DNC Could Be $17 Million Boon for Montgomery County


When Montgomery County's tourism head honcho Mike Bowman first found out about the potential economic impact of Democratic National Convention, estimates were for 3,000 to 4,000 hotel room nights.

But within weeks of the DNC's initial planning, he got some good news.

"All of a sudden, we ended up with 15,571 contracted rooms," said Bowman, president and CEO of Valley Forge Convention and Tourism Board. The organization oversees tourism marketing for the entire county.

More than 1,500 delegates and Democratic officials will be staying in Montgomery County hotels the week of the DNC, which runs July 25-28. Many delegates are arriving July 24, a Sunday, and staying until Thursday.

Bowman said that gives the county five days and four nights to play good host and leave a great impression for people from all over the country. Delegates from more than 10 states are staying in Montgomery County hotels, Bowman said.

He said an analysis showed that the impact of the convention translates into $17 million for the county's hotel, retail and food scenes.

And the tourism agency is pulling out all the stops to let delegates and party officials know about the county's highlights.

"We're really rolling out the red carpet," he said. " We're emphasizing our strengths."

Among those are the parks, golf courses, and shopping, Bowman said.

He added that DNC officials have put a lot of effort into figuring out how delegates will get to and from the Wells Fargo Center each day from Montgomery County.

Bowman said county and DNC officials are working to finalize police escorts each day.

"We’re still waiting on the final decision that there is going to be police escorts," he said. "The DNC did their homework. They timed it at peak times and slower times. And they fell comfortable about times heading in and out."

Here's one of two promotional videos the tourism agency put together:

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