For once, foul winter weather was helpful to Cleveland, Columbus, Kansas City and Denver. (And sunny Phoenix, too.) A massive East Coast snowstorm kept Las Vegas from making its pitch for the 2016 Republican National Convention to the RNC’s Site Selection Committee on March 3. That gave the aforementioned five bidders a head start in persuading Washington types to stage the GOP’s big show in their cities.
Today, the weather-delayed presentations from Dallas, Cincinnati and Las Vegas will be made in the nation’s capital. And when those presentations are complete, the chances of Las Vegas’ competitors will begin to melt away like the snow that kept the Nevada contingent out of Washington.
Perhaps it would be overconfident for Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, chairman of the nonprofit bid organizer Nevada Host Committee, to post a sign above the doors to the RNC’s meeting room that reads “All hope abandon all ye who enter.” But none of the other cities can come close to offering a comparable mix of ease of travel, convenience, luxury, fine dining, entertainment, recreation and convention services and logistics. “It’s what we do” has become the unofficial slogan of the Las Vegas bid.
Direct flights. Exceptionally short drives between McCarran International Airport, Strip hotels and the Las Vegas Convention Center. High-end hotel suites for every convention VIP. Enough meeting rooms for every state and local party and Republican club to hold mixers and hear speakers. The ability for candidates and party leaders to meet with many groups every day of the convention, stay up late and get a good night’s sleep.
In every other city named a finalist for the 2016 convention, visitors will face long drives and bus rides, limited dining options, logistical challenges, a shortage of hotel rooms — forcing untold numbers of attendees and journalists to sleep in far-flung fleabags — and a far less enjoyable experience.
We’d wish the members of the Nevada Host Committee luck today, but they don’t need it.