CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The 2012 Democratic National Convention helped put Charlotte on the map.
- Now, construction is booming and places in uptown are unrecognizable
- The Charlotte Visitors Regional Authority reports since 2012 the number of hotel rooms in Mecklenburg County has gone up 11 percent to 26,755 rooms
- It could prepare Charlotte for the unexpected if the Queen City serves as host again
“I think the biggest thing the DNC showed in 2012 is that Charlotte is truly a national class city,” said Childress Klein Center for Real Estate Director Richard Buttimer.
But at the time there were only so many hotels and many parts of uptown weren't developed.
Fast forward to today and it’s a much different story.
Construction is booming and places in uptown are unrecognizable.
It's a selling point for the city and a positive if the RNC comes to Charlotte in 2020.
“The national press that would have covered the 2012 convention when they come back in 2020 are going to be really pleasantly surprised how much the city has continued to grow and thrive,” Buttimer said.
A lot of that growth is in hotels.
The Charlotte Visitors Regional Authority reports since 2012 the number of hotel rooms in Mecklenburg County has gone up 11 percent to 26,755 rooms. It reports the number of hotels has grown from 190 to 213. 5,300 of the rooms are in uptown.
Garry McFadden worked with secret service and handled some of the security during the 2012 convention.
“We were very well prepared,” McFadden said. “We learned a lot and were taught a lot.”
Barring an election surprise in November, McFadden will be the next Mecklenburg County sheriff.
He said 2020 would pose an extra challenge.
“From a law enforcement perspective, you do have some hesitation about it coming,” McFadden said.
He is concerned about what could come with the convention. He said for some people it brings up the thought of riots and protests which spells some major safety concerns.
“We need to ask questions and not push anyone away, and ask people who didn't come forward last time to give their opinion and involve them, and I think we'll be better,” McFadden said.
It could prepare Charlotte for the unexpected if the Queen City serves as host again for one of the country's largest political gatherings.