A few months ago I posted about the positive role airports can play in city branding and unfortunately how most airports fall short. At that time I mentioned that Portland International Airport (PDX), in my home city, is very much an exception. It constantly works at being a welcoming gateway to Portland and Oregon through local merchandise, food, wine, culture and art, and displays.
Their latest initiative is to roll out a series of local food carts, giving travelers a taste of the city’s active food cart scene – one of the top in the nation. There are over 600 food carts in the city and CNN declared Portland home to the world’s best street food. Koi Fusion and Pok Pok are the first two food cart operators to open at the airport.
The program is designed to give locally-owned small businesses a chance to operate at the airport with low overhead to see if it’s the right fit for them. Each cart will operate on a six - month rotation, giving other local businesses the opportunity to participate. To coincide with this project, a colorful mural, “Get Lost In Portland”, was painted on the carts by local artist Gage Hamilton to illustrate the diverse imagery found when traveling on foot in Portland neighborhoods.
It looks like I’m going to have to start scheduling my flights through PDX closer to lunch and dinner times!