May 7, 2002
|Honorable Richard T. Crotty
Orange County Chairman
201 S. Rosalind Ave.
Orlando, FL 32801
|Honorable Glenda Hood
Mayor, City of Orlando
400 S. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32810
|Honorable Kevin Beary
Orange County Sheriff
2450 W. 33rd St.
Orlando, FL 32839
Dear Chairman Crotty, Mayor Hood, and Sheriff Beary:
As you know, the Republican National Committee has begun its process,
which will lead to selection of a destination for the 2004 Republican National
Convention. The RNC "Request for Proposals" (RFP) was sent to approximately
24 cities in late March. Representatives from the undersigned group
of agencies were assembled to perform research to support the decision
making process. The decision to submit or not submit a proposal must
be supported by a thorough evaluation of the available facts regarding
the benefits and costs of hosting this very prestigious event. Following
our evaluation of the facts known to us, it is the considered judgment
of the undersigned that the cost of the venture would far exceed the resulting
benefits. We recommend to you that a proposal not be submitted.
The following is offered as a summary of our findings. This summary
is based upon evaluation of the RFP itself, information obtained from previous
host cities directly, from RNC service contractors, through media records,
and from a fact-finding meeting with the RNC Site Selection Committee held
in Washington, D.C. on May 1, 2002.
All costs of the convention must be borne locally.
The "specifications" for the event are not developed sufficiently to allow
accurate cost estimating. According to the RNC, over $30 million
in cash was spent in Philadelphia, with an additional amount of over $20
million contributed "in kind" ($50+ million total).
It is our estimate that the range of costs for our community would be from
$50 to $60 million. In the post September 11 environment, costs could
be substantially higher.
There are no "revenue sharing" opportunities. No advertising or recognition
can be afforded to contributors. The return on investment is limited
to "delegate spending" and the value of exposure for the community.
Based upon our knowledge of the County and City budgets, it is assumed
that much, if not most, of the needed funding would need to be raised by
a "Host Committee." By Federal Election Law, all such fundraising
is limited to private companies and governments with a significant (defined)
presence in the MSA ("Metropolitan Service Area"). The RNC requires
the Host Committee to be the executor of the Site City Contract.
The Host Committee in effect becomes the "bank," with approval for expenditures
only from the RNC. We doubt there are enough large locally based
corporations to meet this funding requirement.
The Convention Center, and other needed facilities, are physically capable
of hosting the event. Any relocation costs of booked business are
unknown (relocation of OCCC Phase V [new expansion building] business would
not be extraordinary; the RNC, however, would not decide at this time as
to whether or not [existing building] West Complex business must be relocated).
The cost of the "build-out" and decorating of the facilities also
cannot be accurately estimated.
Security and transportation costs are impossible to accurately estimate
until the "room block" is identified. It is expected that 40 to 60
hotels would be required.
Lost business for our community would be significant but is difficult to
Summary of Recommendation:
20,000 attendees would produce approximately $24,000,000+ in delegate spending.
Exposure of the community worldwide has significant value, but is difficult
to quantify. While media reports have wide ranging values, it is
our belief that in "Orlando's" market this value is significantly less
than the cost of the event.
Therefore, we recommend that a proposal not be submitted. We are
certainly available at your direction to provide additional information.
Please let us know if anything further is required.
A "benefit vs. cost" analysis does not demonstrate that this event provides
sufficient value to justify the cost.
Investment of this size in other events would produce five to ten times
the return and exposure in "traditional" association and business-to-business
Investment of this size in other economic diversification programs, such
as the business expansion or relocation efforts of the Economic Development
Commission, would likely produce a far greater and more permanent positive
economic benefit for our community.
While not impossible for the Orlando area, meeting the necessary private
sector contribution levels would be difficult at best, an effort far outdistancing
The Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce
Economic Development Commission of Mid Florida
The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association
Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Orange County Chairman's Office
Orange County Administrator's Office
Orange County Convention Center
Orange County Sheriff's Office
City of Orlando, Mayors Office
City of Orlando, Orlando Cetroplex