Republican National Committee casts aside Salt Lake, Park City for convention |

Republican National Committee casts aside Salt Lake, Park City for convention

The committee scouting locations for the 2012 Republican National Convention on Wednesday recommended the GOP hold the political event in Tampa, Fla., choosing a location in a prized swing state over Salt Lake City and Phoenix.

The Republican Site Selection Committee’s recommendation is expected to be endorsed by the GOP later.

Bruce Hough, a Republican National Committeeman who is from Park City, said there were "great cities in the bid process." Hough traveled to Washington, D.C., for the Wednesday meetings. He said the organizers in Tampa performed well during the bidding and he had seen that city as the front-runner.

"We were pragmatic. We were realistic," Hough said, adding, "It was really a sense of ‘Great, now we can move on.’"

Hough said cities frequently bid for the political convention several times before one is awarded, comparing the process to the one that cities seeking an Olympics go through.

Had the convention been awarded to Salt Lake City, organizers envisioned Park City having a significant role in housing delegates and others expected to travel to the convention.

A Republican delegation stopped in Park City in April as part of visit to Salt Lake City to learn more about the bid. Michael Steele, the chairman of the national committee and part of the delegation that visited, told Hough he "loved it" in Park City, according to Hough.

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