Graham Kilmer

RNC Says Event, Restaurant Bookings Should Begin Soon

Why is pace of bookings behind those for Democratic convention in Chicago?

By - Apr 8th, 2024 08:02 pm

Anne Hathaway speaks in Panther Arena. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

With the Republican National Convention roughly three months away, convention planners say event venues and restaurants will begin to get booked up for the event.

The convention has already spent $1.5 million at events around the city, said Anne Hathaway, chair of the Indiana GOP and lead organizer of the event. And with all the “major contracts” already in place, planners will begin to focus on booking event venues, hotels and restaurants for the politicos, media and state delegations expected to descend on Milwaukee in July.

As chair of the RNC’s Committee on Arrangements, Hathaway is the top Republican official leading the planning of the event, which runs from July 15 – 18. The convention will be held at Fiserv Forum, the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and the Baird Center.

The New York Times recently reported that local venue and entertainment bookings for the RNC appear to be lagging behind bookings for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Well, if you think about it, they’ve known who their nominee is gonna to be for four years,” Hathaway said. “Obviously, we have a presumptive nominee for the last 30 days, who, as I mentioned, we have started to work closely with the campaign.”

Former President Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee Hathaway referred to. In the last month, the Trump campaign has replaced many RNC staffers with loyalists, as media outlets have reported.

Hathaway said these changes will not extend to the planners of the convention. “Our staff all remains,” she said. “We’re focused on delivering the convention, and doing it on time and under budget.”

The RNC currently has 39 full-time staff in Milwaukee, Hathaway said.

Local delegations across the country recently learned where their hotels will be during the convention, Hathaway said, adding that local event and restaurant bookings will be the next step for delegates. However, she noted, it’s not expected that everything in Milwaukee will book up for the event.

“I think bookings will come,” she said. “I think that’s one of the main things that will happen in the next 100 days.”

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Categories: Business, Events, Politics

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