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Utah GOP bidding to host Republican National Convention in 2024

President Donald Trump speaks during the first day of the Republican National Convention Aug. 24, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C.
President Donald Trump speaks during the first day of the Republican National Convention Aug. 24, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C.
Chris Carlson, Associated Press

The Utah Republican Party wants to bring the GOP's biggest event to the Beehive State in 2024.

State Republicans, along with Visit Salt Lake, are seeking to bring the Republican National Convention to Utah in 2024, according to Utah Republican Party Chairman Carson Jorgensen.

"The party supports this and the state would really love to see it here," Jorgensen said Friday. "I think Utah has an extremely good shot at making this happen."

Visit Salt Lake, which promotes Salt Lake County as a convention and travel destination, made an initial informal pitch to the Republican National Committee this week, and the group will prepare a formal bid for the convention in December, Jorgensen said. The committee would then do some site visits to other contending cities and make a final decision early next year, he said.

With new hotels going up in downtown Salt Lake City, as well as a major renovation to the airport, Salt Lake now has the tourism infrastructure to support a major event like the RNC, Jorgensen added.

The economic activity brought in from such an event would be a boon to Utah, Jorgensen said. He estimated that hosting the convention could generate as much as $200 million for the state's economy.

"The economic value behind this is pretty unprecedented," he said.

Additionally, if Salt Lake were able to host the RNC in 2024, it would set the precedent that Utah is able to host similar large events moving forward, such as the Olympics, Jorgensen said. Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002, and will likely bid to host the games again in either 2030 or 2034.

Hosting the RNC would be "a show of power" to prove that Salt Lake can handle the Olympics again, Jorgensen added.

On the other hand, the Utah Democratic Party's criticism of state Republicans bidding for the 2024 convention was simple.

"I am so tired," the party tweeted Thursday.

Jorgensen said he believes hosting the convention would be a good opportunity to showcase Utah and highlight what Republicans have been able to achieve in the state.

"I think it's just good to showcase what Republican leadership has done for the state of Utah over the past several years," Jorgensen said. "I think it's a good place to showcase it."