2023 IASNR Conference
Location: Portland, Maine, USA
About Portland, Maine
Portland is the largest city in Maine, with a population of 66,125 residents (as of 2019). The city is located on a peninsula extending into Casco Bay. The Old Port waterfront features working fishing wharves and many non-functioning warehouses have been turned into restaurants, bars, and shops. The Western Promenade public park sits on a bluff, boasting river and mountain views. The downtown area is considered extremely safe and free of crime.
Portland itself has 11 walking trails. One is located on Commercial Street (East end trail) which is a short walk from the hotel. Another great option is Back Bay, only a short drive from the hotel and is 3 ½ miles circling the Back Bay. Casco Bay can be seen from the hotel and Back Bay is located on the other side of Portland.
Casco Bay Lines is a boat operator—they have a mail boat run that is 3 hours and goes around to all of the islands of Portland dropping off mail. This is a great way to see the bay and Portland skyline.
Kayaking opportunities can also be taken from Casco Bay Lines to Peak’s Island.
Other local attractions near the hotel include: Victoria Manson, Portland Museum of Art, State Theater, Merrill Auditorium, Portland Music Hall, International Cryptozoology Museum, and Portland Stage Company (Portland’s local theater), and trolley tours that offer tours throughout the city of Portland. Portland is also home to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI).
Portland is also very well known as a “foodie” town with many diverse culinary choices. Portland also has a foodie tour bus attendees can take to explore the city. Lastly, Portland has over 25 breweries and numerous craft distillers owing to the fact that the city’s water supply (Sebago Lake) is one of few municipal water supplies in the US that does not require treatment. The success of forest management has resulted in clean water for the city.
Conference Venue: The Holiday Inn By The Bay
The Holiday Inn By The Bay has been selected as the conference hotel and meeting space. It is the largest hotel and convention center north of Boston.
The Holiday Inn By The Bay is located within easy walking distance to numerous of the Old Port’s shops, bars, and restaurants. The hotel is surrounded with cultural activities including the Portland Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum, Merrill Auditorium, Cross Insurance Arena, and Casco Bay Cruise Lines, and only a short trip to Cape Elizabeth to see the famous Portland Head Light historic lighthouse in Fort Williams Park.
The on-site Port of Call restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – serving local beers and fresh Maine seafood. In the summer, participants can use the complimentary electric bikes to explore the city.
Also, within a short drive of the hotel, visitors can experience famous Portland Headlight that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and the islands of Casco Bay. Maine’s Audubon Headquarters, the 100 acre Gilsland Farm, offers trails and scenic vistas of tidal estuaries and bays. In addition, the original L.L. Bean retail store in Freeport is just twenty minutes away. Kayak trips can be arranged through the hotel on Casco Bay.
In 2022 the hotel finalized a major multi-million dollar property renovation and modernization. Hotel guest rooms, meeting space, and the exterior of the hotel have been updated.
Accommodations have wide views of the Portland Harbor and the White Mountains. The hotel has 239 guest rooms including double bed, king bed, executive rooms, and executive suits. The cost for breakfast is not included in the room reservation. The conference room rate is $187 USD per room, per night, plus tax. The conference room block code is “ASN.”