Denver one of eight cities vying to host Republican National Convention

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The Tampa Bay Times Forum, site of the 2012 Republican National Convention. (Credit: CNN)

WASHINGTON — Representatives from eight cities met with GOP officials Monday in the nation’s capital to talk specifics about what it would take to host the Republican National Convention in 2016.

While the meeting was not a required step in the RNC’s selection process, it provides a look at which cities are seriously considering bidding on the convention where Republicans will choose the party’s next presidential nominee.

Representatives from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Phoenix all met with RNC officials, a senior GOP source said.

The meetings are designed to better help prospective cities understand the logistical needs and challenges of holding an event that could swell the population of their communities by 50,000 people in one week.

Prospective bidders for the GOP convention already received a 29-page document late last year outlining everything from minimum electrical needs to insurance requirements and hotel rooms.

A representative with one of the cities bidding for the convention said the meeting, “allowed them to ask more detailed questions about information contained in the request for proposal.” The city representative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, added that the GOP officials “did not ask them any questions about their bid,” adding “that would come at a later time.”

RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski would not speak directly about specific bids but she did say “the meetings are to give cities the opportunity to ask questions about the process prior to the bid deadline.”

Formal bids must be submitted by February 26 and representatives from those cities seeking the convention will make pitches to the RNC’s “Site Selection Committee” the first week in March. Later in the spring, members of the Site Selection Committee are expected to visit the cities, which made formal bids for the convention.

For a community, a convention is a costly affair as the host is expected to raise upwards of $60 million to help pay for it. But if managed correctly, a convention pays off as the surrounding communities are flooded with 50,000 new visitors and the city is showcased on an international stage for weeks leading up to the event.

The Site Selection Committee will consider a number of factors as it determines what city it will choose to hold the 2016 Republican National Convention including the ability to raise the estimated $60 million, adequate infrastructure, ease of transporting delegates and visitors to and from the convention hall, public perception, and if holding the event in a particular location will help the party politically in the November election. The Democratic Party goes through a similar process when choosing its convention site.

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