Republican National Committee announces 2016 GOP convention finalist cities -- Cleveland and Dallas

DENVER - The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday that Denver is not a finalist to host the Republican National Convention in 2016.

The RNC announced its two finalists are Dallas and Cleveland, dropping Denver and Kansas City from contention.

The committee sent an email to 7NEWS that said its decision was based on, "a thorough review of bids, presentations, and visits to each of the cities."

The site selection committee spent three days in Denver earlier this month reviewing venues, hospitality, security and transportation options and it looked good for Denver.

"As we talked to chief of police, people here at the Pepsi Center, a number of other places, the experience that Denver brings to the table is very impressive," RNC site selection committee chairwoman Enid Mickelson said during that visit. "The resources that have to be brought to bear, all of the logistics, whether it’s the transportation, security, all of those things, you’ve been through this once."

Mickelson said she was impressed that Denver wanted to host another convention after hosting the Democratic National Convention.

However, Mickelson said on Wednesday, "Cleveland and Dallas demonstrated their ability to host a phenomenal convention in 2016, and the RNC is excited about the prospect of hosting our convention in either of these great cities."

Mickelson thanked Denver and Kansas City for their dedication in presenting bids.

"Both teams should be proud of their work," Mickelson said in a statement. "They were great ambassadors for their cities, and we felt fortunate to visit and get to know them."

Denver 2016 Host Committee chairman Pete Coors said he is disappointed with today's decision.

"Denver has the amenities, the community, the political climate and a proven track record that would have made it the perfect place to host the 2016 Republican National Convention," said Coors. “We also had a wonderful and diverse coalition of business, government and civic leaders who worked tirelessly to highlight what makes Denver great, and Colorado the best state in the Union."

Gov. John Hickenlooper also issued a statement, saying, "We are disappointed and, frankly, incredulous at the Site Selection Committee’s decision. It’s been reported that a determining factor was financing -- that the Dallas and Cleveland host committees had raised more funds for the event. In 2008, Denver’s host committee ultimately raised more than $60 million in cash and in-kind donations for the DNC and we hosted a wonderful convention. We have demonstrated we know how to host a convention and raise money, and we already have what money can't buy: mountains and stunning natural beauty. We are grateful to Pete Coors, Mayor Hancock, Angela Lieurance and everyone who worked so well and so hard together on the bid for Denver. What we all know is that in Colorado the GOP conventioneers could have had it all."

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