Sept. 1, 2009 PRESS RELEASE from Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee via PRNewswire

2008 Republican National Convention Exceeds Economic Impact Projections
Host Committee and Mayors Tout Successes One Year Later

MINNEAPOLIS and SAINT PAUL, Minn., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2008 Republican National Convention, held in Minneapolis Saint Paul last year, generated nearly $170 million in new money for the local economy - exceeding original projections for the event. The results were announced today, the one-year anniversary of the Convention, by the Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee - a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization charged with raising $58 million for the Convention to reduce the financial burden on the host cities.

Not only did the Host Committee raise enough money to fund the Convention, it ended the fundraising process with a surplus of nearly $7 million, which will be divided and donated to the Saint Paul Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation and the Minnesota Community Foundation. This is the largest surplus ever donated by a Convention Host Committee. This direct financial support is in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars donated by companies and organizations in computer equipment, clothing, office furniture, office supplies and food, which the Host Committee donated to local organizations post-Convention.

"This report is a clear illustration that our community benefitted significantly from hosting the 2008 Republican National Convention," said Jeff Larson, CEO of the Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee. "Not only did the efforts of countless individuals help generate nearly $170 million for our economy at a time when this country was facing a major economic downturn, but the event also showcased that this community came together to put on a world-class event."

The study found that the 2008 Republican National Convention generated a total direct economic impact of more than $153 million and an indirect impact of more than $15 million for the Minneapolis Saint Paul area. The combined direct and indirect economic impact was more than $168 million. Indirect impacts are additional or multiplier effects of spending created as the result of the direct expenditures. Major new revenue was generated through security, hotels and accommodations, retail and services, Host Committee activities and the Convention complex. In addition, significant money was collected through income, sales, lodging, entertainment and gas taxes. Other significant impacts included technology and telecommunications, transportation, Convention production and entertainment.

The economic feasibility study was compiled by Dave Brennan, University of St. Thomas Professor and co-director of the Institute for Retailing Excellence. The direct economic impact was determined using data provided by the Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee, various state and other organizations including the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the convention bureaus of both cities, the University of Minnesota's Center for Tourism, the State Departments of Employment and Economic Development and the Department of Revenue as well as the Metropolitan Council and Metropolitan Airports Commission, a number of retailers and cultural venues, and the consultant's estimations. The economic impacts described in this report were derived using the Department of Employment and Economic Development's (DEED) aggregate multiplier using the IMPLAN model that was utilized for DEED's December 2007 report titled "Economic Impacts of 2008 Republican National Convention," which provided pre-Convention projections.

"In addition to the tangible results offered by this report, there are also many intangibles that will continue to benefit us like the thousands of stories that are circulating about the amazing attributes of our cities," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. "People around the country now know about our fabulous parks, amazing theater and arts community, fantastic shopping and dining. . .and they know that we offer a level of hospitality that is second to none."

The 2008 Republican National Convention, held September 1-4, 2008, brought 45,000 visitors, including thousands of media outlets, to the Minneapolis Saint Paul area.

"There's no doubt that putting on an event of this magnitude put us on the map and we know that our community will reap the benefits of hosting the Convention for years to come," said Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead.

The positive economic impact was felt in a variety of areas and industries including:

Boon to Hospitality Industry

A Flourish of Festivities

Flawless Transportation

Effective and Efficient Security

About The Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee

The Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee is a non-partisan, 501c3 nonprofit charged with promoting the commerce, image and prestige of Minneapolis, Saint Paul and the entire region in preparation for the 2008 Republican National Convention. The Host Committee was made up of community leaders who are committed to educating people and businesses to come to Minnesota to work, live, play, visit and invest.

About the Minneapolis Foundation

The Minneapolis Foundation is one of the oldest community foundations in the nation and administers more than 1,000 charitable funds created by individuals, families and businesses, with a major focus on education.

About the Minnesota Community Foundation

The Minnesota Community Foundation was established in 1949 and helps individuals, organizations and communities fulfill their charitable giving goals and create positive change through philanthropy.

About the Saint Paul Foundation

The Saint Paul Foundation was established in 1940 and is the community Foundation for Saint Paul and the surrounding area. One of their main focus areas is the Community Economic Relief Fund.