We told you on Monday that the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau met to discuss a bid for the 2012 Republican Convention. Looks like the meeting went well:
The chance that Salt Lake City will try to land the 2012 Republican National Convention has moved from maybe to probably.
"The expectation is that we will go for it," said Scott Beck, president and chief executive officer of the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We have vetted all the requirements, and we absolutely meet all of them."
Salt Lake City was invited by the Republican National Committee to an "interested parties" presentation in November in which all the infrastructure requirements and the process were laid out. Beck and a representative from the governor's office attended. So did envoys from a "dozen or so" other cities. Beck said bids also could come from cities that weren't there but know the process.
The governor's office this month formed a committee of about a dozen leaders to explore the idea, Beck said. They have made no formal decision about going forward, but they will have to decide during a meeting in early January.
Salt Lake City hosting the RNC is an interesting prospect, but there are a few things working against any potential bid. First, Utah is not a “battleground" state, so it’s not clear what hosting it here would do for the GOP. If Mitt Romney is the eventual nominee, there’s no glossing over his LDS faith, which is something the evangelical wing of the party is not exactly favorable toward.
If the goal is to bring the convention to the Intermountain West, which is becoming more and more of a political force, Phoenix or Denver seems like a more favorable choice.
Right now, Phoenix is the only other city that seems to have any public interest. The deadline for cities to submit bids to the RNC is Jan. 15.