Detroit Site Visit
July 23-25, 2002

"We set out to demonstrate to the DNC that we have the infrastructure to handle the needs of the Convention, that Detroit is a fun place to be, that we are enthusiastic about wanting the DNC in Detroit, the City is prepared to commit the resources to make it happen and Michigan is their best choice to give them the advantage they need.  We did it all!!"
                                                                       -Brad Van Dommelen 
                                                                        Senior Vice President 
                                                                        DetroitMetro Convention & Visitors Bureau

Tuesday, July 25, 2002

We had a dinner party on the lawn next to the river at the Manoogian Mansion (Mayor's home).  The Detroit Fire Department's fire boat came by and had the hoses blasting water high into the air creating rainbows. 

Later in the evening we went on a yacht for a dessert and cocktail cruise under the full moon with entertainment on the yacht.  It was a beautiful evening and every one was having a fun time - some were even dancing!

Wednesday, July 26, 2002

We started the day out with a breakfast at IBEW (Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) where we had all of the unions represented with key union leaders talking about wanting to see the Convention come to Detroit.

They then went on tours of the two convention facilities that we are proposing, Cobo Convention Center/Joe Louis Arena and the brand new (opening in a month) Ford Field.  They saw VR renderings of how the 65,000 seat stadium could be reduced to an intimate environment for 20,000.

We had lunch at The African American Museum where the theme was Celebrating Detroit's Rich Diversity - there were a number of different ethnic groups represented talking about their individual communities in the city.

After lunch they went into their breakout sessions: City Obligations, Convention Center, Hotels and Data / Telecommunications and Office space.  This is where they get into the "nuts and bolts" of the Convention Bid.

In the evening we had a dinner party for them at the beautiful Fox Theater with some high-energy Motown entertainment - they were up on their feet enjoying great Motown hits!

The after party was at the Mayor's favorite night spot, Floods.  Many enjoyed this fun jazz club in Greektown till the wee hours.

Thursday, July 26, 2002

We started out with a classic car parade (it's Detroit you know) from the Detroit Marriott hotel to the Henry Ford Museum / Greenfield Village - with a police motorcycle escort and exclusive use of the expressways that were shut down for their use only.  They went into the IMAX theater and viewed the Celebrate Detroit IMAX format movie.  Following this they went back in time by Model T cars and horse and buggy into Greenfield Village to the Eagle Tavern for a mid-1800's style breakfast experience.

After breakfast we went back to the modern day to the Ford Conference and Event Center for our wrap-up session with Mayor Kilpatrick, Larry Alexander, the President of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, and keynote speaker Charlie Cook from the Cook Political Report.  The DNC heard Charlie talk about how important the Midwest is and that Michigan is the most important state in the Midwest from a political perspective for the 2004 election.  He talked about how close the numbers are between the Democrats and the Republicans and that in a tight race - everything counts, including where you hold the Convention to gain more votes.  From a political perspective Michigan is the place to hold the Convention.

Manoogian Mansion dressed up for the Democrats' visit.

Copyright © 2002 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.