RNC gave Tampa Bay economy $400M boost - WFLA News Channel 8

RNC gave Tampa Bay economy $400M boost

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Republican National Convention (AP) Republican National Convention (AP)
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn at August 20 press conference on the economic impact of the RNC Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn at August 20 press conference on the economic impact of the RNC
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

It's been nearly a year since Tampa hosted the Republican National Convention, and now the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee is releasing final numbers on the economic impact of the RNC.

"It really showcased everything the city had to offer, from the venues, to the great weather," said Ken Jones, president of the Host Committee.

A study conducted by the University of Tampa's Sykes College of Business found the RNC dumped more than $400 million into the bay area economy. It also found the RNC benefited the region in several key ways. First, it put Tampa on the world stage. Secondly, it made it easier for the region to attract other big events, including the Bollywood Oscars in 2014.

"We were incredibly successful in showing the world, and obviously our guests that year all that we had to offer," said Santiago Corrada of Visit Tampa Bay.

Hotels saw an occupancy rate of 92%, and the event drew thousands of people. Other businesses that saw big bumps in business include car rentals and caterers.

"I knew it was our turn. And it's not going to stop now, that was just the beginning," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Buckhorn took questions during Tuesday's media event about the impact on local businesses downtown. Many small restaurants said they actually lost money during the RNC, and it was not good for business. Many convention goers and delegates couldn't get through the security surrounding the event easily enough. The city received $50 million dollars from the government for security.

"I absolutely go bed comfortably every night, knowing that we made the right decision, and given the opportunity to do it again, I wouldn't do it any differently," Buckhorn said.

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