Finding a decent place to crash after a long night of partying is about to get a little easier:

McMenamins Crystal Hotel, located at S.W. Burnside Street and 12th Avenue in downtown Portland, announces its grand opening for Tuesday, May 3, 2011. The historic hotel will offer 51 lodging rooms starting at $85 per night, which includes the option to purchase tickets to that night’s performance at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom next door. The hotel will also house the Zeus Café, a Northwest café offering breakfast, lunch and dinner; a cellar bar featuring nightly live music and artist residencies; a subterranean saltwater soaking pool and more. Reservations will be accepted as of February 1, 2011, by calling (503) 972-2670; online reservations are scheduled to begin in March 2011.

Also good to know: Guests at the hotel will be able to buy tickets to even sold out shows at the Crystal, and they can get in to the venue early, sidestepping all those pesky people in line who already have a place to sleep. The rooms will be named after songs by notable folks who've played the Crystal, including James Brown, The Flaming Lips, Blondie, The White Stripes, and Arcade Fire. While you can tick away the days online to make a reservation in March, you can pick up the phone (503-972-2670) and do so as soon as February 1. AND to all the job seekers out there: "The company will be adding 70 new jobs with the opening of the hotel — servers, bartenders, cooks, housekeepers, hotel staff and more." And, because it is a McMenamins joint, this:


So should the Ace be shaking in its limited edition Converse? They've certainly enjoyed a vice grip on lodging coolness in the "West End" of downtown, and I've enjoyed them having it. They may not have a saltwater pool, but they're arguably the linchpin in that area's rejuvenation, and their continued involvement and commitment to the city's various arts scenes has won them a lot of loyalty, deservedly so. As for McMenamins, well, they charge way too much for their Black Rabbit Red, but you have to give them props for mucking out the glory holed remains of the old Club Portland and getting a historic building (built in 1911) back in the running. I'm happy to let them fight it out, because when modestly priced hipster hotels have to compete, the rest of us will always win.