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Cuyahoga Falls -- Last month's Republican National Convention gave the city and its hotel a chance to shine for out-of-towners, especially delegates from Michigan who stayed at the Sheraton Suites during RNC week July 18 through 21.
Jeff Lynch, vice president and general manager for Sheraton Suites Akron Cuyahoga Falls, said he heard a lot of positive feedback from visitors from the Wolverine State.
"We're such a unique hotel that we created a wonderful first impression," Lynch said. "One of the great things about the RNC week for us was that we were hosting the Michigan delegates. Michigan is one of the primary feeder markets for visitors coming to northeast Ohio."
Michigan delegates got to see how much northeast Ohio has to offer while staying in a hotel that is centrally located to so many points of interest, Lynch said. "It was a wonderful opportunity for us to put our best foot forward and show them this is a wonderful area to be in," he said.
Lynch noted many of his guests expressed their appreciation for the hotel bar staying open until 4 a.m. "We had put in for our 4 a.m. license and we stayed open for them, and they really appreciated it," he said.
"There was a lot of talk in the media that restaurants and bars in downtown Cleveland were surprised by the lack of business," Lynch noted. "That was one of the things we identified, that delegates were not going to have the ability to go off site because they were getting back so late, so we felt it was important to stay open and accommodate their needs when they got back / [enabling] them to get something to eat or drink."
Lynch said the event also enabled Sheraton Suites to demonstrate it is capable of hosting a large convention.
Many of those from Michigan who stayed in the hotel told Lynch they planned to return to the hotel to further explore the area. Out of the Sheraton's total 209 rooms, 150 of them were used by RNC Michigan delegates.
"Our delegation had a great time in Cuyahoga Falls," said Sarah Anderson, Communications Director for the Michigan Republican Party. "/ I enjoyed several restaurants, and as a runner, loved the scenery when out on the pavement. Everyone we encountered was incredibly kind and welcoming and we are thankful for the hospitality."
Anderson noted she enjoyed running through Gorge Metro Park and added that several delegates liked attending Festa Italiana during the weekend leading up to the RNC.