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Wait continues for 2020 DNC announcement

Posted at 4:38 PM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 18:27:57-05

A DNC official tells TODAY'S TMJ4 it's doubtful a decision on the 2020 National Convention will come this weekend.

Milwaukee, Houston and Miami Beach are the finalists to host the 2020 DNC.

Officials behind Milwaukee's bid estimate the convention would draw roughly 50,000 people to the Brew City.

All cities bidding for the convention had to show the DNC at least 15,000 hotel rooms within 20 minutes of their respective convention venues.

VISIT Milwaukee estimates there are roughly 17,500 such hotel rooms in metro Milwaukee.

At Jefferson and Michigan, Minneapolis-based JR Hospitality soon will begin demolition in preparation for the construction of three new hotels.

Jay Bhakta, JR Hospitality's managing partner, said the hope is all three will be open by June 2020 ahead of a potential DNC in Milwaukee.

"Right now, we're heavily focused on getting these projects into the ground and being open for the DNC next year," Bhakta said.

Greg Hanis, of Hospitality Marketers International, said he thinks Milwaukee boasts "some very good, new, hotels in the downtown area."

But he said he's skeptical 17,500 rooms is enough to handle the DNC.

"That's not going to be enough to handle what they need," Hanis said.

Meanwhile, a POLITICO correspondent who's been covering the DNC sweepstakes believes Milwaukee remains the front-runner.

"That's not going to be enough to handle what they need." — Greg Hanis, of Hospitality Marketers International, about Milwaukee's apparent hotel shortage

But POLITICO's Natasha Korecki added the hotel space remains a concern.

"What sources seem to be telling us is that, for all intents and purposes, the DNC wants to have it in Milwaukee," Korecki said. "But they are getting some last-minute jitters about whether Milwaukee can really pull it off."

One of the officials behind Milwaukee's DNC bid said a decision on the convention probably will come next week.