CLEVELAND - Cleveland didn’t so much say goodbye to the RNC Site Selection Committee but more of a ssee you later.
While they can’t control what happens in Kansas City, Denver and Dallas, organizers of the effort to land the 2016 Republican National Convention feeling very confident about their proposal.
“We believe that we did an outstanding job, they were pleased,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.
“They were complimentary of this city and most of all they were complimentary of the people of the City of Cleveland,” he said.
The 13-member committee wrapped up their three day visit with a morning tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before eventually boarding a plane to Kansas City.
“The feedback that we are getting is that the site selection committee of the RNC has been blown away by Cleveland,” said Cuyahoga County Republican Chair Rob Frost.
“As well as we did last time and having been part of that process I feel very good about where we left it today as they head off to those other three cities. Cleveland has set the bar very high,” he said.
Research by Positively Cleveland has shown that if they can get someone to Cleveland who has never been here before you can send them off a believer, something they saw play out with the committee.
“We got comment after comment from people who said in essence ‘I’m sorry for what I thought of your city before I came here’ and they meant it as a compliment,” said Positively Cleveland President and CEO David Gilbert. “It’s actually phenomenal that we have the chance to change people’s opinions and especially influential people like this.”
In comments to the media the site selection committee to a person expressed how impressed they were with the people of Cleveland they met and the people behind the Cleveland bid. That’s something Gilbert stressed is important for them to remember.
“We know we’ve got the infrastructure, we’ve got the hotels, we’re raising the money but ultimately you have to do this project in partnership with people that you trust and people that you like and that’s what people in Cleveland are,” he said.
With the RNC now on to Kansas City the host committee continues to think ahead. “We’re going to take a deep breath for about five minutes,” said Host Committee Executive Chair Terry Egger. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, we’re proud of what we’ve done but as I said this is a competitive process and when you’re in competition you don’t sit back.”