Storm forces postponement of Las Vegas’ GOP convention presentation

WASHINGTON ­— A presentation Monday by Nevadans hoping to nab the Republican Party’s 2016 national convention for Las Vegas was postponed because of bad weather that grounded hundreds of flights to the East Coast, officials said.

An advance team arrived in Washington earlier in the weekend, but other members of the Nevada entourage, including Host Committee Chairman Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, ran afoul of flight cancellations on Sunday, according to spokeswoman Laurene Gros-Daillon.

The Republican Party site selection committee reset appointments for March 21 for Las Vegas and also for Dallas after checking in with bidders as yet another winter storm was bearing down on the capital.

Presentations by six other cities remained on the schedule, but party officials said there could be further changes. The eight cities that made the first cut included Denver, Kansas City, Phoenix and three Ohio cities — Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus.

The National Weather Service was predicting between 4 and 8 inches of snow locally on the heels of sleet that began falling late Sunday.

More than 1,800 flights had been canceled nationwide as of Sunday afternoon, according to FlightAware, a tracking service. American Airlines, which operates a major hub at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, reportedly was the hardest hit.

The Las Vegas committee had been preparing to make an in-person pitch to the 12-member site panel after submitting a thick bid last week both on paper and electronically. Krolicki has expressed confidence the city would meet all the bid requirements set by the Republican National Committee, and Las Vegas is being viewed by pundits as the early favorite.

“It’s very comforting and flattering to read positive things about the potential for the convention to be held in Las Vegas,” Krolicki said last week. “But at the end of the day, it’s still up to a couple of dozen people” to decide.

The prize is the Republican Party’s 2016 nominating convention, a nationally televised showcase for the party and for the host city. The convention is expected to draw 50,000 people and provide a $400 million boon to the local economy.

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, has said he wants to hold the convention in late June or early July that year, to shorten the primary season and give the party’s presidential pick more time to campaign.

The federal Office of Personnel Management announced government offices would be closed today, the fourth closure of the winter and more than the past three winters combined.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau chief Steve Tetreault at 202-783-1760 or Follow @STetreaultDC on Twitter.

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