This could derail Milwaukee's chance of landing DNC Convention

NOW: This could derail Milwaukee’s chance of landing DNC Convention

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee is on the short list of cities that could host the 2020 DNC National Convention.

The city is competing with Houston and Miami for the opportunity.

While it’s rumored that the DNC’s leader prefers Milwaukee, the lack of available hotel rooms looms large over the decision.

There would be about 50,000 people coming to Milwaukee if the convention were to land here, but the area only has about 17,000 hotel rooms.

Even with help from something like Airbnb, still might not be enough.

Jake Dehne owns about 10 Airbnbs around the city.

One seems tailor made for the convention.

With views of Fiserv Forum and enough space for a group of people, it would be a prime piece of real estate if Milwaukee is picked to host.

“Oh it’d be outstanding,” said Dehne, “You book a penthouse next to Fiserv Forum, you literally walk out the door and you’re there right?”

The city might need him.

There is a glaring lack of hotel rooms for something as big as a national convention.

Compare Milwaukee’s 17,000 rooms to the other cities in the running, Miami has about 57,000, Houston 91,000.

“You would need so many Airbnb’s it would be unbelievable,” said Hospitality Marketers International President Greg Hanis.

Hanis doesn’t think things like Airbnb will do the trick.

“To be realistic, you need more rooms than what Milwaukee has,” said Hanis.

Hanis says to fit everyone, you’d have to find rooms as far away as Madison, Green Bay, even Rockford, Illinois.  That presents a big problem.

“People want to be where the actions is,” said Hanis.  “There’s a lot of wining and dining and things like that and I sure wouldn’t want to drive out to Madison after I’ve spent the whole day in Milwaukee,” he said.

But groups like VISIT Milwaukee point out that the city recently handled 150,000 people for the Harley anniversary.

Dehne housed many of them.

“It happened with Harley, people rented out there houses and such, and I think whether it’s VRBO or Airbnb, people have a better opportunity with that,” said Dehne.

But the concern remains, and it could end up being the reason Milwaukee doesn’t host the Democrats next year.

“I would be scratching my head as far as how they could pull this off,” said Hanis.

A decision is expected soon.

The Republicans National Convention is being held in Charlotte, NC.

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