CLEVELAND, Ohio - It’s non stop traffic at Hopkins Airport as thousands of people travel to Cleveland each day for the Republican National Convention.
About 50,000 political big-wigs, delegates and demonstrators are expected on top of normal airport traffic.
Thursday afternoon Matt Wheeler stood with a welcoming sign in baggage claims for the 700 people arriving with the California delegation alone.
“We’re the big ones,” joked Matt, ”And loving every minute of it.”
The city, airport and partners have been preparing for this event since Cleveland was chosen by the RNC in July 2014.
Over the past two years they’ve invested countless hours and 36 million dollars.
“We’re excited. It’s really good energy,” said Fred Szabo, Airport Commissioner, “What we’re trying to make sure that every component of that visit is very positive.
The airport has added extra security measures and VIP areas for famous people, politicians and dignitaries.
But Szabo says, they really want everyone to feel special so there is an expanded transportation office, new visitors services desk, extra signage everywhere and dozens of additional volunteers and employees to assist passengers.
Each day leading up to the RNC is expected to be busy but the heaviest traffic is expected on Friday, July 22 after the convention ends.
Szabo says they may be arriving in waves, but will be attempting to leave all at once and on the same day. City and airport leaders just hope they enjoy their stay and make Cleveland a vacation destination in the future.