The pundit class has less common ground than Congress, so when media experts agree on something, it must be true: Las Vegas is the front-runner to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.
So it wasn’t all that surprising to see Las Vegas listed among the final eight cities under consideration to stage the coronation of the GOP’s next presidential nominee, and it’s accompanying $400 million economic impact. The Republican National Committee named Phoenix, Denver, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Dallas and Kansas City finalists as well. Considering Thursday’s first cut was so small — sorry, Detroit and Salt Lake City — how could Las Vegas not be a finalist?
Las Vegas offers the most convenient air travel; the most and best hotel accommodations; the best dining, shopping and entertainment options; and the best convention logistics of any potential host city. It really isn’t a fair fight.
The Las Vegas Host Committee, the nonprofit behind the bid, deserves much credit for winning so much early support. Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki leads the committee and knows there’s a lot more to this chase than gaining the favor of the country’s political journalists, who desperately want to avoid hours-long, after-midnight bus rides and fleabag motels far away from the action.
“At the end of the day, it’s still up to a couple of dozen people,” Lt. Gov. Krolicki told the Review-Journal’s Laura Myers, referring to the RNC’s leadership and 12-member site selection panel. “Until they make a decision, I take no comfort in this.”
The finalists will make in-person pitches to the site-selection panel in Washington, D.C., this week. Later this month, the panel will announce which cities get RNC visits. A full RNC vote on the convention site won’t happen until late summer or early fall.
Although Las Vegas hosts big conventions all the time, all year round, this convention is different. This is as big as special events get. The state’s businesses and individuals and groups of all political persuasions should get behind the Las Vegas Host Committee. We’re the front-runner. Now let’s close the deal.