The Republican National Convention in Cleveland is about 16 months away, but the effort in Lake County already has begun to develop planning efforts to attract convention visitors and events to Lake County.
The Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce and a group of organizations that includes a bipartisan mix from business, tourism and nonprofit organizations, have been meeting for the past six months to help to plan and promote the county to the RNC decision makers. These organizations involved on the committee include Kevin Malecek, Lake County Commissioner, Bob Ulas, Lake County Visitors Bureau executive director; Brad Seymour, General Manager of the Lake County Captains, Dennis Morley, Mayor of Eastlake, Amy Sabath, political consultant and Lake County Republican Party vice president; Linda Reed, Executive Director of the Painesville Chamber of Commerce, and Bob Cahen from the Lakeland Foundation.
The ultimate goal is not only to give the county a boost during the convention, but also to enhance the visibility of Lake County to visitors and all of Northeast Ohio. The Republican National Committee on Jan. 14 announced the official dates of the Republican National Convention will be July 18-21, 2016.
The Lake County committee to promote the County, has put together a preliminary booklet containing highlights of the county and what is available that will continue to be shared with people in Cleveland who organize the Republican National Convention. The Lake County Captains already have made the stadium available in 2016 during the convention and are hoping to schedule a concert that weekend or a watch party for people who can’t get into Cleveland. The committee also hopes to promote fishing on Lake Erie, visiting wineries, the Holden Arboretum, Lake Metroparks, public and private golf courses, and the Historic Kirtland sites.
The committee has hired a governmental relationship consulting group, Strategic Public Partners in Columbus, to assist the effort in promoting Lake County to the RNC. Strategic Public Partners has been very active working with organizations during past national political party conventions and already works with the 2016 RNC convention.
Lake County organizations like the Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber, the Mentor Chamber of Commerce, the Lake County Visitor’s Bureau, the Lake County Commissioners and numerous private companies have assisted in donating over $30,000 to promote Lake County for this huge event. As a bi-partisan group, we are currently seeking additional donations, large or small to support Lake County’s promotional efforts and visibility during the Convention. The long term effects of promoting the County is an exciting opportunity for many of our chamber members and other businesses in Lake County. If chamber members/businesses are interested in attending a general informational meeting on our promotional efforts, our next general meeting is Wednesday, May 27th at 4:30 pm at the Holden University. Any company interested in donating to the promotional efforts of Lake County, please contact the Chamber office at 942-1632.