17,000 Charlotte hotels rooms already booked for 2020 RNC

(Lauren Tostenson | WBTV)
Updated: Oct. 2, 2018 at 5:42 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Hotels and businesses were given a heads up earlier this summer about the Republican National Convention coming to the Queen City, but plans kicked into high gear Monday when convention dates were officially announced for August 24 through August 27 of 2020.

One day after the announcement, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority said about two-thirds of local hotel rooms were already booked solid for that last week of August.

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According to the CRVA, there are about 30,000 available hotel rooms in the Charlotte area, and the Republican National Committee has already laid claim to 17,000 of those rooms. The CRVA says each of those reserved rooms will be assigned to specific delegations, republican officials, and major donors closer to convention time.

The Ritz-Carlton in uptown is one of the hundreds of hotels that’s contracted 100% of its rooms for the GOP’s most valued visitors.

“Although the RNC has not specifically told us who the delegates or specific individuals will be staying with us, it tends to be the high-end donors or individuals they’ve designated as VIP,” said Jim Moss, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Ritz-Carlton in uptown.

The Ritz sits in a prime location on the same block as the Spectrum Center, the main venue for the 2020 RNC. Also in that sweet spot of uptown is the Omni Charlotte, catty-corner to the Ritz.

“We’re only a block away from the Spectrum Center, so we’ll be right in the heat of things, in the heartbeat of [the convention], so we’re excited about that,” said Omni Charlotte General Manager, Douglas Hustad.

The Omni has more than double the occupancy of the Ritz, and management says they’ve also booked out every one of the hotel’s 373 rooms and all its meeting space for the week of August 24. Hustad says 90% of the hotel’s rooms have been contracted by the RNC, the other 10% were left open for outside booking, but have already been reserved by media partners and other affiliated convention visitors.

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Hustad says he and his staff have been proactively planning for months, but only nailed down the details after dates were officially announced Monday. Hustad says an event of this magnitude calls for plenty of additional preparation, even two years out.

“We have a little more planning to do as you can imagine, with security. There will be some extra things that we have to do. The good things is they’ll virtually have the entire hotel, which enables us to plan specifically for that one group, or that one event,” said Hustad.

The Ritz Carlton and the Omni are just two of the hundreds of hotels set to house Republicans in 2020. On top of all the existing availability, the CRVA says the region is expected to see a 25% increase in available hotel space by the time Republican National Convention comes to town.

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