News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

NOCHE

Wayside Furniture

Hennes Paynter Communications


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business


Many will profit from Cleveland's GOP convention, but others may not
Advice from former convention host cities on who won, who lost and why
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
Conventioneers at the 2012 RNC in Tampa spent millions of dollars in that city, but the big event hurt some businesses.
Courtesy of WKSU, File photo
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Cleveland officials are already touting the dollars and prestige they expect will come with the 2016 Republican National Convention.

But, there are warnings from former host cities that the events are not a windfall for everyone. They’re notorious for tying up local commuters and strangling some businesses. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, the difference between the winners and losers can be a matter of planning and location.

LISTEN: Political conventions have up sides and down for businesses in host cities

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (6:13)


Cleveland officials expect the 2016 GOP convention to inject upwards of $200 million into the local economy, something the week-long events have easily done in other cities.

In 2012, Tampa Bay hosted the Republican National Convention, which about 50,000 people attended. After the event, the host committee commissioned an economic study from the University of Tampa. It showed the convention’s direct impact came to $214 million, with much of the bounty going to businesses like hotels, the airport, florists and seafood suppliers.

Security zones can be a problem for some

It also showed the event hurt many bars and restaurants outside the convention’s security zone. One of those was Zudar’s Restaurant and Catering. Owner Eric Weinstein says the big problem was the closure of streets and bridges.


“It had a dramatic impact on the ability of people to maneuver the area, so basically it shut us down. And then, because of the publicity surrounding the event and the closures and the security measures, many of the local residents completely stayed away. And so what would have been even our regular business was dramatically affected to the negative.”   

The economic impact study showed businesses like Zudars that suffered from convention-related hassles lost a total of about $2.3 million. Weinstein says before the event was completely planned out, the host committee urged Tampa businesses to make bids to the Republican National Committee for services like catering. He says he did not have enough information to make his decision.

“Because our restaurant is walking distance to the convention center, we did not bid on any of the catering because we were concerned we would be so busy with the restaurant business we wouldn't be able to do both. Obviously that was a strategic error.

"And unfortunately, we had to make that decision prior to the release of the security information. So, had we been aware at the time that the bridges would be closed and other security measures in place, we would have done the exact opposite and probably closed the restaurant for that length of time and done nothing but cater.”

Details about the security zone were released about a week before the event.

But business inside security zones can be profitable for others
About 580 miles north of Tampa, Charlotte, N.C., hosted 2012’s Democratic National Convention. Tammy Winchester manages Rooster’s, an upscale southern-style restaurant just a block away from the convention site, well inside the security parameter. She says her business picked up as soon as conventioneers began arriving.

“Throughout the entire week, we actually opened for an early lunch, and stayed open all the way through 2 a.m., and basically it was a revolving door. So if you’re a restaurant and you’re within the security zone, plan on being busy. Literally, I got 15 hours of sleep in five days.”


Cleveland tries to anticipate issues that could hinder business
The Democratic convention had $91 million in direct economic impact in Charlotte, according to a city-funded study conducted after the event. The study also shows adversely affected businesses lost a total of more than $7 million because local residents and tourists stayed away.

These issues are on the minds of Cleveland’s RNC host committee. After the formal announcement that Cleveland had been awarded the 2016 convention, committee member Joe Marinucci said business interests are on the group’s agenda.

“What we’ll do is essentially anticipate some of those logistical challenges and work with everyone to mitigate them. And by doing that, I think that from a business perspective we maximize the economic impact to the region, but in particular to downtown because most of the activity is going to be center here in downtown Cleveland.”

A host city's best friend: Positive convention media exposure 
Marinucci says the Inner Belt bridge project will be finished by 2016, making it easier for the 125,000 commuters to get in and out of the city. And host cities do enjoy some long-term benefits. Millions of dollars in security upgrades are left behind, including cameras and advanced communication equipment -- all paid for with federal dollars.

But, most officials in host cities say the biggest payoff is spending a week in the world’s media spotlight. Officials in Tampa credit their 2012 exposure for helping attract last spring’s Indian Film Awards, Bollywood’s version of the Oscars. That four-day event is watched by an estimated 800 million people worldwide.            


Related Links & Resources
Tampa 2012 RNC economic impact study

2012 Charlotte DNC economic impact study


Related WKSU Stories

Planning to make the 2016 GOP convention easier for Cleveland commuters
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ed FitzGerald: RNC saw past Cleveland's bad reputation
Thursday, July 10, 2014

Portman acknowledges he's interested in a presidential run if ...
Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cleveland recommended to host the 2016 GOP Convention
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Are Republicans going to bypass Cleveland?
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's down to Cleveland and Dallas for the Republican presidential convention
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Will Ohio's marijuana initiative follow casinos' lead?
We just ask to have marijuana legalized and here comes some nimrod trying to rob us of our rights and make us buy it from some legalized new type DRUG DEALER th...

Fancy dinners from humble beginnings at The Blue Door
Grandma of Chris Miller moved to Florida in a retirement community but I sure miss the Falls and the Blue Door, and the fine service and the true friendship of ...

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

A guide for gift-shopping for older Ohians
I'll never be to old for peanut brittle.

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University