First impressions from Rep. Nat. Convention committee

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- At a news conference Thursday at the Sprint Center, members of the Republican National Convention site selection committee, told Kansas City what a good time they are having on their visit, as they try to determine Kansas City's suitability for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Enid Mickelson, RNC Convention co-chair, said she even danced with the mayor Wednesday night.

She said she has enjoyed the values the city has displayed, with people waving and smiling at the committee as they make their rounds. She said it isn't a gesture they'd receive just anywhere.

"It's very clear to us that this is an all-in effort by your community," Mickelson said.

The praise was echoed by Reince Priebus, RNC co-chair, who said Mayor Sly James has gone above and beyond the call of duty in throwing out the red carpet for the committee.

"I just really love this place," said Priebus, who worked in Kansas City at one time and said he knows it well. "You've got a unique situation where you've got two great states in Kansas and Missouri coming together and doing everything they can to make it happen."

"Let me just tell you what this comes down to though, for me. It comes down to #1 the hotels, the arena, and the ability to raise the money, and then beyond that, obviously the delegate experience, which is obviously the city, the feeling and all those other intangibles," he said.

He's said there's a lot of work that goes into the selection process without guarantee of winning the convention, and several times he thanked everyone involved in the process.

Priebus said one advantage Kansas City has is that the Sprint Center is still available in June or July 2016, the target date for the convention.

"It's a nice nugget that Kansas City has in its back pocket that not every place has," he said.

"We're going to give you one more week after our visit to submit anything else that you'd like to submit because there's some questions that come up from some of our members," said Mickelson.

She said the committee hadn't decided if they'd get it down to a final two cities, but said she hoped to take the recommendation to the full Republican National Convention at a meeting in Chicago in August.

The site selection team arrived in Kansas City on Wednesday.

On Monday, the committee visited Cleveland, another finalist city. It will also visit Denver and Dallas.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James and KC2016 Bid Task Force Co-chair Troy Stemming also attended Thursday's news conference.

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