(CNN) - Las Vegas and Cincinnati withdrew bids to host the 2016 GOP convention, the Republican National Committee announced Thursday.
Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, and Kansas City are still in contention to host the convention where Republicans will officially choose their presidential nominee.
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Site Selection Committee Chairwoman Enid Mickelsen said that Cincinnati and Las Vegas withdrew their bids.
"While the committee understands their decision, both cities made a compelling case for 2016 and would make excellent hosts should they pursue efforts to host a future RNC convention," Mickelsen said in a statement.
The RNC said Cincinnati dropped out of the process "based upon the criteria set forth by the RNC for the main arena" and Las Vegas withdrew based on criteria for an arena and "enough on-site preparatory time to accommodate the 2016 convention."
Representatives from each of the cities have been courting the RNC's Site Selection Committee for the past few months, making their formal pitches in March.
RNC staff visit each of the cities, and members of the Site Selection Committee are expected to choose the host city by late summer or early fall.
For a city, a convention is a costly affair as the host is expected to raise upwards of $60 million to help pay for it. But if managed correctly, a convention pays off as the surrounding communities are flooded with as many as 50,000 new visitors and the area is showcased on an international stage for weeks leading up to the event.
A number of factors are considered as the Site Selection Committee determines which city will hold the convention, including the ability to raise money, adequate infrastructure, public perception, potential electoral benefits, and ease of transporting delegates and visitors to and from the convention hall.
The Family Research Council, a conservative policy group, issued a statement applauded Las Vegas for withdrawing its bid for the convention.
“We are pleased to learn today that Las Vegas has withdrawn its bid to become a host city – a decision that comes only weeks after the state party ignited a party-wide firestorm by stripping pro-life and pro-natural marriage language from its state platform," FRC President Tony Perkins said.