Democrats tour Milwaukee ahead of DNC

NOW: Democrats tour Milwaukee ahead of DNC

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Party leaders from 43 different states are getting a sample of 85 different Milwaukee vendors this week, followed by an event at the Milwaukee Public Market.

Democrats say they're impressed with Milwaukee.

Venue owners say advanced DNC tours are a great way to improve Milwaukee's image nationally.

"This is a good opportunity for us to say this is what we've been talking about," said Milwaukee Public Market Director Paul Schwartz. "This is what we've been planning for. This is what we've been telling people that we can do."

Multiple state party heads said their tour Tuesday was impressive, and the word will get out to delegates. 

"I love Milwaukee. I'm happy. I'm comfortable here," said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes. "It's a great town. The people are friendly, and all of the facilities are so terrific. It's like you guys built it just for us."

Leaders toured Fiserv Forum, the Wisconsin Center, the Miller High Life Theatre, and the Public Market. They say the tour has alleviated some concerns about the city's size and hotel space.

"This is every convention," said DNC Vice Chair Ken Martin. "I don't care where it is. States are staying a little further out than they'd like, that's just the nature of conventions. The reality is Milwaukee is doing a great job accommodating us. I haven't heard any complaints from any of my colleagues around the country."

Party leaders say one of the best things the city has going for it is a compact area for the center of the convention.

"A lot of people are concerned about, like, how to get around a city when you come for a convention," added Martin. "It is easy to get around this city, and to get to all the venues you might want to get to. And there are so many terrific venues. And the beer is good."

The DNC says about half of the state parties are visiting Tuesday. The other half will come through on Friday.

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