Some 'official venues' for RNC not fully booked

Banner preparations
Workers install the first pieces of a banner on the west side of the Xcel Energy Center, home to the Republican National Convention. The banner, which is expected to carry the RNC logo and the Xcel name, will serve as a backdrop for news networks that will be filming outdoor live shots during the Sept. 1-4 convention.
MPR Photo/Laura Yuen

Just two weeks before the Republican National Convention opens, some of the "official venues" say they're surprised and disappointed that they're not completely booked by now.

More than 40 venues signed contracts that required them to hold space open from August 30 to September 4. The contracts don't require the host committee to get the space booked - only that it would be marketed.

Julianna Nelson, director of sales and marketing for Solera Restaurant in Minneapolis, says she thought the restaurant would be fully booked six months ago. She says Solera probably wouldn't do it again.

Host committee spokeswoman Teresa McFarland says it's a non-issue. McFarland says the convention is bringing lots of business, and most venues will have more bookings than they would have without it.


Information from: Finance and Commerce,

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