Spotlight on Las Vegas as RNC tours city - 8 News NOW

Spotlight on Las Vegas as RNC tours city

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LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas had its chance Thursday to show off our city as a possible site for the 2016 GOP convention. A group from the Republican National Committee went on a private walk-through at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The city remains one of six still in the running: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, and Kansas City, Mo., are also in the mix. And, like us, each city knows hosting a national political convention is huge exposure -- just one of the many reasons why Las Vegas wants to snag this vote.

While crews at the Las Vegas Convention Center are gearing up to host a wrestling championship, former Nevada Governor Bob List is also here fighting for Las Vegas.

"We remain very optimistic about our chances," said List. He's one of several heavyweights hoping Republicans will choose Las Vegas for their 2016 convention.

Representatives from the GOP inspected the convention center Thursday and took in what our city has to offer. "I think it's the logistics of the hotel facilities and the great availability of great food and entertainment." 

Even Mayor Carolyn Goodman, a registered non-partisan, is going Republican. She did her best to sell the city to the group on Thursday morning.

"Somebody in the group came up and said, 'That was a home run, mayor.' And I thought, 'wow, that's good!'"

Venetian and Palazzo owner Sheldon Adelson and his wife spent more than $92 million in the last Presidential election, hoping to defeat Barack Obama. Adelson wants Republicans to rally here in two years.

"Mr. Adelson has been very supportive, so has Mr. Wynn, so has MGM and Harrah's and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. This is really a community effort to bring a national convention to Las Vegas, a city that does this like no other," said  Ryan Erwin, president of Red Rock Strategies.

Last time, it was Tampa and Mitt Romney. As you know, he lost the election. But, with Republicans gambling, dining and shopping in Las Vegas, it would be a "win-win," regardless of who takes the White House.

Not all Republicans want the convention to come here, however. Some religious conservatives have launched an all-out assault on the GOP because of of the "Sin City" nickname. One critic complained how many pages we have in our phone book for escort services, calling it a metaphor for decadence.

That so-called reputation doesn't worry List.

"I don't think that's a huge issue," he said. "We're a city of 2.5 million people. We have massive little leagues, we have soccer, we have over 20,000 Boy Scouts in this town, we have over 500 houses of worship. It's a wonderful city and family place."

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