Although some worried that social conservatives would nip the prospect of a 2016 Las Vegas Republican Convention at the bud, it was reportedly Las Vegas, and not the GOP, that ended the possibility of an RNC in the city of sin. Las Vegas-based journalist Jon Ralston broke the news via Twitter:
BREAKING: Las Vegas withdrew from the RNC's site selection for 2016 convention. Letter sent this week. It wasn't social conservatives. 1/2— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) May 22, 2014
Vegas withdrew for two reasons: No guarantee an arena would be ready in time, and no guarantee of money behind it. Dallas has $25M. 2/2— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) May 22, 2014
I'm told the decision to withdraw was made before yesterday, but letter sent day before finalists were announced. Sad day. I blame Adelson!— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) May 22, 2014
State Republican Party chairman Michael J. MacDonald seemed to confirm the withdrawal on Twitter later on Thursday afternoon. He wrote, "It's a shame we had to withdraw this round but I will be pushing for 2020! TY to @LV2016 team for all your hard work #NVGOP."
The Republican National Convention will announce finalist cities for the 2016 convention later on Thursday. And Las Vegas-based reporters have previously agreed that their city will almost certainly not be on that list — although the Las Vegas Review-Journal's report from earlier in the day placed the agency on the RNC instead.
Either way, this ends the dream of many — including some journalists — for an excuse to go to Las Vegas for work. And also, for the possibility of seeing at least one values-and-family politician living as if the "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" tourism slogan is actually a law of nature.
As it turns out, Las Vegas was not the only city to withdraw its bid before the announcement. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati also pulled its bid from the running because the U.S. Bank Arena doesn't meet specifications for the RNC.
So where will the RNC go in 2016? Some are speculating that Las Vegas's elimination from the running boosts Dallas's chances. Other possible finalists include Denver and Kansas City. Party!