Downtown became an overpriced tourist trap with no place for locals. Even Saturday Market became a practice in futility as it was overrun by out-of-towners looking for souvenirs to prove they were here. Pre-pandemic it was cheaper to plan a weekend to Vegas of San Francisco —including airfare— than staying local in Downtown hotels.
I see downtown business owners crying that locals won't visit them. We don't go there and spend our money because for the last decade you've done nothing but kowtow to tourists and make locals feel unwanted. The locals who did lick your scrotum have all moved away. They weren't from here, they were tourists who stayed too long and went back to wherever they were from.
I see city government crying and gnashing their teeth to save downtown. Their special interest group is people who don't live here. Remember that next election. Portland leadership is not only beating a dead horse, they plan on running it at the Kentucky Derby.
Downtown no longer has any significant meaning to Portlanders. There is no culture there anymore, developers drove that out. There are no restaurants or clubs for locals there, and the ones for tourists have died. Out of state developers have spent the last 2 decades cannibalizing downtown and now all we have are the abandoned construction projects, empty luxury buildings and high prices for the bloated corpse.
You know where there is culture?
It's all on the east side now. The Portland that City Hall refuses to believe is Portland. Diverse neighborhoods, restaurants, and people. Theaters and music venues are here, waiting to re-open.
Portland didn't die. Portland is still as vibrant as ever. Like everyone else, it abandoned downtown after realizing it was a rat trap for out-of-towners who really didn't care about it.