Airport Bustle Subsides

Posted August 31, 2008 at 4:56pm

Thousands of people are streaming into the Twin Cities for the Republican National Convention, but it’s just another day at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, where a spokesman says visitor traffic is “about what it would be like on a typical summer weekend.”

The airport has a flock of more than 100 volunteers signed up to greet visitors, though several said they have been less busy than they expected.

The convention host committee set up booths by baggage claim, where the bustle of conventioneers is more obvious. But by Sunday afternoon, most of the delegates had arrived and the hubbub even there was subdued.

The airport is dressed for convention travelers, plastered with advocacy advertisements for everything from clean-coal technology to preserving “free radio” and with a few stores have small displays of “official” red, white and blue convention merchandise.

With the party scaling back the convention in light of Hurricane Gustav, some of the welcome banners seem a little outdated — “Join the Recreation Delegation” and “Double Your Fun.”

But without them, it would be hard to tell there are 40,000 conventioneers descending on the city.

By all accounts, the major boost in traffic is at the other side of the airfield — the terminal where private jets land.