2016 RNC in Cleveland Brings Lawyers, Guns, and Money

Police at the newly refurbished Public Square during the RNC (photo Urycki)
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Spending on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last year amounted to $68 million dollars,  according to a study by Cleveland State University.  Or 110 million dollars,  according to the company Tourism Economics. 

The head of the Cleveland Host Committee, David Gilbert, likes the higher,  company,  report because he can compare it to similar studies by Tourism Economics of other conventions.

The study of the RNC impact says 48 thousand visitors came to town. But some money spent in the region was not included such as money spent by AT&T to build out its telephone infrastructure for the convention.

David Gilbert, President of CEO of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee   (photo Urycki/ideastream) 

Gilbert says the money is a nice benefit but there were also 2 long term benefits to Cleveland.

"One being a major accellerant for major projects like Public Square, the Hilton Hotel, [Hopkins] airport renovations, innerbelt bridge, all which hapened. " 

Another advantage was the impact of 15, 000 journalists writing some 3,000 stories about the city.

"The stories they wrote about Cleveland otherwuse would take us maybe decades to get collectively, very safe to say.  The other impirtant group was incredible influencers - people whose policy decisions and checkbooks saw Cleveland for the first time."

Surveys showed an mostly positive response from visitors.

And in addition, says Gilbert, came a new pride in local people.

“So much of what has held our community back for decades is the outside perception of Cleveland and our own local perception of Cleveland.  Whether they choose to go college here or not, whether they choose to move here or not, whether they choose to take a job, whether they choose to invest in a company here.”  

Some local businesses did lose money during the convention week as local people afraid of the crowds or potential violence stayed away.   The police barricades also walled off a large area of downtown.  Gilbert referred to those liabilities as "displacement effects" but said they were taken into account in the overall tallies. 

The DNC in Philadelphia tallied more direct spending – $132 million – But the democrats had more delegates and 6 thousand more visitors.   

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