EDITORIAL: GOP convention

There is only one argument against staging the 2016 Republican National Convention in Las Vegas: inconvenience.

If delegates can’t wait to spend hours on buses every day, shuttling between far-flung hotels and convention sites, Las Vegas is not the place for them. If the party faithful want limited dining options and long drives and waits just to eat, Las Vegas won’t do. If Republicans are eager to have one or perhaps two layovers in airports around the country on their way to and from the convention — and pay an inflated fare for the privilege — Las Vegas won’t be much help. And if attendees are dead-set against having unlimited entertainment options and fun things to do, day and night, they certainly won’t want to be in Las Vegas.

Inconvenience and a lack of choice defines national political conventions. For most cities, hosting more than 50,000 visitors, blocking out 17,000 hotel rooms, having up to 350,000 square feet of meeting space adjacent to an 18,000-seat venue, and feeding and moving those guests across town and back is a logistical nightmare. For Las Vegas, it’s business as usual.

“This is what we do,” said Republican Brian Krolicki, Nevada’s lieutenant governor and chairman of the Nevada Host Committee, the nonprofit group organizing the Las Vegas bid for the party’s 2016 convention. “No other city can match what Las Vegas offers.”

The Republican National Committee has issued requests for proposals, and the Nevada Host Committee will submit a formal bid by February’s deadline. The committee has launched its website, www.lasvegas2016.com, and a Twitter account, @LV2016, to promote the bid.

Talk about an easy sell. Las Vegas can almost meet the minimum hotel room requirement with luxury suites; the city has about 150,000 total rooms, all close to multiple potential convention venues. That convenience means attendees would actually have time to enjoy their hotel rooms, dining, shopping and shows in addition to participating in party matters.

At least $55 million to support the convention would be raised privately by the Nevada Host Committee; no tax money would be used. The economic and publicity benefits of the convention would be tremendous for the valley. The host committee deserves the full support of Nevadans, regardless of their party affiliation. And the bid is more than worthy of the RNC’s backing — unless the organization is committed to a convention of inconvenience.