Delegates, businesses react to Biden's decision to not come to Milwaukee for nomination
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - The decision by former Vice President Joe Biden not to accept the nomination in Milwaukee, has left delegates and businesses disappointed.
“I’m really disappointed,” said delegate Tommy Molina. “I honestly thought that Joe would still come, 'cause that’s what we were promised as a city,” he said.
Molina was hoping for more out of his first delegate experience like networking, meet and greets, and rowdy speeches. “Now that Joe Biden has pulled out it’s the latest and last indication that it will be completely virtual,” he said.
And completely virtual means more than just empty seats, it means empty businesses too.
“It obviously, however, is really disappointing,” said Kristine Hillmer from the Wisconsin Restaurant Association.
COVID-19 has already decimated local restaurants and bars, and they were relying on the DNC to help bring them back.
“A $200 million economic stimulus to the area was just going to be tremendous,” said Hillmer.
Not only that, but when word spread the DNC was coming to Milwaukee, some restaurants invested thousands into their business.
“A lot of businesses, including restaurants, they invested in their facilities, they upgraded, they remodeled, they really were anticipating for this to be a great thing for their businesses,” said Hillmer.
“We certainly think there will be an impact,” said Nick Johnson, representing the hotel industry with First Hospitality.
Hotels as far away as Green Bay and Chicago have been booked solid for months, but that has taken a hit.
“Over the last few weeks as plans have come together we’ve seen a drop in the number of reservations coming into the city,” said Johnson.
What was once going to be 50,000 visitors to Milwaukee, will be hundreds at most, adding another disappointing chapter to 2020.
“The loss of the DNC really and all of that revenue, it’s just one more thing that everyone has had to deal with in this whole pandemic crisis,” said Hillmer.
Adding to the loss of dollars during the convention, was the chance to promote the city as a tourist destination for the future.
Meanwhile, delegates like Molina still have a responsibility to vote on the nominee and their platform, even if it's from their living room.
“I’m going to do my part, and try to make the best of what there is,” he said.