DNC to bring big business to Montgomery County hotels

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Hotels across the Delaware Valley will house approximately 6,000 delegates, along with the rank-and-file party supporters, when the Democratic National Convention comes to Philadelphia this summer.

Rob Wonderling, CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, says it's just one more in a string of events that have put Philadelphia in the spotlight, and generated lots of business for hotels in the city.

"If you want to imagine the Democratic convention being somewhat similar to the Army-Navy weekend in terms of booking, etcetera, and if you think about it again on a regional basis we should be in great shape," said Wonderling.

And officials from the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board have been thinking of it on a regional basis.

This past February, the board launched an aggressive campaign to attract delegates and party officials to stay in the suburbs during the convention.

They sent out launch kits, connected with democratic officials on social media, and they even created a virtual tourism brochure in the form of a website just for the Democratic convention.

And it seems to have worked because, at first, DNC officials estimated hotels in the Montgomery county area would have approximately 5,000 rooms booked.

"We're happy to report back that we have over 15,000 hotel nights booked across 27 contracted hotels," said Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board Vice President Ed Harris. "Ten of those will be housing actual delegates coming here for the convention."

Harris says it all comes on the heels of the papal visit, which also proved to be a boon for hotels in Montgomery County.

"It's really a once-in-a-generation chapter in this area to have monumental events back to back, and it's just great to be a part of this whole celebration really," said Harris.

Meanwhile, the Democratic National Convention begins at the Wells Fargo Center on July 25, now less than seven weeks away.

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