CLEVELAND - At this stage of the process, to pick a host city for the 2016 Republican National Convention the things that set each of the four cities remaining apart begin to take on greater significance with each city highlighting the things that make them unique.
For Cleveland, Playhouse Square is one of them and so the nation's second largest theater district, with its newly unveiled outdoor chandelier, the largest in the world, served as the backdrop for a welcoming reception.
The 13 members of the site selection committee made their way by bus with a police escort to the Allen Theater Monday night with committee Chair Enid Mickelsen escorted by Cuyahoga County Republican Chair Rob Frost.
Tuesday begins the work of touring the sites that will play key roles in staging the convention beginning with Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field along with the new Cleveland Convention Center, being among the group's main focus. Areas that could potentially house the 15,000 media that cover the convention, a number second only to the Olympics in media size.
They will also look at the area around the arena as they size up the ability to get the 400 buses that will shuttle delegates and others in and out of the arena each night.
Mickelsen said after the RNC tech visit that they look at everything. "From how many gigs of electricity you can bring into your work spaces to how far out the hotels are to what kind of transportation plan you can provide looking at the structure of your streets," she said.
"How can we come in and do a convention without completely interrupting the life of your city."
This will be the 41st Republican National Convention, Cleveland has has hosted two previous ones in 1936 when Alf Landon accepted the nomination in Public Auditorium and 1924 when Calvin Coolidge got the nod.
"Ohio is the epicenter of the political universe every four years and we haven't had a political convention here since the 1930s," said Ohio Republican Chair Matt Borges, "There's no excuse for that anymore we've got to bring one here to the Buckeye State," he said before entering Monday's welcome reception.
"If Republicans can do for the country what we've done for Ohio," said Borges. "That's the kind of message that can help us springboard to the White House."
The committee will visit Cleveland through Wednesday then move on to Kansas City. Dallas and Denver will be visited next week.