And lodging bookings, in turn, have the potential to benefit the surrounding retail and restaurant trade.
As things now stand with the virtual convention, Blank said the DNC is an economic bust for Racine County.
“It’s very disappointing,” Blank said. “Initially, there would have been, potentially, a major (economic) impact from the convention. Given its present form, there is no impact for Racine County.”
Also impacts Downtown Racine
The massive downsizing of the convention also has had a ripple effect on Downtown Racine according to Kelly Kruse, executive director of the Downtown Racine Corp., a nonprofit organization that manages day-to-day economic development efforts in Downtown Racine.
“We had several large events and activities in motion to draw the DNC attendees to Downtown Racine, but as COVID-19 took its toll we recognized it would be yet another setback economically for Downtown,” Kruse noted.
Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the downsized DNC convention, Kruse is nevertheless optimistic about the future of Downtown Racine.
“The ability of Downtown businesses to pivot has been crucial for their survival this year,” she said. “Looking ahead, however, it will provide them additional long-term resiliency. From selling online to changing the types of products offered to adding outdoor dining and sidewalk sales, the merchants are working harder than ever for only a portion of the sales they once made.”