UPPER MERION TWP., Pa. - While delegates to this summer's Democratic National Convention will be doing the party's work in Philadelphia, hundreds of them will be spending their free time in neighboring Montgomery County.
The county's hotels will play host to 18 of the DNC's 57 delegations during the course of the convention, which will be held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia from July 25 through July 28.
But soon, leaders of the Montgomery County-bound delegates will be getting an early taste of where they'll be staying, thanks to the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board.
The board's president and CEO, Mike Bowman, and his staff were joined in King of Prussia on Tuesday by Josh Shapiro, chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, in assembling welcome kits for the 18 delegations.
The kits include the official visitors guide and represent a collection of brands developed by the tourism and convention board, such as Patriot Trails, Montco360 and Destination Montco Golf, that highlight the wide range of things to do in Montgomery County.
Also on hand for the event were Pickles and Jenny, two donkeys representing the Democrats' mascot, courtesy of the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown.
The convention is projected to provide an $11.7 million boost to Montgomery County's economy, thanks to the more than 12,000 hotel room nights booked for the event.
The delegations staying in Montgomery County are Alabama, America Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.
State delegations use their hotels as a base of operations during the convention. Each delegation begins its day by hosting a breakfast at its respective hotel to preview the day's convention activities. Delegates also use their hotels to host receptions and conduct official business, including meetings and news conferences.
The Democratic National Convention Committee will provide transportation for delegates to travel between their hotels and the Wells Fargo Center.
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