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RNC to make convention site visit to Las Vegas on Thursday

The Republican National Committee will make a technical site visit to Las Vegas on Thursday to help determine whether the city will win the right to host the 2016 convention where the GOP will nominate its presidential candidate.

Six cities are finalists, including Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Kansas City, Mo. Las Vegas and Dallas are thought to be the favorites in the competition — thanks mostly to generous GOP donors who will help raise at least $60 million to put on the convention. But GOP leaders said the cities are all under equal consideration.

“We’ve entered the next phase of the site selection process with all cities on an even playing field — there are no favorites, there are no underdogs,” said RNC Site Selection Chair Enid Mickelsen. “The technical visits will help aid the committee in their decision making process as we narrow the field of cities in contention for the 2016 Republican National Convention.”

A small team of RNC staff or advisers will conduct the more in-depth and technical look at financing, convention venues, media work space, and hotels, according to Republicans in charge of selecting the convention site.

During the week of May 6-10, the Site Selection Committee will present its city reports to the RNC spring meeting in Memphis, Tenn., during a private meeting and no announcements are expected.

Visits by the full RNC Site Selection Committee and RNC delegation will happen in late May and early June to further narrow the field of cities, organizers said.

Over the summer, from June through August, the finalist list might shrink again as negotiations begin with the remaining cities left in contention or just the convention city if an official choice has been recommended already.

In late Summer or early Fall, the final convention city will be voted on by full RNC governing body.

The 2016 GOP convention will be held in either June or July, a bit earlier than in previous years in order to give the GOP presidential nominee more time to campaign for the general election against the Democratic nominee.

The proposed RNC convention site is the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is near McCarran International Airport and close to tens of thousands of hotel rooms on the city’s famous Strip. Other cities in contention might have greater transportation issues, requiring busing of convention goers from far-flung hotels.

The technical site visits for other finalists cities will be this Wednesday for Denver, April 24 for Dallas, April 25th for Kansas City, April 29th for Cincinnati and April 30 for Cleveland.

Contact Laura Myers at lmyers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919. Follow her on Twitter: @lmyerslvrj.

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