On Friday, March 23rd in Pullman, WA the owner/publisher of Portland Visitor’s Map, George Forbes, received the great honor of being inducted into Washington State University’s School of Hospitality Business Management (SHBM) Hall of Fame, following a lifetime of achievements in the hospitality industry.
The Hall of Fame induction took place during the annual Bellhop celebration, an SHBM tradition including dinner and dancing, which originally ran from the 1940’s until the 1980’s and was revitalized in 2017. Historically, the Bellhop was an annual fundraiser that staged attention to the hotel and restaurant program and raised money for the School of Hospitality Business Management students to pursue a career in the hospitality business.
The award ceremony was a glorious evening complete with a black tie dinner, honoring 7 new inductees into the illustrious Hall of Fame. In true Scottish fashion, George and his two sons, Brit and Scot, donned their custom-made Forbes tartan kilts and twirled the night away in celebration.
George, who was a student in the SHBM program, took an early interest in the hospitality business, as his father owned a hotel shortly after his birth. He first became involved in the field as a teenager, working as a pearl diver (dishwasher) at the Student Union on the WSU campus, just 100 yards from the building in which the induction ceremony was held.
Following his departure from Washington State University, George went on to work at a number of hotels throughout the country. He was part of the original crew that opened the San Francisco Hilton and, after spending 5 years with Hilton, went on to serve as one of the original general managers with Hyatt Hotels.
George eventually returned to the Pacific Northwest and settled in Portland, where he went on to serve as general manager of the Governor Hotel (now the Sentinel) for 11 years. Since moving to Portland he has also served on several travel and lodging advisory boards, including Oregon Lodging Association, who honored him with the Innkeeper of the Year Award.
George’s March 23rd induction into his alma mater’s Hall of Fame was a true testament to the countless achievements he’s made in his 60+ years in the hospitality industry, and an honor that was well earned and well deserved. Here is a video of friends and family reflecting on his career and legacy.