CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Could Charlotte be the host of the next Democratic National Convention?
City leaders are in talks with party officials to bring the convention to the Queen City in 2012.
Matt Sielsky, who owns a hot dog business in Center City, lives and thrives by serving Charlotte's convention crowd.
"We plan for it. We rely on it, and it's a big chunk of our business," he said.
Sielsky is on board with the local effort to land the Democratic National Convention.
He said, "we're really only a lunch place. So when a big convention comes in and the hotels are really full, and there are people in from out of town we have a real justification to be open for dinner."
Filling Center City with the convention goers carries a hefty tab – upwards of $50 million – so who will pay?
Mayor elect Anthony Foxx says Charlotte needs to be careful in its choices.
"Some cities have raised it privately and others have raised public money, and we have to be very careful at this time not to over commit," he said.
Getting the DNC to commit to Charlotte means selling this city on frills that weren't around 8 years ago, according to Tim Newman of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
"The number of hotel rooms. The number of suites in the market. We have the necessary tools that we didn't have in 2000," Newman said.
I would say local businesses – like Matt's Chicago Dog in Center City – could use the extra income since the most recent economic downturn.
"It makes all the difference in the world of whether or not we're be profitable or not be profitable," Sielsky said.