Bryan Schott over at Utah Policy shared the following yesterday:
Greg Miller (CEO of the Larry Miller Companies) sent this message via his Twitter account on Monday afternoon.
Just left a mtg @ SLCVB. Early planning on bid to host 2012 Republican National Convention in SLC.
Salt Lake City hosting the RNC is an interesting prospect, but there are a few things working against any potential bid. First, Utah is not a “battleground" state, so it’s not clear what hosting it here would do for the GOP. If Mitt Romney is the eventual nominee, there’s no glossing over his LDS faith, which is something the evangelical wing of the party is not exactly favorable toward.
If the goal is to bring the convention to the Intermountain West, which is becoming more and more of a political force, Phoenix or Denver seems like a more favorable choice.
However, it is interesting that Greg Miller appears to be part of the effort to bring the convention to Salt Lake. The financial backing and political capital he brings to the table cannot be discounted.
First, I'll take issue with a couple of things in Bryan's piece:
1) Phoenix or Denver would be better choices in the West (They are battleground states), but I don't think Denver is ready to mount an effort so soon after hosting in 2008.
2) The only viable venue for the convention is EnergySolutions Arena. Mr Miller is on board because, well, his family owns the venue. Holding to what has happened in the past, the Arena would be turned over to the RNC from the end of the NBA Finals in June until about a month following the convention. Assuming that the convention is around Labor Day, that affects a couple of touring events that are usually held there in September (the Dew Tour and the circus).
Now, a major logistics issue from my experience in Denver: Security.
The first checkpoint in Denver was a quarter mile from the Pepsi Center, which translates into about 1.5 Salt Lake City blocks. So, we'd be blocking off from almost West High School to almost Pioneer Park and from West of the Gateway to the backside of the Family History Library. There's a couple of hotels and several other businesses (including Triad Center) that would be affected by this, not to mention that the Secret Service would probably require the Gateway to be shuttered for the week. And, it would include the North Temple viaduct being closed, along with no TRAX service into downtown on the Airport line, no TRAX from the Intermodal Hub, and downtown TRAX ending at Temple Square.
The other issue is that the parking lots used fr the media tents in Denver are roughly three times the size as Park Place (the large surface lot across 300 West from Triad Center) which represents a large portion of the space available for such things.
Add to that the large amount of police protection that will strain every police force in the state (I saw officers in Denver from as far away as Durango), and you have just started to scratch the surface of what it would take to host the convention.