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If you happened to have wandered along West Georgia and Homer Street on Monday, you just may have been fascinated by an enormous, detail-rich cuckoo clock bearing the iconic Portland White Stag neon sign above it. This beautiful, not-so-little clock forms the centerpiece of Travel Portland’s lively and well-designed winter tourism campaign, “Portland is Happening Now”.

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The 24-foot, 7,000-pound clock, handcrafted and painted in Portland by entertainment prop designer Nicolas Gros, spent the day in Seattle as well, with the bird chiming on the hour (from 9 to 6 pm), and a surprise element coming out of the doors below. The clock is reportedly the tallest freestanding clock in North America, and spent one day in each of the two cities.

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On the hour of my visit, Portland poet Zachary Schomburg emerged to read a few pieces from one of his many books, signing copies to visitors when through [video link to YouTube].

Another cool element of this campaign is the Deal Wheel, a spinning wheel piece given to guests who reserve a Portland hotel through March 2015. With a unique code, guests who receive the cardboard wheel promotion piece can download the free Chinook Book app (for iPhone and Android phones), create an account, add digital coupons to the account, and enter the code to activate.

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[Portland Garment Factory travel tote featuring cute interior icon illustrations by Patrick Long]

There’s several free (without additional purchase) merchandise to collect as well with the wheel, from a cute leather-handled shopping tote designed for Columbia Sportswear and produced by women-owned Portland Garment Factory to a mini growler from Hopworks Urban Brewery (not including beer; that’s your mission!).

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You’ve got until December 31, 2015 to use the other deals (valued at over $1,000) contained in the app. Portland is filled with year-round activities, craft beer and cycling tours, natural beauty, tax-free shopping, and culture, so there’s always a good time to visit.

Need more ideas to get your trip started? Visit the Travel Portland website.

1 Comment

  • Comment by Emilia — December 5, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

    I would like to see Portland, I hear their bicycle culture and infrastructure is very good. The Cascade line down to Portland would be fun. They have renovated all the little train stations. I have taken the train to Seattle but not down to Portland yet.

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