'I do sense an energy level': 90 days to go until Republican National Convention in Milwaukee

Political Reporter Charles Benson is checking in to see how things are coming together
Posted at 11:44 AM, Apr 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-16 12:44:14-04

Three months from today the 2024 Republican National Convention kicks off in Milwaukee.

With tens of thousands of visitors expected-- this will be one of the largest events hosted by the Brew City.

That means tons of planning and leg work ahead of time.

It's getting closer and Sami Hallada can't wait for the Republican National Convention.

"It's gonna be very exciting."

She managesSmokin Jack's BBQ at Third Street Market Hall.

"There's always so much foot traffic because it's a popular area, said Hallada. So, I hope it brings in more business. I believe it will."

There's still a lot of work to be done.

"I do sense an energy level. I think people are starting to realize, Oh my gosh, it's really going to happen, said Alison Prange, COO of MKE 2024 Host Committee.

She oversees a lot of the planning outside of the convention to make sure the city is ready for thousands of visitors and convention delegates.

More than 100 hotels in metro Milwaukee are booked, and 50 events with vendors are locked or close to locked in with more business bookings expected.

"They should market themselves. They should be present and they should also be watching for opportunities that emerge, said Prange. We do have a few RFPs that will appear on our website.

So people should respond.

Bars and restaurants in and around Fiserv Forum know there will be a lot of foot traffic when the convention begins this summer - but Hans Weissgerber - just around the corner from here is waiting to hear if his place will be booked for events that week.

"We are absolutely ready," said Weissgerber.

He's hoping to rent out his 120 seatGerman Beer Hall morning, noon, or night during the July 15th-18th Republican National Convention. He's had a couple of inquiries.

"It's somewhat intangible for us to understand exactly what the makeup of the convention goers are, said Weissgerber. How many people are going strictly to an invite only event and how many are walking the streets after the event gets and are looking for something to do."

Either way, Weissgerber hopes it's a win for the city.

The Host Committee is still looking for thousands of volunteers to help welcome visitors and delegates to Milwaukee this summer.

About 2,000 have signed up - 6,000 volunteers are needed. You can sign up for a few hours or a few days.