Angela Hunt just called with the bad news: The National Fraternal Order of Police voted not to hold their 2013 convention in Dallas after all. Says Hunt, who returned from Long Beach, California -- site of this year's confab -- at 1 this morning, the organization's members voted 1,100 to 800 to instead hold their biennial confab in Cincinatti.
When I spoke to Hunt Wednesday evening, after she'd spent a day in the Dallas delegation's trade-show booth, she thought the city had a pretty good shot at landing the convention, which she's been trying to snare since January. Alas, it was not meant to be -- not even with the promise of a massive new hotel adjacent to the convention center in which some of the larger delegations (such as Pennsylvania, which travels some 600 members alone) could stay under one roof.
"It was a real disappointment, but it sounds like a lot of the nearby states' FOPs like the idea of being able to drive to Cincinnati," says Hunt, who was in California with reps from the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Omni, Hyatt and Sheraton hotels. (The Omni, of course, will be the operator of the convention center hotel, which the city expects to be open for business come 2013.) "There are more FOP members up there than in the Southern states. So, anyway, it's a disappointment. They worked their fannies off, and we did what we could do."
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Dallas was actually among four contenders for the convention, which draws some 5,000 to 6,000 members; also on the short list were Louisville, Kentucky, and Virginia Beach. And Dallas won't automatically contend for the 2015 convention. Says Hunt, "at the next show, Dallas can again put our name in the hat, and we probably will."