North Carolina Economic Development Guide


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Latinos involved in politics. Norek and Alfaro looked at places such as the Fillmore, a rock club in the North Carolina Music Factory complex at the edge of downtown. They also considered night- clubs, including the trendy Phoenix, which is two blocks from convention ground zero, Time Warner Cable Arena. "We have to factor in that transpor- tation may be an issue in the midst of the convention and that a venue like the Fillmore, on the outskirts of town, presents some logistical challenges for attendees without cars," says Norek, dressed casually in a blue short-sleeve shirt and red slacks. "On the other hand, in our search for a downtown venue within walking distance of the convention site, we found very few that could accommodate a thousand or more attendees." Those are the kinds of issues that city offi cials and organizers of the 2012 convention have been helping groups like Voto Latino navigate ever since the Democratic National Committee an- nounced in February that it had picked Charlotte as its host city. For four days beginning Sept. 3, some 35,000 delegates, policymakers, international dignitaries, celebrities and other visitors will descend upon downtown Charlotte, crowding streets and packing clubs and restaurants for an event that is expected to generate up to $200 million in sales for local businesses. Challenge: To win the 2012 Democratic National Convention over St. Louis and other contenders, Charlotte had to demonstrate that it was ready for prime time. Solution: A public-private partnership formed by city boosters, Duke Energy Corp. and others, coupled with the state's strategic impor- tance, pushed Charlotte over the top. Time Warner Cable Arena will be the focal point for more than 35,000 delegates, politicians and journalists during the September convention. North Carolina EDG 43

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