Southeast Georgia preparing for influx of visitors during Republican convention

While the city of Jacksonville prepares to host President Trump’s renomination convention, Southeast Georgia is ramping up, preparing for an overflow of people expected to stay in Camden in Glynn counties.

Rachel Baldwin, Camden County Republican Party Chair, said the county is the best kept secret.

“We’re getting our house in order," Baldwin said. “This is a short calendar, so it’s going to mean getting a lot done in a small amount of time, but I think the response will be there.”

While Georgia is considered a swing state, Baldwin said the majority of voters in Camden County are Republican.

“I think that as always in Camden County there are people that are willing to step forward and help, and I’m just really excited for our local businesses that this may be a benefit to them,” Baldwin said.

The Camden County GOP said not only will Northeast Florida will benefit from the event, but coastal Georgia will also benefit economically.

“Every year Georgia-Florida games, we are packed over here, and with the RNC coming to Jacksonville, it’s going to help Camden County, and that’s what we need,” said CB Yadav, a Camden County hotel owner.

After three months of businesses shutting down, Yadav said he’s expecting to see an influx of tourists book not only at his hotels, but along the coast from Savannah to St. Marys.

Kingsland Convention and Visitors Bureau sent News4Jax a statement that reads: “We are excited about Jacksonville’s opportunity to host the convention and look forward to working with them to ensure that there are plenty of convenient and available hotels for attendees.”

It said there are 41 hotels with more than 2,100 hotel rooms in Camden.

Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau said the area has had a strong tradition in hosting political events and once hosted the G8 summit. It can accommodate up to 30,000 overnight visitors.

Tourists often stay in the outlying areas just as they do during Florida-Georgia -- including Kingsland, St. Marys, Jekyll and St. Simons Islands.

Alison Shores, Camden County Chamber of Commerce president, said it’s hoping visitors in town for the RNC stay along coastal Georgia. That’s why it’s working with local businesses to provide tools getting them ready for the event.

A request for comment from the Georgia GOP was not immediately returned.

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