Breathe Easy, Houston: We're Not Getting The GOP Convention

Yesterday we noted that respected national publication Hotline had reported that Houston was one of four finalists for the 2012 GOP convention. Naturally, this caused much panic among  those people who aren't the kind to listen to Glenn Beck and nod their head saying "Damn, that man makes sense!!"

Houston, we are happy to report, we have NO problem. (See how we turned that cliche around?)

The Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau tells Hair Balls that the city has not even applied to be a host.

"We never turned in an RFP, so no one is quite sure how Houston's name ended up on the list." says GHCVB spokeswoman Lindsey Brown, referring to a "request for proposal" that, in the world of bureaucracy, is more or less code for an application.

Hotline talked to members of the GOP committee tasked with picking the next convention city; we're guessing that the meeting they held consisted of throwing around likely names under the assumption that hell, they must have applied, right?

But Houston hadn't. Awkward.

So, if our commenters are to be trusted from that previous item, we will not see an influx of hookers, drugs and dominatrix dungeons.

Maybe next time.

Update: But they still want to tease us. GHCVB has put out an official statement saying they're thinking about things.

Houston officials, along with the new administration, are now discussing the possibility of hosting a 2012 convention. If the city decides to move forward, a bid would then be submitted to the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee, if the RNC will still accept our bid since the deadline has passed.

"There are many factors to be considered when going after a major political convention," said Greg Ortale, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Ortale, who has been involved in four political convention bids including the Minneapolis/St. Paul bid for the 2008 Republican National Convention, understands the
costs associated with these events. "When a city is selected, their local organizing committee would then be responsible for raising $80 million or more to pay for the convention. There are also numerous unreimbursed costs to the host city that can total an additional several million dollars. The Republican Convention generated a reported $150
million in St. Paul in 2008, but it took $80 million for them to do that, excluding the city costs. And there is a political component that is unpredictable," Ortale added. "We need to assess the realistic chances of a successful bid and if it is the wisest and best use of
community resources -- both on the convention and on improving our infrastructure."

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly