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Gazette Premium Content EDITORIAL: GOP should choose beauty and comfort over bugs and heat

The Gazette editorial Updated: June 10, 2014 at 12:22 pm

There's no better place than Colorado's Front Range during the dog days of summer, when Republicans will host their 2016 national convention.

Here, weather will be perfect. Bugs will be scarce. Downtown Denver will offer cosmopolitan amenities at their finest, indoors and out. Visitors will enjoy some of the country's best restaurants, shops, hotels and museums. The Rocky Mountains will inspire and uplift, providing an unmatchable backdrop for media coverage.

If the Republican Site Selection Committee wants the guarantee of a successful event — one that helps the image of Republicans — it will choose Colorado.

The committee arrived in Denver on Monday for a three-day visit before its members travel to Dallas, another of four cities vying for the convention. Others are Kansas City, Mo., and Cleveland.

Of the four, only Denver has recently hosted a major national political convention. It's fair to say the 2008 Democratic convention was the most successful event of its kind in history. A variety of downtown facilities and hotels, within close proximity of each other, made events easily navigable and fun. People found each other while strolling the 16th Street Mall. Light rail and other elements of the mass transit system, ranked among the country's best, linked visitors to a plethora of attractions. Long before 2016, light rail will connect to Denver International — the fifth busiest airport in the country, offering frequent and affordable daily flights from most major cities.

Likely convention start dates are June 27 or July 18.

Dallas recorded more than 40 days of temperatures exceeding 100 degrees by Aug. 10, just three years ago. Even during a good summer, the average high in July is 96 degrees in Dallas with high humidity. The Dew Point, which The Weather Channel describes as a "measure of how comfortable a person finds the weather," is rarely below 58 degrees — the highest considered "comfortable."

Cleveland, beginning late June: Hot. By mid July last year, residents had endured daily heat indexes of 104 degrees.

Kansas City, beginning late June: Hot. By early July of 2012, heat and humidity combined for daily conditions that felt like 115 degrees. The Weather Channel reports that over a typical July, humidity reaches 84 percent. It rarely drops below a "comfortable" 31 percent and often reaches a "very humid" 96 percent.

Cleveland, Dallas and Kansas City each threaten a near-guaranteed miserable experience throughout the convention window. While media images in Denver would feature happy people enjoying a beautiful and comfortable environment, stories from the other three cities will fuss about heat. We'll see wet delegates seeking air-conditioned refuge. Reporters will force Republicans to address global warming. Conventiongoers will be grumpy, eager to leave. Don't forget the '96 Olympics, remembered for "Hotlanta's" extreme heat.

By stark contrast, comfortable sunny weather in Denver is almost a statistical certainty. The city never makes news for lethal heat waves. The average high is 81 degrees in June and 88 in July. The region enjoys more sunny days than San Diego. Here's The Weather Channel's comfort report for Denver: "Over the course of a typical July, the dew point typically varies from 39 degrees (dry) to 56 degrees (comfortable) and is rarely below 28 degrees (dry) or above 62 degrees (mildly humid).

"The time of the month between July 1 and July 31 is the most comfortable, with dew points that are neither too dry nor too muggy."

Dallas, Cleveland and Kansas City are fine cities. But in June and July, residents try to head for the Rockies — where the GOP should go.

Besides, Republicans need to win back Colorado — named by the Spanish for the color of its rocks. The rocks aren't blue. They're red.

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