DENVER (CBS4) – Some two dozen members of the Republican National Committee have arrived in Denver. They’re sizing up the city as a potential site for the GOP’s national convention in 2016.
Denver is one four cities still in the running along with Kansas City, Dallas and Cleveland.
The courting began at Denver International Airport from a train greeting by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
“This is Mayor Michael Hancock and I’d like to extend a very warm Denver welcome to entire RNC site selection committee,” the recording says.
Signs have been put up urging committee members to “Go West.”
With only 48 hours to sell the city, Denver’s host committee isn’t bothering with fireworks like Kansas City.
“I can’t believe they make the decision to go to a city on the basis of whether they were razzle-dazzled by fireworks or some celebrities,” Host Committee Chair Pete Coors said. “But I must say, however, there is special horse that’s going to show up at some point during their visit here. It will be our biggest celebrity.”
But the Denver Broncos mascot will be the sideshow. What the host committee wants its guests to see is thousands of hotel rooms, a light rail to DIA by 2016, and venues like the Pepsi Center.
State GOP Chair Ryan Call says even Colorado’s legalization of marijuana could be a positive.
“There will be quite a number of other states that will also be dealing with legalization of marijuana,” Call said. “We actually think that’s one of our strengths because we will be able to highlight how we’re regulating that in a responsible way.”
But maybe the biggest consideration will be cash. Denver needs $60 million and is the only city not tapping taxpayer dollars. The collection so far is $11 million. The potential return is $400 million.
As a sign of how hopeful Denver’s host committee is, they already made special pins, but it’s hardly a done deal. From Denver the committee heads to Dallas, the city many insiders see as Denver’s stiffest competition in part because it has nearly three times the cash committed.
A final decision is expected by August.
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