Cleveland Ready for Its Close Up During the Republican National Convention

For nearly two years, Cleveland has been busy preparing for the Republican National Convention. The city takes the spotlight July 18-21 and will draw over 50,000 visitors and 15,000 media personnel to northeast Ohio. Approximately 60,000 hotel rooms have been reserved, with the city projected to receive $200 million from direct spending the week of the convention.

Because Cleveland is receiving both national and international media attention, the city must look its best! Countless efforts have been made to ensure Cleveland is ready for the media spotlight with more than $5.5 billion has been invested into the city since 2009, and it shows!

Public Square has been completely transformed from four individual quadrants, to one magnificent public park. James Corner, the landscape architect strived to create a vibrant space to attract citizens and visitors downtown. The spectacular new square has been designed for year-round use and features an outdoor cafe, pedestrian walkways, a water feature, an outdoor seating area for concerts and events, and an area for an ice rink. The 1894 Soldiers and Sailors Monument has been livened up with fresh landscaping and is open to the public daily.

Cleveland Public Square RNC
Public Square Before
Public Square after 2016
Public Square After

In addition to the improvements at Public Square, the RNC has been promoting volunteer-driven beautification days all over the city. Two-hundred-year-old facades have been power-washed, and neighborhoods and public parks have received new trees and flowerbeds. Millions of LED twinkle lights have been added downtown to give our city an extra shimmer.

RNC Cleveland 2016 banner

How will Cleveland accommodate this monstrous number of people you might ask? Hotels of course! Three hotels have been recently added to the downtown area, in addition to countless others built throughout Cuyahoga County.

The Schofield Hotel, located at East 9th and Euclid, has 122 guest rooms and suites. The new hotel is pet-friendly, and features in-room spa services.

Drury Plaza Hotel is a new addition to East 6th street, and is located in the former Board of Education building. The property features 189 guest rooms and 3,900 square feet of meeting space. The restoration process began in 2014 and original floor plans and common spaces have been virtually unchanged in order to preserve the dense history of the building.

Standing 32 stories in the sky, the Hilton Cleveland Downtown is the newest and largest hotel and is connected to the Huntington Convention Center. The hotel has a Sky Bar on the top floor that features fantastic views of the lake and the city.

Cleveland Hilton RNC 2016

Hotels in the Greater Cleveland area have dedicated anywhere between 90-100% of their rooms to the convention.

The official venue for the RNC is Quicken Loans Arena, home to our NBA Champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Q has been completely transformed from a sports and entertainment arena to a convention center ready to take the national spotlight. The Q now is equipped with a new state of the art security system as well as a brand new stage in the center for delegates.

Playhouse Square and the Great Lakes Science Center are among the list of locations slated as supplemental venues during Cleveland’s big week. The Science Center alone can accommodate up to 5,000 people, and the Omnimax Theater and views of Lake Erie make the center a one-of-a-kind location.

Playhouse Square has also been taking part in beautification efforts. The second largest theater district in the U.S. repainted its five theaters’ auditoriums and lobbies. The theaters now feature more vintage architecture, classical decorations, and new chandeliers. No musicals, plays, or other performances are booked the week of the convention. The RNC has first dibs on using the theaters as they see fit.

Regardless of political affiliation, Clevelanders can all agree that the city is looking better than ever and the city is ready for its close up!

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