JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In a little more than a month, it’s expected that thousands of people will be downtown for the Republican National Convention. But every area of Jacksonville will be impacted. That is one reason why Sheriff Mike Williams is worried about security because no one knows exactly how many people will be here.
Now, News4Jax has obtained a memo from the RNC, which was sent to local hotels. It shows where all delegates from the different states will be staying and the areas of Northeast Florida that will be impacted.
In all, 44 area hotels -- in locations that include downtown, the beaches, the Southside, Orange Park, St. Augustine and Amelia Island -- will be used. (See the interactive map below.)
The head of the city’s visitor and convention bureau said they had to act quickly.
“This convention is going to impact every area of town -- positively impacted, which means economic resources into every different area of our beautiful city and really the whole region,” said Visit Jacksonville President and CEO Michael Corrigan.
Visit Jacksonville has been working with hotels since it was first announced that the RNC will be coming to the River City. But there has been concern about safety, not only regarding health, but the anticipated protests that come with any political convention.
“Remember that Visit Jacksonville is always looking out for the safety of the tourists that come to visit our city. Everything we do is based on how safe it can be for those tourists. That’s not different for this particular convention,” Corrigan said.
Most of the St. Johns County hotels News4Jax contacted said there is still good availability for the week of the RNC, but they do think the weekends before and after the convention could end up being busy.
Law enforcement agencies in most local counties have offered to help the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office with security during the RNC, but officials in St. Johns County have said they’re not sure how much the agency will be assisting because they expect the county will be busy with an influx of people staying at hotels and resorts for the RNC.