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Experts Optimistic About Security, And Economic Impact Of 2016 Democratic National Convention In Philadelphia

By Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau predicts the 2016 Democratic National Convention will generate between $170 and $250 million dollars for the city.

Jack Ferguson, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, says he expects more than 11,000 hotel rooms in Center City and 17,000 citywide will be fully booked.

Meryl Levitz, who leads Visit Philadelphia, says the Republican National Convention in the city in 2000 brought in between $200 and $400 million. And, she adds, the better news is that jobs created by the convention will remain after the delegates leave and expand going forward.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer says they are confident the city is prepared to provide protection during the convention.

Ramsey says working with federal agencies the city is ready to handle everything from possible traffic snarls to protecting visiting dignitaries. The Commissioner pointed out many of his top planners are veteran officers who helped with the 2000 RNC.

Sawyer says lessons learned from the huge crowds at the annual Welcome America Festivities and the upcoming Papal Visit in September will help firefighters and medics to be prepared.

Additional good news about security, according to the Mayor, the cost is expected to be fully covered by a federal security grant and, if necessary, private donations now being raised.

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