Government
8:16 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Area Governments Pool Resources To Bring The 2016 GOP Convention To KC

Bid fund will help sell promoters dream of a GOP nominating convention in Kansas City in 2016
Bid fund will help sell promoters dream of a GOP nominating convention in Kansas City in 2016
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR-FM

Kansas City is going after the 2016 Republican nominating convention but the city won't go it alone. Four local governments have put some skin in the game.

Johnson County, Wyandotte County’s Unified Government, Kansas City and Jackson County are in for $65,000 each. Kansas City’s contribution follows $100,000 of city Convention and Visitor’s money - a small ante, Mayor Sly James says, for what could be a big payoff if Republicans stage their convention here.

“You know, this is a major event. This is not a house party,” said James at a press event Thursday. “This is an event that we have not had for the last 40 years, that will generate $200 to $300 million of economic activity - fill every hotel room in the city for a week.”

Kansas City is up against five other cities for the convention, with many observers giving Las Vegas odds to win it. 

Johnson County Commission Chairman Ed Eilert says the high stakes justify a coordinated, regional bid to attract the convention.

“Johnson County is pleased to be part of this effort. There’s obviously an economic benefit to the entire metropolitan area,” said Eilert.

Eilert says about half the hotel rooms the Republican conventioneers would use are in Johnson County. 

The $260,000 pledged will be used for travel and other expenses related to the convention bid, including entertaining the Republican site selection committee when they visit later this spring.