Could Cleveland host both political conventions?

CLEVELAND -- Apparently there is something Democrats and Republicans can agree on: Cleveland.

The city is now on both lists for the potential political convention sites.

It's still two years away, but the downtown is already buzzing with excitement.

The general manager of Aloft Hotel can picture it: a lobby full of lawmakers.

"Business would be good. We'd have a full house," Aloft General Manager Bill Reed said.

One city hasn't hosted both political conventions since 1972. The Democrats just announced their list with 15 cities, the Republicans are down to six. Las Vegas and Cleveland are the two sites in common, and local hotels hope the odds are against Sin City.

"We'd have a lot of homework to do, but we would be prepared, and it would be great if it came to the city," Reed said.

If it's great for the hotel, it's great for the restaurants nearby, too, like Lago.

"To even have the opportunity to host it, and politics aside, just be part of the event," Lago General Manager Brendan Kearney said. "It's just going to put a spotlight on the Flats and the downtown and the revitalization of what we're trying to do."

The Flats will look a lot different by 2016, and so will several portions of downtown, giving the potential tens of thousands of visitors a new Cleveland to remember and recommend.

"Whether we get one of these or both of them or none of them, the fact that we're competitive for this big of a national convention means that we'll be getting other conventions," Cuyhoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald said.

He thinks it's unlikely Cleveland will get both, it all comes down to a political decision, but businesses are keeping politics out of it and staying optimistic.

"We would love to have them here, that's for sure," Reed said.

While the convention itself lasts three or four days, it usually becomes at least a weeklong series of events.

It's estimated Cleveland could bring in more than $300 million with both conventions.

The Republicans are visiting Cleveland next week, and Democrats are accepting proposals from their list until early June.


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