Venues wary as RNC parties fail to materialize

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More than a handful of venues contracted to host events for the Republican National Convention say they are severely underbooked — and some say they haven’t had any RNC-related events scheduled despite being contractually obligated to keep the week open.

Finance & Commerce reports that many venues such as Solera, Mall of America and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts have had far fewer bookings than expected and some are saying convention organizers oversold the benefits of hosting convention events. Approximately 40 venues signed contracts with convention officials.

“We thought we would be completely booked about six months ago,” Julianna Nelson, the director of sales and marketing for Solera Restaurant and Event Center told Finance & Commerce. “I have colleagues who are disappointed with what the outcome has been. We expected to be completely booked; we are not.”

“I think it’s important to keep things in perspective,” said Teresa McFarland, communications director for the Host Committee. “Not everyone’s going to be happy all the time, but overall, this convention is bringing a significant amount of business to the Twin Cities that would not normally be here. The majority of (official) venues are going to see more business than they would have last year at this time.”