RNC 2020 would bring major economic impact to Queen City

Thousands of workers in the Charlotte region worry they could lose their jobs soon (WSOCTV.com)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte had an economic impact of $163 million.

That is the driving force for many city council members as they consider hosting the 2020 Republican National Convention.

“It was quite the experience,” Councilman Braxton Winston, D-At-large, said.

Will taxpayers be on the hook for 2020 RNC costs

Winston worked three jobs during the DNC. He set up the stage, ran a studio camera and ran audio for a segment of the "The Late Show with David Letterman."

A short time after the convention, he and his wife had a baby.

Then he broke his ankle.

The money he earned from the convention helped him and his family.

“The money that I made did help kind of assauge that injury in sort of a crisis moment,” Winston said.

His personal experience is in the back of his mind as he considers whether to vote for hosting the RNC.

Many restaurant owners hope he does.

“Whether it is the RNC or DNC, if I am in the city, I would love for my city to be involved,” said Rocco Whalen, owner of the uptown rooftop restaurant Fahrenheit.

Whalen also owns the same restaurant in Cleveland, which was the host city for the most recent RNC.

He said he saw a 25 percent uptick in overall business and catering was his big success. There were daily bookings for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“The economic impact far outweighs the political policies that people take up,” Whalen said.

City council is set to vote Monday on whether the RNC will come to Charlotte.

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