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Kansas City Advances To Final 4 In Republican Convention Bid

Frank Morris

Kansas City has survived another round in the competition to host the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC).  

The three other contenders are Cleveland, Dallas and Denver. Las Vegas and Cincinnati dropped out Thursday afternoon.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James says RNC site selection scouts clearly like what they see in Kansas City.  

“We are good enough we are big enough, we are great enough, we have enough stuff — people and assets to do this — and to do it well,” said James. "The people who are hardest to convince of that are the ones that live in this city. But we are in good shape.”

Part conventions cost a lot of money to host, $50-60 million all told, but they typically generate much more for the host city.  

Bill George, who runs a taxi, limo and shuttle company in town is one of Kansas City’s bid Task Force members. He says the initial economic boost is only the beginning. The bigger plus, he says, is in giving the millions of people their first look at Kansas City.

“Invariably, the response is, 'I never had any idea,'" said George. "The ability to have 50,000 people come in and have the media cover that every day, for people to realize what we have here, that is one of the biggest things. It would leave an economic halo for years to come.”

The RNC Site Selection Committee will travel to Kansas City early next month. They’re expected to pair the field of cities contending for the convention yet again this summer, before making a final decision.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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