There are eight cities vying to be the home of the 2016 GOP convention: Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Kansas City, Mo.; and then three cities in Ohio that include Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus. The cities are currently presenting to the Republican National Committee -- although snow prevented all the cities from making it to D.C. on Monday. The GOP will choose the winner from this group. The convention is where the Republican Party will officially nominate their presidential and vice presidential candidates and this cycle they will hold their convention earlier than ever to prevent a "slice and dice festival" as RNC Chairman Reince Priebus calls it.
Here are a few reasons why Las Vegas is an early front-runner:
1. Vegas is Not Only Sin City, But Convention City
Las Vegas has never held a major party convention before, but the city itself could not be more equipped to handle a conference of this magnitude and they have large conferences year round.
The city's bid video points out: "Las Vegas is ready. This is what we do."
At a news conference today, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus pointed out that the logistics of putting on a convention is at the top of the list when it comes to making a decision, ahead of whether that state is "winnable" or not.
"When I think about these things I really first think about number one the financial goals that need to happen in a particular city, number two an issue that is becoming more and more an issue for us especially with security and the secret service now and things are getting far more dangerous is transportation, hotel space, how long it takes to get to and from a particular location," Priebus said. "The delegate experience somewhere in there, but I would say somewhere after that I would worry about whether being there helps our chances of winning that particular state."
Vegas’ bid boasts they can put all the attendees from the 2012 RNC in Tampa "within a one-mile radius," which would mean almost everyone could walk to where they needed to go and there wouldn’t be the reliance on buses and different modes of transportation as in past convention sites.
Their bid also notes they are the "number one convention destination in North America" and last year had "21,000 conventions" with "5 million attendees" as well as 150,000 hotel rooms and 15 of the 20 of the world’s largest hotels.
"This always needed to be a business decision because what you are trying to do is create a stable platform for our nominee to be able to be the story and so to the extent you have people sitting on buses for three hours and they are unhappy or the media workspace the electricity goes out and you are all unhappy that becomes the story so we are trying to create the most stable and convenient platform for our nominee to be able to present him or herself to the public," said Enid Mickelson, the chairwoman of the site selection committee.