Updated:DENVER, Colo.,None - With Charlotte in the running to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Eyewitness News anchor Blair Miller went to Denver, the site of the last DNC, to see what it takes to win the bid. For extended coverage of Charlotte's DNC bid, click here.
Blair's reports that aired Wednesday:
Wednesday at 4:23 p.m.: We are prepping for tonight's live reports from Denver. Stories look great. Photog, Sean, did great job.
I'm getting a lot of comments about the blog. My mom and dad even called to tell me about it. Someone here in Denver told me they were reading it. Maybe we should do this more.
Can't say enough great things about Denver and how accommodating everyone has been. It's been nice but looking forward to some down time and getting back home in Charlotte.
Wednesday at 12:18 p.m.: This is our final full day in Denver. It's been a great trip and heard some great insight from the people who know what it takes to put on the DNC. This morning started with a live interview on WRHI, one of our radio partners. They asked me some good questions about Charlotte's chances and what people are saying here in Denver. Since then, I've been working on stories for tonight's broadcast. We're putting together our interview with the mayor. He's an interesting guy who spent 15 years in the restaurant business before becoming mayor. The mayor's role here is a full time spot unlike Charlotte's, which is part time. The mayor of Denver spent so much time on landing the convention and then helping to finance it. This begs the question -- what would Mayor Anthony Foxx's role be -- is Charlotte set up to let him lead the way? Or does Tim Newman (with CRVA) take the lead? That could be something to watch. When I get back in Charlotte, I plan to ask the mayor about that.
We're also putting together a story on the police chief and what Charlotte would see -- security wise. We're headed over to one of the police substations now. They're showing us some of the gear that Denver PD was allowed to keep after the convention. Not bad -- considering the federal government paid for it -- not Denver.
Then, we're off to our ABC affiliate to edit everything together and be live this evening. I've been getting a lot of comments about the background for our live location. It's on the top of the ABC building. It's a gorgeous view of the skyline, the mountains and Invesco Field (where the Broncos play). I'll try to take some pictures tonight of the surroundings. By the way.. low of 65 today, high of 85 here -- that's nice!
Blair's reports that aired Tuesday:
Tuesday at 7:39 p.m.: We just broke down from the live broadcasts. It was a great backdrop with the city skyline. We shot that from the roof of our ABC affiliate here in Denver. Now, we're putting together a story for tonight's 10 and 11 shows. Also, found out I'm doing a radio interview in the morning about what we've seen/heard out here. We're about to be done for the night and looking forward to going to a local Italian place for dinner -- it was closed last night! Tomorrow -- we're doing some more shoots with the Denver Police Department. They've been great to work with by giving us access to the Chief and some other parts of the department. I have a feeling -- being out of town media -- we get treated better than the local media. I'm not sure why -- maybe just a fresh face and no history of covering stories. Then again -- most people seem pretty eager to talk about Denver's DNC. I imagine they wouldn't be so welcoming if there had been huge riots/controversy here.
Ok.. time to feed our nightside stories.
Tuesday at 2:06 p.m.: Just interviewed police chief in Denver. He said some very interesting things about what surprised him about DNC and police response. He also told me he called CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe right before our interview to wish Charlotte luck in the selection.
Now headed to our affiliate here, KMGH, to prep for tonight's broadcasts.
Tuesday at 12: 36 p.m.: We're wrapping up some editing and about to go to the Denver Police Department and interview Chief Gerald Whitman. I've heard a lot of different opinions about the role of police during the convention here. Some say there was too much of a presence and it was intimidating -- others thought that was a good thing. I'm looking forward to talking with him about his advice to CMPD if Charlotte becomes the host city.
We've been talking with a lot of people out here. It's encouraging to hear that people know where Charlotte is. I've even met one woman who went to college at Davidson with Mayor Anthony Foxx. She was very excited to hear Channel 9 made the trip. I remember when we went to Houston to cover the Super Bowl in 2004 -- everyone would ask, "Where's Carolina?" (as if there's just one) or "Where is Charlotte?". I haven't gotten any of that while here. Either Denver folks are really with it (which I'm sure is true) or Charlotte is doing a better job of getting the word out (which I'm sure is true, too).
Lots of the movers and shakers know about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Bank of America. Many have described Charlotte as "progressive" or the "next big thing."
Tuesday at 11:10 a.m.: Editing today's 5 p.m. story in the hotel room.
Tuesday at 9:48 a.m.: Up early (for Denver time) and we're working on our writing our stories for tonight's broadcasts. I'm looking through everything we shot yesterday while photographer, Sean Siemon, is getting some beauty shots of Denver and the Rockies. Looking out my hotel.. you see part of the downtown area.. but I also find myself just staring at the mountains off in the distance. Yesterday, we did a shoot at the top of the Quest building -- 49th floor. The view was magnificent. We're editing some stuff this morning and then off to interview the police chief.
