Houston not a finalist for 2012 Republican National Convention

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by Courtney Zubowski / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 3, 2010 at 11:43 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 4 at 9:29 AM

HOUSTON -- Houston is not a finalist for the 2012 Republican National Convention, at least not yet.

Rumors started flying Wednesday after published reports stated Houston was one of four finalists.
Late in the evening, the head of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau said the rumors aren’t true.
“I really wish all of our convention bids we could get to the finals without ever having submitted a piece of paper,” said Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Greg Ortale.
Ortale confirmed the city of Houston has yet to sign up for a shot. In fact, the city missed the deadline to apply. Ortega says that’s because of the transition into a new administration.
However, if the RNC gives Houston an extension, the city could throw its name into the hat. The city would bid not only for the GOP Convention, but also the Democratic National Convention.
“You have to go for both and the reason for that is it has to take a full commitment of the community, particularly on the fundraising, and you cannot do that without republicans and democrats in the city working together,” said Ortega.
The 2008 GOP convention was held in St. Paul, MN. Ortale says the community had to raise $80 million, and it got about $150 million back. Still, according to Ortale, there could be a significant cost to the city.
“If you’ve got infrastructure issues, like streets, if you have some security costs that are not going to be recoverable, and it is probably millions of dollars, “he said.
Is it a long shot for Houston? Some say it is, but it’s a chance the city could be willing to take.
“It’s a major undertaking and if we do go forward with it, you’ll be chasing down rumors every week,” said Ortale.

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