Major GOP donors won’t be staying in Jacksonville for Republican National Convention
Confetti and balloons fall during 2016 celebrations on the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. That won't happen in Jacksonville this year. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

RNC Convention
Couples ponying up $1M+ and other big ticket donors will stay on Amelia Island.

Communications from Trump Victory to the party’s most reliable donors reveal that the biggest contributors won’t stay in Jacksonville during the Republican National Convention.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has hailed the event as creating a “$100 million economic impact,” but the biggest margins in terms of hotel spend will be outside his jurisdiction.

A letter sent to donors Wednesday, first reported by Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou of Bloomberg, reveals that for most leading categories of donors, hotels have been secured in Amelia Island, not Jacksonville itself.

Amelia Island, which has a Ritz Carlton among other prestigious hotels not in Jacksonville, is in Nassau County. This means that the most deep-pocketed Donald Trump lovers will not be paying bed tax in Duval County.

The best package available, according to Trump Victory, is the “Presidential Trust,” a level requiring a $1,161,200 contribution per couple.

In addition to the guaranteed hotel berth comfortably outside Duval County, the campaign promises “Trump Victory hospitality,” VIP access, VIP concierge services, and, perhaps best of all, an “exclusive behind-the-scenes tour inside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and ancillary venues.”

Don’t sprain your wrist writing those $1,161,200 checks for the spouse and yourself, though. Many of these considerations are available at lower levels. Those at the Vice Presidential Trust level ($580,600 per couple, annually) will get virtually the whole package.

Meanwhile, those in the Chairman’s Circle ($250,000 annually), the “Trump 500” (bundling $500,000 from 15 discrete contributions), “Trump family” ($150,000 annually), and the Builders’ Club ($100,000 in 10 or more contributions), will get reduced packages.

However, they will all be placed in Amelia Island.

Donors below this level, meanwhile, are just guaranteed hotel rooms, berths that could be anywhere in a five county area extending from Keystone Heights in Clay County to Flagler Beach, all the way up to the Georgia border.

The effort to find hotel space is an eternal struggle for Jacksonville, which infamously used cruise ships for lodging people during the only Super Bowl the city has hosted. Thus, the lodging question has been a regional effort, with 10,000 rooms secured, at great effort from Visit Jacksonville.

“With an inventory of 18,000 hotels rooms in Jacksonville, getting 10,000 room nights was quite difficult,” Visit Jacksonville CEO Michael Corrigan told WJXT. “I can’t say enough good things about the counties that surround Duval County that jumped in.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • DisplacedCTYankee

    June 17, 2020 at 10:01 am

    The GOP is the “party of The People,” no doubt about it.

    Jacksonville is in Georgia, right?

    • Jane

      June 18, 2020 at 8:40 pm

      Amelia Island is actually GA but considered the best part of Jacksonville Beaches.

  • S.B. Anthony

    June 17, 2020 at 10:02 am

    LOL! Such a Republicon thing. Let the poor schmucks die in Jax.

  • Frankie M.

    June 17, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Bring on the tugboats! What could go wrong??

  • Dr of Many Things

    June 17, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    What a snarky article. Amelia Island is in Nassau County, contiguous with Duval. For decades travelers to the area often choose beach hotels or resorts not in Jacksonville proper, including St Augustine, Jacksonville Beach, and Fernandina Beach. I doubt Mayor Curry or anyone else misses the 6 percent bed tax, since all rooms in the city will be packed. There are no poor schmucks involved, but the GOP is indeed the party of the regular people. They almost all went for Trump in 2016 and will do so again in 2020. The Democrats are the elitist party of billionaires and globalists where the big money buys their candidate. The loyal lower quartile who vote for Dems are peeling off by the millions. Jacksonville is great…almost as cool as Connecticut! Enjoy the DNC in Joe Biden’s basement. lol

    • Gary In Tampa

      June 17, 2020 at 10:09 pm

      I can’t believe you wasted time crafting such a stupid and ill-informed comment. Taxes collected in Nassau and St. Johns will not trickle down to Jax.

      The city certainly anticipates bed taxes, and in a recession, why would they not?

      Republicans have NEVER stood for the people. They have opposed every social program aimed at lifting Americans from social security and food stamps to Obamacare and now, they are cutting much-needed federal unemployment benefits that have helped keep food on the table for millions of Americans, along with helping them stay ahead of their bills while they wait to see if they’ll get their old jobs back or find new work.

      Republicans are losing support and that’s evidenced by the fact that 3 states that went for Trump in 2016–Arizona, Texas, and Georgia–are now either leaning Democrat or are tied. Likewise, 3 other states Trump barely won in 2016, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin are showing Biden and other Democrats comfortably ahead there. And Trump is down by 3 points in the most recent Florida poll.

      Demographically, Republicans are losing voters and that’s understandable when your constituency is old and almost exclusively white. The Southern states that were ruby red a mere decade ago are now trending more diverse–and more Democratic. You’ll recall North Carolina was once Jesse Helms territory, and Virginia was the confederacy’s capital. Both have Democratic governors, and both are leaning Biden in 2020.

      Americans are sick of the lies, corruption, and woeful incompetence of this administration. Save your fictitious crap for a site filled with other GOP cultists. Folks who read this blog tend to do their homework.

      • James Graham

        June 17, 2020 at 10:40 pm

        Gee Gary thanks for revised history. The Democrats have done nothing for the people except keep them as wards of the government. Why is it that Gate, Buffet and Hollywood types like Mylano, Striesand and too many to name are Democrats!??🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    • FLAGurl

      June 18, 2020 at 10:23 am

      Do you hear yourself? Trump is not an elitist? (At least he wants to be except he’s so low class he has to pay hookers to sleep with him). He literally has gold plated decor in his tacky homes. He’s the biggest shyster, con man that ever lived and fools like you fall for it. The GOP are out of touch rich selfish people, followed by wanna be rich people who are willing to spend a bunch of money to hear this narcissistic buffoon tell lies and praise himself (because his mommy didn’t love him enough). You say Dems are elitist? The last three Republican Presidential candidates were in fact- MILLIONAIRES who own baseball teams, big oil, etc and were born with silver spoons in their mouths- given everything by their rich daddies! Obama and Clinton went to college on scholarships and student loans- they were middle class lawyers who grew up poor and had to make it on their own. Dems are the party who fights for working class, small business and regular people. Which party came up with Social Security, Medicaire, Medicaid, TANF? Dems- to help people! Seriously- how can you say they are socialists wanting to give everything for free and call them elitist billionaires? You’re just as confused as Trump.

    • Jane

      June 18, 2020 at 8:42 pm

      Amelia Island is actually GA but considered the best part of Jacksonville Beaches.

  • Sonja Fitch

    June 17, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    Covid does not give a damn where you stay! I will get you anyway

Comments are closed.


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