Welcome to Denver, give us your GOP convention

DENVER - The Denver International Airport is turning into a pro-Republican propaganda machine over the weekend—sort of.

More precisely, DIA is being used as a tool to promote the idea of holding the 2016 Republican National Convention in Denver.

One of the first things Republican leaders arriving Monday in Denver will hear is the voice of the city's Democratic mayor kissing up to them.

Organizers of Denver's bid hope to take advantage of a brief moment when the committee members choosing the RNC host city become a captive audience.

"I'd like to extend a very warm Denver welcome to the entire RNC site selection committee," says Mayor Michael Hancock, in an audio recording obtained by 9NEWS, which will play on the train that whisks passengers between airport gates and baggage claim. "We hope that our vibrant city and friendly people make Denver the perfect host for the 2016 convention."

You can hear the DIA message here:

The message does more than beg to be chosen as host, it also shows off one of the ways Denver can make Republican convention-goers and out-of-state media feel welcome by customizing the city's front door for their event.

Hardly anyone passes through DIA without remembering the quirky train that plays guitar riffs and talks to tells them to "HOLD ON, PLEASE!" in a thundering cowboy voice.

In a similar manner, the airport will be decked out with signage aimed at the RNC site selection committee.

The Mile High City is competing with Cleveland, Dallas and Kansas City, which dressed itself up for the group making the decision.

The site selection committee will arrive Monday and depart on Wednesday, after which they'll be off to Dallas, the final city they will visit.

The RNC recently whittled down the list of cities after technical visits by staffers to size up venues.

The chosen city will need to get private donors to contribute $20 million or more to help cover nearly half the cost of the convention but stands to gain hundreds of millions in economic activity from the tens of thousands of visitors who will flood in to attend and cover the event.

Denver's bid includes a plan to host the convention at Pepsi Center, the arena that is the home of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and the NBA's Denver Nuggets.

Boosters in Colorado are touting the success of the 2008 Democratic convention, featuring the historic nomination of Barack Obama.

Airport upgrades are also part of the pitch, including the soon-to-be-completed heavy rail line between DIA and downtown Denver.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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