Las Vegas in Running to Host 2020 Republican National Convention

Posted on: June 7, 2018, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: June 7, 2018, 01:44h.

Las Vegas is one of two finalist host cities officials at the Republican National Committee (RNC) are considering for the party’s 2020 convention.

Las Vegas RNC Republican National Convention
President Trump and the RNC may descend on Las Vegas for their 2020 Republican National Convention. (Image: Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Sometime between July and September 2020, the RNC will gather to presumably again nominate President Donald Trump to the party’s presidential ticket. The odds are reportedly 50/50 that the event will take place in Las Vegas.

RNC leaders are additionally considering Charlotte, North Carolina, the only city whose officials have publicly expressed their support for hosting the event. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) said last month it declined to submit a bid.

The Hill reports that numerous cities have declined interest in the Republican National Convention due to Trump.

Most of the cities that have turned down the RNC are Democratic cities,” Republican strategist Evan Siegfried explained. “Their leaders do not want to suffer blowback with their residents for hosting Trump.”

Politicians within Nevada’s GOP have reportedly urged the RNC to consider Las Vegas, regardless of the city’s support.

Good for Business

The 2016 Republican National Convention was held in Cleveland, as winning Ohio and its 18 Electoral College votes is critical to a GOP candidate paving a path to the White House. But for JACK Cleveland, the downtown casino next to Quickens Loans Arena where Trump formally became a presidential candidate, the convention led to reduced revenue.

The RNC took over Cleveland in July 2016, and that included JACK Cleveland parking space. The influx of political operatives congested the downtown area and kept many otherwise would-be gamblers away.

“We are expecting to have significantly negative impact on traditional business this week just because of a lot of the traffic challenges,” JACK Entertainment SVP of Operations Mark Tricano said at the time. “But we are optimistic that over the long term, the benefits of getting worldwide exposure for the city will more than help make up for that.”

With the most hotel rooms of any city in the US, Las Vegas, of course, would have no issue hosting the convention. Potential venues include T-Mobile Arena, one of the city’s numerous convention centers, or even the Raiders NFL stadium that could be completed in time.

Casino Billionaires Back GOP

There’s no word on whether Las Vegas Sands tycoon Sheldon Adelson supports bringing the 2020 Republican convention to his hometown. The billionaire was the largest financial contributor to Trump’s 2016 campaign, and recently gave $30 million to a super PAC that’s supporting Republican candidates in the 2018 midterms.

Adelson isn’t the only Las Vegas billionaire backing conservatives and Trump’s reelection.

Station Casinos owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta have collectively donated around $2.8 million this year to the president’s 2020 campaign. Steve Wynn contributed $500,000, money that the the super PAC in receipt said wouldn’t be returned despite the sexual allegations made against the billionaire. 

Phil Ruffin, who owns 50 percent of the nongaming Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, has sent more than $350,000 to Republican causes this year.