Cleveland an Emerging Destination

July 10, 2014
Hard Work Helped Cleveland Land GOP Convention

Hard Work Helped Cleveland Land GOP Convention

By Holly Woolard, Smart Meetings Magazine

Earlier this week when the Republicans announced they will meet in Cleveland for their 2016 national convention, I wasn’t surprised. While my feelings have nothing to do with politics, I am definitely partial to Ohio’s emerging meetings destination on Lake Erie.

I was really lucky to get to visit Cleveland last summer, just as the city was debuting the state-of-the-art FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland, which is conveniently located downtown adjacent to the new Global Center for Health Innovation. The Republican National Convention will be held in Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is next to the Progressive Field, where the Indians play pro baseball.

Cleveland’s roadmap for success includes hosting major events that will further shine a spotlight on its many attributes. For example, the famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is within walking distance from the convention center. And Republicans are in for a treat because Cleveland boasts a flourishing entertainment district near the sports facilities. (We got to tour Progressive Field during our fam trip last summer and then catch an Indians game, which was followed by fireworks.)

As you can imagine, my new best friends in Cleveland were giddy during their press conference to announce that the Republican National Convention is coming to town. “This didn’t happen by mistake and Clevelanders should be proud,” said David Gilbert, president and CEO of Destination Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission

Although dates for the 2016 Republican National Convention have yet to be finalized, it’s looking like the citywide event will take place earlier than normal, sometime between late June and mid-July. You know there’s going to be Republican Night at the ballpark and fireworks!

“Cleveland is a phenomenal city, and I can’t think of a better place to showcase our party and our nominee in 2016,” said Enid Mickelsen, site selection chairwoman. “Cleveland has demonstrated they have the commitment, energy and terrific facilities to help us deliver a history-making Republican convention.”

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