BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One of the nation’s largest civil rights organizations says it will host its national convention in Baltimore in 2016. The NAACP made the official announcement last week.
Gigi Barnett explains the event will flush millions into the city’s coffers.
Baltimore is rolling out the red carpet for the country’s oldest civil rights group.
“We are ready to show off ,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “We told them that they should bring it home and come on home to Baltimore.”
The NAACP says it will. In two short years, the organization plans to host its national convention in Baltimore. Hotels will book up. Restaurant reservations will, too. The city’s popularity for large conventions is up.
“I say time and time again that tourism and convention business is one of the cornerstones of our industry in Baltimore,” the mayor said. “We are becoming more and more of a destination every year, and I think this proves it.”
Indeed it does.
Baltimore landmark restaurant The Rusty Scupper is one of the Inner Harbor businesses that will benefit from the 2016 NAACP convention. Its reservations list fills up fast, especially when large conventions hit the city.
“Business will go up 25, 30 percent when there’s major conventions in town. It also applies to big baseball games; local teams are here like the Phillies or the Yankees,” said Ed Prutzer, Rusty Scupper general manager.
The NAACP’s announcement comes at a time when Baltimore is already seeing what it calls a banner year in tourism. Attractions centered on the War of 1812’s 200th anniversary and major sporting events are drawing large crowds.
Last year, Baltimore visitors booked more than 470,000 hotel nights. That’s a big financial marker for the city.
The NAACP’s national headquarters has been based in Baltimore since 1986. The group will mark its 30th anniversary in Charm City at its 2016 convention.
A date for the convention has yet to be set. It’s usually held in July.
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