RNC results: Here is the impact the convention had on Northeast Ohio


The exterior of the Quicken Loans Arena is seen amid preparations for the arrival of visitors and delegates for the Republican National Convention on July 15, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo credit: DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — A little over a year after the Republican National Convention came to Cleveland, we are getting a look at the impact it had on our area.

Thursday, the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee announced the hosting of the 2016 RNC resulted in up to $188.4 million of economic benefit to our region, which includes Cuyahoga; Lake; Geauga; Lorain; Summit; Medina; and Erie counties, according to Tourism Economics. The total is short of the original $200 million estimate.

Also, the jobs and labor income is said to have been significant with 1,324 FTE positions created through the RNC hosting, translating to $61.1 million in income for area residents.

Studies from both Tourism Economics and Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs were done.

“While the different approaches and methodologies provide two different figures for the economic impact, both studies confirm what we already knew: political conventions provide platforms for long-term impact in addition to short-term financial infusions,” said David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee.  “That bottom line mirrors our goals from the day Cleveland was chosen as the host city: the Convention infused revenue into our economy that wouldn’t have otherwise been realized, and, possibly more importantly, it launched Cleveland on a national and international trajectory in regard to awareness and reputation.”

Here are some of the key findings, according to the host committee:

Tourism Economics Analysis

• The 2016 RNC produced $110.1 million in direct spending and $188.4 million in economic impact in a seven-county region. (Note: Visitor spending estimate based on sample size of 1,793 from 2015 Longwoods International Visitor Spending Study commissioned by Destination Cleveland.)

• Hotels averaged 88 percent peak occupancy rate in the seven-county region and 99 percent in Downtown Cleveland during the five core nights of the Convention.  Airbnb provided much needed capacity with guest night bookings increasing more than 300 percent compared with the two weeks prior and following the Convention.

• Hotels more than doubled their average daily rates in 2016 over 2015. Airbnb’s average nightly prices also more than doubled.

• The jobs and labor income generated by the city’s hosting of the RNC were significant. The 1,324 FTE positions generated (on an annualized basis) through the hosting translated to $61.1 million in income for residents.

• The economic activity associated with the RNC generated $10.2 million in state and local tax revenue for the seven-county region, providing funds to support resident programs and services.

Cleveland State University Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs Analysis

• The CSU study affirmed our belief that events like the RNC can be used to change people’s
impressions of Cleveland.

** Survey participants asked how they would describe Cleveland before attending the RNC
included words like “rust belt,” “dull,” “boring” and “dangerous.” Asked to describe the
city since attending the RNC, the most popular words were “friendly,” “nice,” “clean”
and “safe.”

• Renting out living space to visitors in close proximity to such large events was a viable option for Clevelanders. Previous political conventions documented the lack of a market for convention city residents trying to rent out their homes or apartments.

** The study showed that apartment tenants and the associated rental property owners
made more than $500,000 during convention week through a rental program
coordinated by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance.

• Using a conservative approach to economic impact that discounted millions of dollars in
spending by local entities, Cleveland State University researchers estimated the 2016 RNC
produced $67.8 million in direct spending (73 percent of which was visitor spending) with the
Convention producing a total economic impact of $142.2 million in a seven-county region.

• The CSU researchers specified that “due to the nature of using survey-based responses and
spending estimates, it is likely that not all visitor spending was modeled. All assumptions that
affected the economic impact model offer conservative estimates of actual spending.”


**Continuing coverage on the Republican National Convention**

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