The first of the FINAL FOUR cities competing fervently to host the 2012 Republican National
Convention has been announced: Salt Lake City, Utah. Congratulations to the Beehive state! Utahns were vying against 16 other cities including Tampa, San Antonio, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Denver. The other three finalists are yet to be announced.
1/30/10 Deseret News:
If Salt Lake City gets the bid, the 2012 event would be the first GOP convention held in the Intermountain West.
“We’ve always been considered in politics to be flyover states,” said Jeffrey Hartley, a member of the committee formed by former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. in October to put together a bid for the GOP convention. “We’re too small in electoral votes to merit a presidential visit. You don’t go where you know you’re going to win. That’s just politics.”
However, in the past five years, normally conservative Western states have turned “an awkward shade of purple,” Hartley said.
“Democrats have gained a lot of strength in the Rocky Mountain region,” he said. “In Montana six years ago, every state office was held by a Republican, and now they’re all held by a Democrat. Colorado has done the same.”
In addition to arguing the states have been neglected, Hartley said the most positive response from the committee was on Utah’s climate.
In the initial bidding, Salt Lake City was up against 16 cities from across the country, including Phoenix, Denver, San Antonio and Tampa, Fla. Many of those cities have record heat and humidity every year during the last week of August, and the committee has passed up Florida in the past for fear of hurricane season.
“We talk about climate as much as we can because we’re competing with miserable places,” Hartley said, noting that temperatures in Salt Lake City usually are around 85 degrees at that time of the year.
The review committee also liked the fact that Salt Lake City had hosted the Olympics, has big venues and enough hotel rooms to keep delegates close to Utah’s capital city, he said.
“You have to look at what’s within 30 minutes to an hour of the main arena,” Hartley said. “In Minnesota, the Utah delegation was housed over an hour away form the arena. In (Philadelphia), we were two hours away. Salt Lake has within an hour of the arena the entire ski resorts, outdoor recreation, five major reservoirs — so much to offer the delegate experience.”
1/30/10 Salt Lake Tribune:
An estimated 45,000 people, including 15,000 media, attended the 2008 Republican convention in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., and rented about 16,000 hotel rooms, according to the Minnesota host committee.
The prospect of Mitt Romney — a Mormon and favorite of Utah Republicans — again being in the running for the White House likely wouldn’t affect the chances of the convention being held in the city that is the worldwide headquarters of the church, according to one GOP official.
David Norcross, who ran the 2004 GOP convention in New York City, said earlier this month that the site will be selected long before the party’s nominee, so the candidates involved likely won’t affect the outcome of the bid.
The finalists have a briefing with the site selection committee scheduled for Monday during which they will learn more about the process and competitors.
Is your city in the running to host the Republican National Convention when 2012 rolls around? If so, keep your fingers crossed; three remaining finalists will be announced early next week. After GOP officials visit each city, the lucky winner will be chosen late next summer.
GOP Chairman Michael Steele said he was anxious to make the host city announcement early in the presidential race. We’re anxious to find out the city in which Mitt Romney will be named the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee for President of the United States!