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RNC Wants New Deal With Tampa-Area Hotels For 2012 Convention

The hotel industry in the Tampa, site of the 2012 Republican National Convention, is not happy with the GOP. The RNC wants to renegotiate contracts signed with area hotels a year ago, the St. Petersburg Times reports. "We want to find rates that are good for both parties, all the visitors as well as the hoteliers,'' said James Davis, a spokesman for the RNC committee that plans the convention. The RNC host committee contracted with 100 hotels in August 2010. The deal guarantees about 15,000 rooms for at least five nights, according to the St. Petersburg Times. Hotels were asked to commit at least 90 percent of their rooms over the period. The deal was struck by RNC officials under former party chairman Michael Steele. In addition to lower room rates, the RNC also wants hotels to pay a higher fee that's used to help cover convention costs. The current fee was a flat $30 per room. Now, the RNC wants 10 percent of each guest's hotel bill. A representative of one hotel estimates the RNC's demands would reduce revenues by $150,000. The RNC decided to renegotiate after a consultant to convention organizers said the hotel rates were too high.