Hurricane Isaac caused the Republican National Committee to postpone the first day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Monday, August 27, moving planned speeches by former Fla. Governor Jeb Bush, Ann Romney, and former Ark. Governor Mike Huckabee to other nights during the week. The storm will miss Tampa and is expected to make landfall Tuesday in Louisiana.
Tampa Bay and Company, the region’s convention and visitors bureau is encouraging visitors to use the bureau’s Command Center as their resource for destination updates and how to spend the rainy days during the RNC. Using #TampaBay and #RainyDayRNC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms, visitors can talk to the world about how they are spending an extra day, whether it’s going to museum, restaurant, or aquarium.
Social media users also can interact directly using the CVB’s social media hub. The Social Media Command Center is staffed by a team of 50 social media and destination experts who will interact with social media users across various platforms to answer questions and provide information.
With the storm building to hurricane strength Tuesday morning and expected to make landfall in New Orleans late Tuesday or early Wednesday, the RNC is set to begin in earnest Tuesday at 2 p.m. The speeches by Ann Romney, Huckabee, and Jeb Bush were moved to Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, respectively. To accommodate the relocated speeches, some speakers were eliminated from the program while others will be shortened, but none of the headliners in the evening sessions will be impacted, according to ABC News.
The convention is expected to have an $153 million economic impact on the city, according to an article in the Tampa Bay Times.