Vegas Ramps Up GOP Convention Bid

Las Vegas has qualified as a finalist, and continues to court members of the Republican National Committee, who will decide where the GOP will hold its 2016 presidential convention. It could mean a $400 million economic boost for Nevada.

Other contenders include Dallas, Denver and Detroit

If Las Vegas hosts the 2016 Republican National Convention, the event could mean $400 million or more in economic benefit to Southern Nevada, according to officials with the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Las Vegas has been chosen as a finalist for the convention with Cincinnati; Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Denver; Detroit; Kansas City, Missouri; Phoenix; and Salt Lake City. The Las Vegas Host Committee is wooing the RNC’s Convention Site Selection Committee to pick the gaming capital as the winner, which should be chosen this summer.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki, a member of the committee, says Nevada is in a better position to host the convention because it holds 22,000 meetings and conventions a year, including major events drawing 150,000 people. He is also certain the Host Committee can raise enough money to put on the convention?from $55 million to $70 million.

“We’re confident that we’ll have a strong bid,” Krolicki told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We’re confident we can raise the funds if we’re selected. We’ve worked very hard.”

Roger Simon of has already called Vegas the frontrunner. He added that Republicans, including conservative members of the party, should not be put off by the city’s racy reputation.

“Las Vegas is no longer the Sin City it was, because all of America now sins in similar ways,” he wrote, a reference to the proliferation of legal gambling in the U.S.

If Vegas wins the convention, the Grand Old Party will convene at the convention center. The Host Committee says it’s a better choice than the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV or the MGM Resorts International/AEG arena, slated to open in early 2016, because of security issues, reported the Review-Journal.

The convention center, about a mile from the Strip’s north end, would allow for more of a security buffer and also keep the convention from disrupting Strip activity and traffic. The MGM site could affect activities at up to 15 casino properties, the Review-Journal reported.