FORT WORTH—Texas republicans are taking over Cowtown this weekend. The state GOP convention kicked off Thursday and runs through Saturday. It's expected to be Fort Worth's largest convention this year, and that means big money for Panther City.
As the excitement reaches a fever pitch among the lone star state's GOP, there's possibly even more excitement outside the Fort Worth Convention Center.
According to the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors' Bureau, those attending the Texas republican convention are expected to spend $5 million to $7 million in Fort Worth alone. Don't believe it? Just try to get a hotel room in cowtown this weekend.
"They've overflowed to Arlington and Bedford and Euless because we ran out of rooms," said David DuBois, President of the Fort Worth CVB.
"No room at the inn at any of the downtown hotels. A lot of hotels going up to Denton are full as well. The hotels downtown sold out within hours," said Chris Elam, spokesman for the Republican Party of Texas
12,000 people are expected to attend the conference over the weekend. That means millions of dollars in revenue for Fort Worth, and not just this weekend.
"The nice thing about this convention is that the ladies and gentlemen and families that'll be here this week hopefully will think about where they're going to take their vacations this summer and they'll come back," said DuBois.
The CVB is laying out the red carpet for convention-goers and so are downtown restaurants. Reata sees a 30% boost in sales during the city's largest conventions.
"We're really making sure that our things are in line and we really want to shine so we see the same faces here in two years," said Kirkpatrick.
Like the CVB, Reata's already looking forward. Fort Worth hasn't had this convention since 2000. It's already booked for 2014, and they're hoping for 2016.
"The economic impact of this convention will go way beyond this week," said DuBois.