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mwadswor May 12, 2010 9:06 PM

Quote:

Phoenix loses 2012 GOP convention to Tampa

by Jahna Berry, Michael Ferraresi and Ginger Rough - May. 12, 2010 01:20 PM
The Arizona Republic

Phoenix will not host the National Republican Convention in 2012, another blow to the state already besieged with financial problems and an economic boycott.

Tampa was awarded the convention. Phoenix was a finalist along with Salt Lake City and Tampa. Millions were at stake. The convention where President Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination generated $266 million in economic spending in the region, according to a Denver study.

Arizona Republicans estimated that the event could have brought as much as $200 million in convention revenue to Phoenix,
and that they would push for Phoenix to host the 2016 convention.

The GOP convention will be held the week of Aug. 27.

Members of the local host committee congratulated Tampa, though officials said the call was "disappointing."

"I know this is a hard decision," said Bob Lavinia, chair of the Phoenix 2012 Host Committee that put together the bid, adding that it was uncertain if the controversy over Arizona's strict immigration-enforcement law played into the GOP's decision.

"We do have some issues here and we should join together to solve those issues," Lavinia said. "This city is ready to host large events."

At least one host committee member suspected that the immigration law shifted the advantage to Tampa.

"I can't imagine that it didn't have anything to do with it, but I hope not," said Gordon James, a member of the Arizona host committee.

When Republican officials called Arizona on Wednesday they said that the immigration debate did not factor into the decision to select Tampa.

"It was business decision," said Holly Hughes, chair of the Republican National Convention Site Selection Committee that vetted the three cities.

She added that committee members used convention center accommodations, hotel rooms and fundraising as factors in their decision.

Gov. Jan Brewer's office said in an email statement that she was "honored" that Phoenix was considered for her party's national convention. The statement, however, did not specifically address the national controversy over the immigration law, or what role that might have played in the RNC's selection.

"Clearly the committee was looking for a state with more electoral votes and potentially more of a battleground state for the presidential election," Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said in an email.

Arizona currently has 10 electoral votes; Florida held 27 in the 2008 Presidential election.
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...012-tampa.html

dtnphx May 12, 2010 10:26 PM

It's not like this city isn't a Republican convention every single day. Have fun with teabaggers, Tampa.

phxbyrd May 13, 2010 2:17 AM

I can't imagine the new law would have cost the city the convention. I'm sure a vast majority of republicans support the law. The convention was probably in the bag for Tampa before the bill was even passed. However I think it's a big mistake that the republicans didn't make a gesture to support arizona through all the controversy and hard economic times. But after watching how the McCain campaign was managed I'm not surprised they made a bad decision.

HooverDam May 13, 2010 5:49 AM

Wow really pathetic that we couldn't land the GOP Convention in our Centennial year, it seems like that wouldve made it a natural choice. If the Dems haven't decided yet I hope Phx puts on a quick full court press to go after them. Like most Mountain states AZ is getting more Blue so perhaps theyd want to have it here.

phxbyrd May 13, 2010 6:53 AM

the lack of five star accomidations DT were probably the deciding factor along with "fundraising" whatever that means exactly. Too bad Hotel Monroe sits unfinished and Palomar is so up in the air. Does anyone think they'd be going to Tampa if the Asians hadn't kept the W from being build across the street from the convention center?:tup:

Leo the Dog May 13, 2010 3:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HooverDam (Post 4837505)
Wow really pathetic that we couldn't land the GOP Convention in our Centennial year, it seems like that wouldve made it a natural choice. If the Dems haven't decided yet I hope Phx puts on a quick full court press to go after them. Like most Mountain states AZ is getting more Blue so perhaps theyd want to have it here.

Agreed. Seems like the Republicans made a wise choice for their party to try to win more votes in a crucial state. Florida has been key to winning the election since 2000. ie: "hanging chads"

Democrats should also chose a city/state in a traditional red state.

phxbyrd May 13, 2010 4:20 PM

I think Az is pretty crucial for them as well and the entire Nev., AZ, NM, Col. U shape.

plinko May 13, 2010 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phxbyrd (Post 4837562)
the lack of five star accomidations DT were probably the deciding factor along with "fundraising" whatever that means exactly. Too bad Hotel Monroe sits unfinished and Palomar is so up in the air. Does anyone think they'd be going to Tampa if the Asians hadn't kept the W from being build across the street from the convention center?:tup:

I agree with the first part of your statement. Like it or not, DT Phoenix still only has 2 nice convention hotels and 1 moderately decent hotel (Wyndham). I know there's that Microtel on Van Buren just east of 7th St as well. That's not nearly enough to support a national political convention. Not even close.

And while many would argue that the delegates could stay elsewhere in town at one of the many many uber resorts and hotels around the area, it doesn't really sell very well in terms of convenience.