Monday at 7:37 p.m.: Very encouraged.. just heard back from Denver PD. The police chief has agreed to an interview for tomorrow.. talking about security impact and some things CMPD will be forced to think about if Charlotte lands the DNC. Also.. been meaning to include some information I've been getting about the selection committee (like the group coming through Charlotte tomorrow and Wednesday). I've been told, yes, they will go through lots of hotels -- see the rooms -- make the walk from the hotel to Time Warner Cable Arena. But they'll also be blunt about changes/modifications that need to be made to be the host city. Denver officials say they felt like the committee would try to "surprise" them by saying -- "well, we need to blow out that wall in your arena." Wonder how Mayor Foxx would react or Tim Newman??
We're now at the ABC station in Denver. They're being very helpful.. but side note to fellow employees.. their newsroom is very quiet (and we're in the middle of their newscasts right now). Not sure if we're just a bunch of chatterboxes at WSOC or what.
Now, we'll start to log video -- we have to feed video to Charlotte by 9:00 -- this is for the Daybreak and promotions people will see on TV. I'm looking forward to putting together these stories. We're hoping to grab some food at this local Italian place before I go back and begin writing.
Monday at 7:12 p.m.: Now at KMGH-TV to feed back some video to WSOC and checking out tomorrow's live location. Here's a nice shot of our background for tomorrow's broadcasts.
Monday at 6:20 p.m.: Just got a tour of Pepsi Center, where the actual convention was held. Yes, people are still excited about the DNC being here but frankly, seem more excited about the Lady Gaga concert here this week.
Seriously, though, they showed me what would happen at Time Warner Cable Arena if Charlotte was chosen. Bottom line would be off limits to concerts or games 30 days before and after convention.
We've done 10 interviews today-about to shoot standups.
Monday at 5:24 p.m.: This picture was taken outside the cap building. Just interviewed Denver's mayor. Lots of people have told me he really got the people behind supporting the DNC -- Dems and Repubs. He talked to me about how he did it. He also knows lots about Charlotte and talked about what they need to do specifically with raising the money needed. He took 22 out of state trips to raise corporate money for conv. Says CLT will need to do same if picked.
Monday at 4:29 p.m.: Now headed to the mayor's office to talk with him. Still working the security/police angle - lots of opinions on how police responded during DNC and what CMPD could take away.
Monday at 3:52 p.m.: At Strings restaurant in Denver to talk with small business owner about the impact of the convention. He said it was a huge boost-double his volume. Also the Kennedys came here for breakfast. He showed me the signed picture that the late senator sent to him after the convention. Pretty cool story.
Trying to squeeze in lunch now before going to city hall to interview the mayor. Everyone keeps talking about his role in landing the DNC - that it was substantial. Look forward to meeting him.
Monday at 2:38 p.m.: Just interviewed this man, Hector, a street vendor in Denver. He says he was disappointed by convention and the added people didn't increase his sales. He was very surprised by that. Also said there were too many police officers and it gave bad impression to visitors.
OK, we are getting hungry-about to take a lunch break.
Monday at 2:16 p.m.: This photo is from 16 Street Mall in Denver where I'm talking with locals about having convention here.
Monday at 2:04 p.m.: Its lunchtime in Denver. They have this street mall that's packed. Once city found out it would be host for DNC, lots of improvements were made to streets and landscaping. Its a beautiful downtown-nice energy too.
Monday at 2:03 p.m.: Just spoke with visitors and convention bureau. They talked about how Tim Newman (from CLT Regional Visitors Authority) has been in contact with them picking their brains. They also talked about one challenge was getting locals here in Denver behind the effort at first. Officials worried that too many people would not welcome all the traffic and people. They had a specific campaign to deal with those concerns from locals. They said Charlotte would likely do something similar.
Monday at 12:51 p.m.: Just did interview with Mike Dino, CEO of Denver Host Committee. He said some great things. He thinks Charlotte is a serious contender and good spot for DNC. Says biggest challenge will be raising the millions in corporate funding for it. Also brought up some interesting challenges we could face with security-plan to look into that later today.
Now heading to Visit Denver to talk about marketing and the bidding process and what's likely happening behind the scenes in Charlotte right now.
Monday at 8:41 a.m.: We arrived in Denver late last night and first thought by myself and photographer, Sean Siemon, (besides the much COOLER weather): Denver is a lot bigger than what we expected and bigger than Charlotte. It will be really interesting talking with people today about how Denver landed the bid for the last DNC and what Charlotte can learn from Denver. We have lots of interviews planned for the day -- the CEO of the Denver Host Committee (he was in charge of the DNC here), Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, and the people who put the bid together. We're also going to stop over at the Pepsi Center (where they held much of the convention) and see what the challenges/advantages were there and how CLT stacks up in that area. If you have any questions, shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at blairmiller9. I'll update along the way....
Previous Stories: July 22, 2010: DNC Visit To Focus On Logistics July 21, 2010: DNC Schedules Convention Site Visit To Charlotte July 21, 2010: Local Leaders Optimistic About Charlotte's Chances In DNC Bid July 16, 2010: Charlotte Unveils Logo, Slogan To Lure 2012 DNC July 1, 2010: Charlotte Named A Finalist For 2012 DNC