubletree, which it remained until the property was acquired by Portland State University.  Opened in 2004 as University Place Hotel and Conference Center, our hotel now hosts educational events, conferences, and travelers from all over the world.


At University Place Hotel, we think our personalized service sets us apart. We truly believe in our property, our amenities, and our ability to make your stay an outstanding one. Some of us have been working here for decades; all of us are committed to providing the best service possible, tailored to the person who matters most: you.

Amber Cagle (CMP), Manager of Hospitality Revenue and Sales

Amber 803 square 150x150 AboutA native Oregonian, Amber began her hospitality career in the sales department of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, then joined the staff of University Place Hotel in August of 2009. Amber is active on the board of the Oregon Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, and has recently amassed the knowledge and expertise to become a CMP (Certified Meeting Professional).

Amber graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. She has a daughter who is a senior at Oregon State University, and a son who is a junior at Lane Community College. Amber lives in Northeast Portland with her three Basset hounds.

Jill Aschendorf, Front Office Manager

Jill 803 square 150x150 AboutJill has been in the hotel business for 31 years. She started out in the resort business in Vail, then moved to Westin Hotels in Denver, and later served as a Front Office Manager and Conference Service Manager at the Governor Hotel in Portland.

Jill was born in Ohio, and received a degree in Physical Education. She enjoys downhill skiing, yoga, and going on long walks with her dog.