In what’s become somewhat of a tradition, Uber is delivering ice cream to people in 38 countries around the world today.
Most customers will have to pony up a few bucks for their sweet treats. However, a close look at the list of 144 cities featured in the promotion — a huge spike from the 33 cities included last year — reveals five places where Uber is offering ice cream for free: St. Louis, Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Vancouver, Wash.
With the exception of St. Louis, you’ll notice that the other four cities are all in the Pacific Northwest — three of them in Oregon, and the other (Vancouver) just a stone’s throw from Portland across the Columbia River.
That’s no coincidence. As we highlighted in January, Portland is one of the few large U.S. metros where Uber has yet to set up shop in. The San Francisco-based company, which has raised $1.5 billion and is valued at $17 billion, has tried to convince Portland’s lawmakers to change its regulations and allow Uber in its market.
But city leaders aren’t budging. It’s worth noting that Uber has opened up operation in cities that don’t allow its service, but for whatever reason it has been cautious with Portland.
That could change, though. Uber has put up more than 300 postings on the Portland Craigslist job board and the company just began operating in Vancouver this week. Interestingly, Uber’s main competitor, Lyft, also put up Craigslist job postings in Portland in June.
It will be interesting to see if and when Portland opens its doors to the likes of Uber and Lyft, especially given how the city has been so cordial with Airbnb, another startup in the “sharing economy” category.