HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – The Houston convention organization has contacted the Republican National Committee regarding the possibility of relocating the Republican nominating convention from Charlotte, N.C. to Houston, says David Mincberg, chair of Houston First Corp.
President Trump, in a tweet over the weekend, said North Carolina’s Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper is in a “shutdown mood” due to coronavirus pandemic and Charlotte’s social-distancing restrictions and limitations on attendance could dampen the Republican event, Aug. 24-27.
Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News that Texas, Georgia and Florida might be considered if North Carolina is not prepared to host the massive convention, which would fill thousands of hotel rooms and inject millions into the Houston economy.
Houston First, the city’s convention agency, has contacted the Republican National Committee to indicate Houston’s interest in hosting the convention, should a change be necessary, said Mincberg.
“We are interested and we are ready to talk,” Mincberg said. “If they do (want to relocate the convention) we can move quickly. We’d work night and day to put something together.”
The NRG stadium, which has over 70,000 seats when configured for the NFL Houston Texans games, could be an excellent venue for President Trump to receive the GOP’s presidential nomination, Mincberg said.
The Republicans are expecting 50,000 attendees. A tourism infusion of that magnitude would be a balm for the Houston economy, which shed 312,100 jobs in April. That included the loss of 100,000 food and beverage jobs, 23,900 retail jobs and 9,900 hotel jobs, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.
The 2020 Texas Republican State Convention is scheduled to be held July 16-18 in Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Producing the statewide event would be an excellent way to prepare the city for the national convention, Mincberg said. Houston convention officials have prepared plans for careful cleaning and sanitizing during state convention, which will draw 7,000 to 8,000 people, Mincberg said.
Trump is reportedly eager to speak before large, high-energy crowds, one of the hallmarks of Trump’s campaign style. The president has been invited to speak at the State Convention in July.
“Plans are being made by many thousands of enthusiastic Republicans, and others, to head to beautiful North Carolina in August. They must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find with all the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site,” Trump said in a tweet Monday.
Trump said he was expecting to hear back from Charlotte in one week, regarding its preparedness to host the Republicans.
Pence told Fox News: “It’s an issue we’ve been talking about because these national conventions literally take many months to organize and there are states around the country we think of Texas, we think of Florida, Georgia, the last two states I visited last week that have made tremendous progress on reopening their communities and reopening their economies.”
Texas has been reopening businesses, recreational facilities and other public places in recent weeks.
“Governor Abbott has said Texas is open for business,” Mincberg said.