DENVER (CBS4) – More than 70 businesses, civic and government leaders met to start mapping a strategy to secure the Republican National Convention on Friday.

Ryan Call, chair of Colorado’s Republican Party, said it will take the support of both parties to secure the convention.

“Understand this is not an issue of Republican versus Democrat, but really an opportunity to showcase Colorado,” Call said.

For the first time, Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock are in support. They’re among a dozen members of a host committee that will make the pitch to the national committee.

“The luncheon we had here today gave me sense that there’s a real excitement, real energy,” said former Republican National Convention Chair Jim Nicholson.

Nicholson chaired the Republican National Convention between 1997 and 2000.

“One of the real tests, might as well be blunt about it, is the community really has to come together to provide the resources it takes to do this,” Nicholson said.

The cost to host the convention would be $60 million and the economic impact would be at least $260 million.

Officials are confident since Denver has the reputation of hosting major events from World Youth Day in 1993, to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

“We think we can build on that, we think that is a real jewel,” said former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez.

One obstacle to overcome is that the RNC is planning on July when hotel space is at a premium.

“I can certainly say we’d rather be in Denver in July than some of other cities being talked about during the heat of summer,” Call said.

The host committee must submit a bid by Feb. 26.

The RNC will narrow the number of possible cities to three by March or April and by late fall or early winter make its final decision.

Phoenix, Las Vegas and Kansas City are among places that are Denver’s competition.


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