Convention will not house delegates in Lake Norman area
by Staff Writer
The Democratic National Convention Committee announced Feb. 14 where 6,000 delegates will stay for the convention the week of Sept. 3, 2012, leaving northern Mecklenburg towns off the list.
Delegations visited hotels in October and November 2011 and submitted choices for hotels and amenities. Delegates will stay in hotels in Uptown, SouthPark, I-77/Airport, University and Concord areas.
All the delegate hotels are within 20 minutes of the Time Warner Cable Arena and Bank of America Stadium, where convention events will take place, according to a news release from the committee. But selected hotels are not necessarily closer than Lake Norman-area hotels.
The Embassy Suites in Concord, where the delegations from Maryland, Michigan and Rhode Island will stay, is 16 miles from the arena. The Hampton Inn and Suites in Huntersville, where no delegates will stay, is 14.2 miles from the arena.
“Delegations use their hotels for more than lodging, they also host meetings and receptions and conduct official business there,” Democratic National Convention Committee Press Secretary Joanne Peters said in an email. “We do have a number of hotels contracted in the Lake Norman area, but none of those hotels are full service, thus not making the Lake Norman area hotels the right fit for our delegations.”
The committee expects 35,000 visitors for the convention, leaving plenty of rooms to be filled.
The convention committee has contracts for rooms with 12 Lake Norman properties, Visit Lake Norman Marketing Manager Courtney Wolfrom said, but she was unable to name them.
“We do intend to use each of the rooms that we have contracted, including those in the Lake Norman area,” Peters said in an email.
The committee contracted 15,000 rooms in 150 hotels for the convention. Only 6,700 rooms have been assigned to delegates.
“We will now begin the process of assignments for the other groups we house,” Peters said in an email. “We do look forward to housing other guests in the area.”
While delegates will be spending days and nights at the convention center, Wolfrom said the Lake Norman area could benefit more from private guests, media and invited guests not yet committed to lodgings.
“It may be that having a different demographic up here actually generates more spending,” Wolfrom said.