CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - “Once again it puts Cleveland on the national stage, which is so important to Cleveland. Keeping it vibrant, keeping our brand in the national arena,” said Teri Agosta, the general manager of the downtown Cleveland Hilton.
She calls it a dividend of showing the nation we could handle the RNC, the World Series, and the giant Cavs championship parade that overtook downtown in 2016.
“We feel a lot more comfortable with these events. We have a lot more confidence, and I think the nation has more confidence in us in bringing these types of events here because we’ve done them before.” she added.
There are many reasons Cleveland has overcome the tired “Mistake on the Lake” title.
Bar 32 on the 32nd floor of the Hilton is one.
“Hotels didn’t choose Cleveland to build just because we had a political convention. Those decisions were actually made well in advance of us winning the convention in July 2014,” explained Emily Lauer, from Destination Cleveland.
She said the MLB All-Star Game is drawing about 100,000 people, double the number of guests as the GOP convention.
She and others here are already looking forward to a host of future events, including the NFL Draft, which is one of the biggest event any city can attract. There were 600,000 people in Nashville this year. Can Cleveland handle a crowd six times larger than what we’re going to see this weekend?
“That’s part of the proposal and bid process, and so if the NFL didn’t feel we could handle it we wouldn’t have won it.” said Lauer. And then there is the more immediate need. Food for all those visitors. At The Ritz-Carlton, Executive Chef Richard is ready with a Cleveland special.
“It’s a hot dog wrapped with bratwurst, wrapped with hamburger served in a pretzel bun done with beer cheese fondue and nacho chips, fresh jalapeno’s. Really fun dish.”
Now if that wouldn’t draw people back, what would?