Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 | 3:51 p.m.
Backers of the effort to bring the 2016 Republican National Convention to Las Vegas have Thursday morning circled on their calendar.
That’s when the Republican National Committee will announce what cities made the final cut for the right to host the quadrennial GOP gathering.
Reince Priebus, GOP chairman will make the announcement at 10 a.m. EST (7 a.m. local time), according to a tweet this afternoon from the RNC.
The massive presidential-nominating convention would bring tens of millions of dollars into the Las Vegas economy and would present the city with weeks of free media promotion around the nation. Other cities vying for the convention include Columbus, Ohio, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Mo., and Phoenix.
Last month, a delegation led by Las Vegas 2016 committee chairman and Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki traveled to Washington, D.C., to promote Las Vegas’ bid to Republican officials.
Las Vegas has made its cluster of hotels on the Strip the central selling point of its pitch. The convention and meeting halls and hotel rooms necessary could be within less than a mile of one another. And for local transportation, there are more regularly operating shuttle buses and taxis in Las Vegas than in most cities.
Another selling point has been the accessibility of Las Vegas, with direct flights readily available from points across the nation.
Two factors – Las Vegas’ reputation as Sin City and the melting heat of the desert summer – are seen as negatives to landing the convention here.
If Las Vegas becomes a finalist, the bid team will have a few additional months to try to persuade the eight-member GOP site selection committee to name it as host. The committee will likely reach a decision in June and recommend its candidate to a full Republican National Committee vote at the August meeting. The RNC has never not rubber-stamped the committee’s nomination.