Houston First Corp.: Direct economic impact from GOP convention close to $3 million

The City of Houston has made its decision to cancel the in-person Texas GOP convention that was due to take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center next week. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the reason the GOP convention is being canceled is to protect people from the spread of COVID-19 as we are in the middle of a health crisis.

“Houston is a hot spot right now in a global pandemic and we can’t have thousands of people gathering inside the George R. Brown,” said Turner.

RELATED: City of Houston cancels Texas GOP in-person convention at GRB

It’s a step to save lives in the fight against COVID-19, but what will this cost the city? Houston First Corporation, which owns the GRB, tells FOX 26, “The direct economic impact for Houston would have been $2,996,337. This direct spending figure reflects room nights, meals, transportation, shopping, and entertainment.”

There’s no doubt it’ll be a financial blow to restaurants in the surrounding area that were already struggling due to the virus. There are also critics who feel this was a political move as well.

Harris County Republican Party issued a statement saying, "Mayor Turner's hypocritical flip flop on public gatherings is a political stunt. While he joined in massive marches in the streets last month, he has now blocked Republican grassroots activists from peaceably assembling even under the most stringent health safeguards. The Mayor should not abuse power for political ends," said Harris County Republican Party Chairman, Paul Simpson.

RELATED: Republicans angry after Houston mayor cancels state GOP Convention

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough has offered to host the Texas GOP Convention.

“Montgomery County is open for business. Let’s go. We will follow the CDC guidelines, we will keep people safe. Working out the details, the Republican party is going to have to do that. We believe that it can, otherwise we wouldn’t have made the offer. So here we are, and we are moving forward with it. Hopefully, we can pull all this together.” he said.

FOX 26 also asked how he is dealing with the criticism of inviting thousands of people in to the county.

“Yes, yes it’s important for us to protect those who aren’t able to protect themselves and those who are possibly compromised because of their immune systems, and we are doing that, we can show that we are doing that.”


Judge Keough said that as long as the GOP follows the same CDC guidelines that they were planning to do here in Houston they are welcomed. It’s not known yet if that offer has been accepted.