Denver 1 of 8 finalists to host Republican National Convention

DENVER — The Mile High City remained in the running to host the 2016 Republican National Convention on Thursday, as the city was named one of eight finalists still in the running to host the event.

The list was released by the Republican National Committee on Thursday morning. Denver, which submitted its official bid to host the event earlier this week, was joined on the list by Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

RNC chairman Reince Priebus announced the finalists in a tweet.

The bids for eight remaining finalists will now be evaluated by a site selection committee, which was elected at an RNC meeting last month. At that same meeting, five cities, including Denver, made initial pitches to host the RNC. All five of those cities made the list of finalists.

According to the Washington Post, Las Vegas appears to be the early front-runner, due to the fact that in conversations with current and former members of the RNC, none of them voiced support for any city outside their home state except for Vegas.

That doesn’t mean Denver doesn’t have a legitimate shot to land the convention, and the reported $133 million economic impact it could have on the city and region.

In a pitch video and a binder three inches thick, Colorado Republicans emphasized Denver’s readiness to host a major event based on 2008’s successful Democratic National Convention. And they leaned heavily on Democrats to make their pitch.

Mayor Michael Hancock and Governor John Hickenlooper, both Democrats, appeared together in the video message to RNC delegates to tout Colorado’s many assets: temperate summer weather, thousands of hotel rooms, restaurants staffed by award-winning chefs and myriad recreational possibilities for convention delegates.