What does it take to prepare for a Presidential candidate?

KENNEWICK -- Newt Gingrich will rally for support in the Tri Cities Thursday.

The GOP Presidential candidate will be at the Kennewick Red Lion on Columbia Center Boulevard from 11am-noon.

Authorities tell Action News at least a thousand people are expected to attend.

That means a lot of advance preparation for the hotel, as well as local police. But it all had to come together in less than 48 hours, since the campaign only notified Kennewick officials of their plan on Tuesday afternoon.

Red Lion General Manager Ian Napier says having a high-profile guest like Newt Gingrich, even if it is for just a few hours, means a lot of extra precautions, including added police.

Kennewick Police Sgt. Ken Lattin says, "We want to make sure everyone is safe, from the speaker to the crowd. So, we will have police personnel there, both in uniform and out-of-uniform. And we'll be prepared for every contingency."

Napier says he's also set aside a separate incident room for police to coordinate from.

The fire marshal told the hotel it can handle up to 1800 people in the main ballroom.

But that may lead to another concern: parking. With only 300 spots on site at the Red Lion, officials say they will go quickly.

"If the parking lot is full," says Napier, we'll have either my staff or uniformed officers letting people know the lot is full, and they'll have to park at Target or the mall and walk across the street."

And authorities say if parking is their biggest problem, they'll consider the political visit a complete success.