Meet Kate Arvidson, El Gaucho Portland’s Event Director

“When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead,” a quote from Ernest Hemingway, is advice Kate was given early in life and she took it to heart. She was immediately drawn to hospitality and after attending the University of Puget Sound, where she studied Art History, she put her art skills to work crafting signature cocktails, starting as a bartender at El Gaucho Portland. That’s when she acquired the nickname “Blond Lightning,” as her teammates quickly recognized her speedy service behind the bar.

Kate has worked through the ranks at El Gaucho in the nine years she’s been with the company, starting as a bartender to cocktailer, server, to her current position of Event Director, which she loves.

“When this position became available, I knew it was the right fit,” she says. “My mom and grandmother loved to host parties and entertain people, and I always loved helping them set the table or decorate for functions,” she explains.

Another component to entertaining that Kate loves is to help guests with wine selections and pairing it with their menu choices. In addition to having experience selling wine for a distributor, she is also a Certified Sommelier.

Kate loves working with guests to help them create a successful event. “We are really able to custom-tailor each event for the guest’s vision,” Kate explains. “Many people or companies enlist outside party planners, but it’s not necessary when working with us because we are happy to handle all of those details as well!”

Her favorite part of working for El Gaucho is the people. “I love working with really fun people who make me laugh every day,” she says, and continues, “I am proud to work for such a great company and value each position that I have had the opportunity to hold. Each has taught me so much about this terrific industry.”

When Kate is not planning the next party, she enjoys staying active by hiking, yoga, and participating in water activities. She also finds her zen when cooking at home. “It makes feel peaceful and calm,” she shares.

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon Kathleen Marie Arvidson hasn’t ventured far – she now lives minutes away from the house she grew up in with her husband, Jason, and daughter, Freya. “I feel so lucky to have grown up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and could not think of a better place to raise my first child,” she exclaims.

Kate feels blessed to be where she is in life, and is looking forward to the year ahead with her growing family. “I love my life, my job, my home, my family…life is good!” she exclaims.

Enjoy the good life and let Kate help you plan your next event. Contact: 971-544-2700 or

  1. Steve Jenkins

    We are considering a trip to your area. We wanted to make the Highland Games in Victoria, BC in May. A close (walking distance with luggage) to the ferry terminal going to Victoria is very desirable. Do you know how easy a walk it is to the terminal from your lobby? Also, do you have Airport Shuttle services? If not how do your customers get to the airport?

    • carlye

      Hello Steve,

      Thank you for your inquiry! Our lobby is approximately 0.3 miles from the ferry terminal for the Victoria Clipper. This is an easy walk, although depending on what time your ferry time is we do offer a complimentary shuttle after 5PM. We also do not offer Airport Shuttle services. Our customers get to and from the airport by using either the Link Light Rail which brings you to downtown Seattle, or some kind of taxi service.

      If you have any further quesitons, please feel free to contact the front desk of The Inn at El Gaucho at 206.728.1133 .


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