DENVER — Denver is showing off for the Republican National Committee in hopes of winning the national convention bid for 2016. The RNC will tour several venues Tuesday, including the Pepsi Center.
The goal is to be the first and final choice, to host some 50,000 people in 2016. Between great facilities such as the Pepsi Center and expanded light rail service, committee members say they are confident Denver sells itself.
Denver is the third of four cities to get a visit from the RNC. And unlike the big welcome in Kansas City, Mo., given to the site selection committee that included fireworks, the people behind Denver’s bid are taking more of a subtle approach at Denver International Airport.
“This is a business meeting,” Denver 2016 Chairman Pete Coors said. “Razzle dazzle isn’t part of our agenda.”
Coors and Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call welcomed the committee Monday. Tuesday, they will show them all that Denver has to offer, including the Pepsi Center and Coors Field as well as the growth of downtown, DIA and expanded light rail service, which will be up and running by 2016.
“I think we’re going to be able to showcase the vibrancy of our downtown, to showcase all those hotel rooms in the downtown area,” Call said.
The Denver committee is more than halfway to its goal of raising $20 million without any public funds.
“We have never actually held a RNC in the Rocky Mountians or the West,” Call said.
Gov. John Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael Hancock, both Democrats, are also backing the bid, which could bring 50,000 people to Denver for a week.
A lift for the local economy and perhaps Republicans looking to win back the White House.
“I don’t think Republicans need to be too worried about winning Texas or Kansas with respect to the next presidential election,” Call said.
The committee heads to Dallas on Wednesday. It’s the final city it will tour before the big decision in the summer. Experts say Dallas is Denver’s biggest rival for the convention. Besides Kansas City, Cleveland is also in the mix for the convention.