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Study Determines 2008 Republican National Convention Generated a total
Direct and Indirect Economic Impact of more than $168 million for the
Minneapolis Saint Paul Area; 12,000 Hotel Rooms Were Booked in 100 Hotels


MINNEAPOLIS and SAINT PAUL, Minn., Sept. 1, 2009 - The 2008 Republican National Convention, held in Minneapolis Saint Paul last year, generated nearly $170 million in new money for the local economy - exceeding original projections for the event. The results were announced today, the one-year anniversary of the Convention, by the Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee - a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization charged with raising $58 million for the Convention to reduce the financial burden on the host cities.

Not only did the Host Committee raise enough money to fund the Convention, it ended the fundraising process with a surplus of nearly $7 million, which will be divided and donated to the Saint Paul Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation and the Minnesota Community Foundation. This is the largest surplus ever donated by a Convention Host Committee. This direct financial support is in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars donated by companies and organizations in computer equipment, clothing, office furniture, office supplies and food, which the Host Committee donated to local organizations post-Convention.

"This report is a clear illustration that our community benefitted significantly from hosting the 2008 Republican National Convention,"
said Jeff Larson, CEO of the Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee.

"Not only did the efforts of countless individuals help generate nearly $170 million for our economy at a time when this country was facing a major economic downturn, but the event also showcased that this community came together to put on a world-class event."

The study found that the 2008 Republican National Convention generated a total direct economic impact of more than $153 million and an indirect impact of more than $15 million for the Minneapolis Saint Paul area. The combined direct and indirect economic impact was more than $168 million.
Indirect impacts are additional or multiplier effects of spending created as the result of the direct expenditures. Major new revenue was generated through security, hotels and accommodations, retail and services, Host Committee activities and the Convention complex. In addition, significant money was collected through income, sales, lodging, entertainment and gas taxes. Other significant impacts included technology and telecommunications, transportation, Convention production and entertainment.

The economic feasibility study was compiled by Dave Brennan, University of St. Thomas Professor and co-director of the Institute for Retailing Excellence. The direct economic impact was determined using data provided by the Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee, various state and other organizations including the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the convention bureaus of both cities, the University of Minnesota's Center for Tourism, the State Departments of Employment and Economic Development and the Department of Revenue as well as the Metropolitan Council and Metropolitan Airports Commission, a number of retailers and cultural venues, and the consultant's estimations. The economic impacts described in this report were derived using the Department of Employment and Economic Development's (DEED) aggregate multiplier using the IMPLAN model that was utilized for DEED's December 2007 report titled "Economic Impacts of 2008 Republican National Convention," which provided pre-Convention projections.

"In addition to the tangible results offered by this report, there are also many intangibles that will continue to benefit us like the thousands of stories that are circulating about the amazing attributes of our cities," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. "People around the country now know about our fabulous parks, amazing theater and arts community, fantastic shopping and dining. . .and they know that we offer a level of hospitality that is second to none."

The 2008 Republican National Convention, held September 1-4, 2008, brought 45,000 visitors, including thousands of media outlets, to the Minneapolis Saint Paul area.

"There's no doubt that putting on an event of this magnitude put us on the map and we know that our community will reap the benefits of hosting the Convention for years to come," said Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead.

The positive economic impact was felt in a variety of areas and industries including:

Boon to Hospitality Industry

12,000 hotel rooms were booked in 100 hotels in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Bloomington and the surrounding suburbs.
Hotel occupancy rates in downtown Minneapolis ranged from 90-95 percent compared to 50-60 percent during the same time the previous year. Saint Paul reported occupancy rates at 90-95 percent compared to 70 percent the previous year.

A Flourish of Festivities

300 hospitality events were held at venues around the Minneapolis Saint Paul area.

More than 10,000 guests including national and international media attended the Media Party held on the Mississippi Riverfront between the Guthrie Theater and the Mill City Museum. Attendees dined on home-grown food prepared by area restaurants, enjoyed local entertainment and took in the diverse riverfront architecture.

Flawless Transportation

Minneapolis Saint Paul successfully managed a massive transportation system that included moving 350 buses between the two cities without disrupting traffic. It also involved changing traffic patterns around the Xcel Energy Center, creating a new Interstate 35 off-ramp for buses, cutting curbs, moving traffic islands and relocating and transporting thousands of parkers in downtown Saint Paul for a week during the Convention.

Effective and Efficient Security

Minneapolis Saint Paul has some of the most well-trained, well-equipped and effective law enforcement and emergency management agencies in the country. Planning and preparations began more than a year in advance and included dozens of federal and state public safety and homeland security agencies. Hundreds of police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders received training on handling safety and security issues for a large-scale event. Collaborative planning, joint operations centers and a network of public safety cameras and common communications channels allowed all these agencies to work together with real-time information throughout the Convention. This collaboration ensured that there were appropriate law enforcement preparations and staffing to cover all of the large- and small-scale events that also occurred throughout Minneapolis Saint Paul during the Convention and that transportation to the venues was safe and well managed.

About The Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee
The Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee is a non-partisan, 501c3 nonprofit charged with promoting the commerce, image and prestige of Minneapolis, Saint Paul and the entire region in preparation for the
2008 Republican National Convention. The Host Committee was made up of community leaders who are committed to educating people and businesses to come to Minnesota to work, live, play, visit and invest.

About the Minneapolis Foundation
The Minneapolis Foundation is one of the oldest community foundations in the nation and administers more than 1,000 charitable funds created by individuals, families and businesses, with a major focus on education.

About the Minnesota Community Foundation
The Minnesota Community Foundation was established in 1949 and helps individuals, organizations and communities fulfill their charitable giving goals and create positive change through philanthropy.

About the Saint Paul Foundation
The Saint Paul Foundation was established in 1940 and is the community Foundation for Saint Paul and the surrounding area. One of their main focus areas is the Community Economic Relief Fund.


The Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee
Teresa McFarland, 
Communications Director, 

Also See:

The 2008 Republican National Convention Brought 45,000 Visitors to Minneapolis Saint Paul; More Facts and Figures / September 2008

With Two Years to Do the Planning, the Logistics of Reserving 20,000 Minneapolis / St Paul Hotel Rooms for the September 2008 Republican National Convention Is a Daunting Task / September 2006

Republican National Convention to be One of the Largest Events Ever Held in the Twin Cities; Expected to Require16,000 Hotel Rooms Nightly / May 2008

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