CLEVELAND, Ohio — Three years ago, Cleveland welcomed thousands of visitors for the Republican National Convention.
All eyes were on the city as it hosted the huge political party on a global stage.
In a “Let’s Be Clear” interview, Destination Cleveland President and CEO, David Gilbert says in many ways a political convention is probably the largest event a community can host.
“It was such an enormous community wide effort and so many people,” he explains.
“Think of the security, so many aspects, it’s not just that we hosted it, it’s not just that we won the competition, we got chosen, it’s that it came off so well and that’s been a real calling card.”
It’s an event that’s helped keep momentum going strong in the area.
According to Destination Cleveland, in 2015, before the convention, Cuyahoga County had 17.6 million visitors, in 2017 that number grew to 18.5 million which is 'at a faster rate than the national growth rate.’
“I really believe that there’s a good chance we would not have the NFL Draft here had the Republican National Convention not been here and gone as well as it did,” says Gilbert.
While Cleveland is on tap to host more big events over the next few years, some in the city feel they’ve been left out of all of the success.
“Especially in this area right here, the Glenville community, I think a lot of resources should be put in this area because it’s a good neighborhood, close to downtown, has a lot of assets over here,” says Resident Adam Ford.
“We’re just not getting the resources to put into the community.”