July 22, 2016
When 6,000-or-so delegates arrive for next week's Democratic National Convention, dozens of area hotels will try to make them feel at home.
Twenty-six hotels – from Center City to King of Prussia to Lansdale – will host 57 state delegations.
The Desmond Hotel in Chester County will host 67 delegates from Puerto Rico and 21 from the Democrats Abroad party.
“I think the reason why [The Democratic National Committee] picked us to host is that we really take a lot of care to make sure guests are treated specially when they arrive,” general manager Mike Chain said.
Chain said the Malvern hotel will be decked out in patriotic decor with a nice spread of food and flavored waters awaiting delegates on arrival.
“The DNC and various tourism boards have done a really good job with welcome bags and resources to help with the strong efforts of the concierge services,” he said.
Importantly for the delegates, who will have to endure a long bus ride home at the end of the night from the convention events at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, the hotel's Fox and Hounds Pub will remain open for food until 1 a.m. and drinks till 2 a.m. But Chain said the hours are flexible depending on the delegates' return.
All told, 675 delegates from a dozen states will stay the week in the Valley Forge area. The Hawaii, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and West Virginia contingents will stay at the Doubletree by Hilton in King of Prussia, while Michigan, Minnesota and Tennessee delegates will lodge at the Radisson Hotel at the Valley Forge Casino Resort. Oregon Democrats will land at the Crowne Plaza and Alabama will move in at the Hilton Garden Inn Valley Forge. Up the road in Collegeville, the Courtyard Valley Forge will host Oklahomans.
To help them all navigate the city and the region, the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board prepped more than 3,000 welcome bags with discount offers for a local zoo to shopping savings at the King of Prussia Mall. Its community partners range from Philadelphia Premium Outlets to Dave and Busters to the casino.
“When we found out we had so many delegates staying [here], we decided to roll out the red carpet,” said Ed Harris, vice president of marketing and communications for the Valley Forge board. “Our hope is they go back to their states and tell their friends and family about Montgomery County.”
Further east in Montgomery County, The Courtyard Lansdale will host 33 delegates from halfway around the world. To welcome the groups from Guam, America Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands, the hotel is redecorating the lobby with flags from those countries.
Like many of the delegate hotels, the Courtyard Lansdale will keep its bars and restaurants open later.