COVINGTON, Ky. - If you see an influx of people downtown, there’s a reason:
Today is the first day of the three-day national conference of The Council of State Governments, which has brought nearly 900 state-level government leaders to Covington from across the country and Canada.
“I was told over 800 leaders registered and they expect 850 to 875, so this is a pretty big deal,” Covington Mayor Joe Meyer said. “Last year the conference was in Las Vegas and the years before that it was in Colonial Williamsburg, Nashville and Kansas City, so we’re in good company.”
While in town, the Council members - which include leaders in all three branches of state government - will attend sessions at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington on issues like cybersecurity, U.S.-Canadian relations, the opioid epidemic, the logistics economy, and energy.
They will also attend a range of recreational outings to places like New Riff Distilling in Newport, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, and MainStrasse Village here in Covington.
Meyer said he attended an event at Hotel Covington on Wednesday night and saw that it was essentially “taken over” attendees of the conference.
“This is huge opportunity for Covington’s unique array of restaurants and bars, not to mention our hotels,” Covington Economic Development Director Tom West said.
Among the scheduled keynote speakers at the conference are the U.S. ambassador to Canada, Kelly Craft, and the Canadian ambassador to the United States, David Macnaughton.
Meyer credited Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers - the current chairman of the CSG - with bringing the convention to Covington. “I am excited to bring this national conference to Northern Kentucky in 2018 and know we will be great hosts for this momentous event,” Stivers told the membership when he was elected.
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