But I don't think the W project was a make or break factor at all. Arizona still isn't that important politically and it's certainly not an 'in-play' state like Colorado in 2008.

Vicelord John May 13, 2010 5:51 PM

Small nitpicking, but the Wyndham is by far the nicest hotel downtown. They are going to be a Renaissance very soon as well. The Hyatt is a piece of shit and the rooms haven't been remodeled since the property was new. There is no microtel anywhere near 7/VB. There is a SpringHill Marriott and a Super 8 as well as a Holiday Inn Express.

If I were on a budget though, I'd be staying at the Hilton Suites on Thomas/Central.

Wyndham room:
http://www.wyndham.com/cms_content/h...xht_A_king.jpg

plinko May 13, 2010 6:00 PM

Spring Hill, there you go. I called it a Microtel because I call all of those types of hotels Microtels...

I know you're partial to the Wyndham, but I hold a grudge because the asshat who owns (owned?) it is single-handedly responsible for tanking the Collier Center hotel (and probably several others as well). Not only that, it's an architectural travesty and took the place of the much more stately Adams Hotel.

phxbyrd May 13, 2010 7:37 PM

I don't think the W was a break factor, as in I don't think the committee sat there discussing how they didn't build it and that's why they're going to Tampa. But it could have been a MAKE factor if it had been built. I also mentioned the Hotel Monroe and Palomar be scheduled to open before the convention. I'm very certain we would be talking GOP convention if that was our reality.

Vicelord John May 13, 2010 7:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plinko (Post 4838070)
Spring Hill, there you go. I called it a Microtel because I call all of those types of hotels Microtels...

I know you're partial to the Wyndham, but I hold a grudge because the asshat who owns (owned?) it is single-handedly responsible for tanking the Collier Center hotel (and probably several others as well). Not only that, it's an architectural travesty and took the place of the much more stately Adams Hotel.

It's not that I'm partial, it's that they did a really nice job with the hotel.

Leo the Dog May 14, 2010 3:06 AM

A big factor is that the big resorts were too far away. They visited the Desert Ridge to see how far they'd have to bus people around the city.

Leo the Dog May 14, 2010 3:10 AM

The demo has begun on the old Ramada Inn (?) on 1st St. The Polk St. side has a huge hole in the side.

dtnphx May 14, 2010 4:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leo the Dog (Post 4838900)
The demo has begun on the old Ramada Inn (?) on 1st St. The Polk St. side has a huge hole in the side.

It's a shame about that because (even though they say it's an asbestos problem and it's not cost effective) it could have been used for so many things until they had a ready-to-go project to fill the space. Until then, we'll have to get used to yet another friggin' parking lot.

Speaking of demolition, the two story structure at the east end of Biltmore Fashion Park has fencing surrounding it and that's the next thing to go down. What will be built there? A parking lot. :slob:

SethAZ May 14, 2010 5:26 PM

Yes, the demo has started on the Sahara WAY early. I was at a meeting with the Mayor on Friday to ask that the city not raze it yet and to give us time to offer better uses of the building. We had a developer who had solid plans to make the old building something very cool. (Similar to the Valley Ho.) But the mayor is a jerk and wrapped around Michael Crow's little finger.

Downtown Voice Coalition released this statement:
http://bit.ly/atrOSX

I wrote this story about it on downtownphoenix.com about a month or two ago. It made the Downtown Partnership pretty angry. (and i'm still surprised they ran the story.)
http://bit.ly/da4xEP

glynnjamin May 14, 2010 5:59 PM

^What does this have to do with Michael Crow? I thought this was part of the Sheraton development.

HooverDam May 14, 2010 6:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glynnjamin (Post 4839781)
^What does this have to do with Michael Crow? I thought this was part of the Sheraton development.

Its to allow extra parking for the Sheraton, but its ASUs property and ASUs big idea to maybe, someday, possibly put a law school there. So its ASU related as well.

SethAZ May 14, 2010 6:45 PM

The people at the meeting I was at on Friday were people from the city and lots of ASU people. ASU was very much involved in this decision.

soleri May 14, 2010 11:23 PM

One more thing about the W. Had it been constructed, it would probably be in bankruptcy today. Half the building was slated to be condos. The first downtown condo high-rise, the Summit, sold out, and eventually ended up in bankruptcy anyway. The W's hotel half was more boutique than convention-scaled with less than 200 rooms.

The argument with the Chinese-American community could have easily been settled. Robert Sarver didn't settle because he was closely monitoring condo sales at other projects, particularly 44 Monroe. The slow sales there were a tip-off that downtown was a more difficult market than first anticipated.

Phoenix was never going to beat Tampa for the GOP convention for reasons other commenters listed. SB1070, however, became a convenient scapegoat. Our eventual recovery - or lack thereof - will exist in that shadow until the immigration issue is finally resolved.


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