By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Center City drivers and pedestrians looking at the detours around the Loews Hotel may ask themselves: Why is the Congressional Republicans retreat in Philadelphia?

Work on selecting a venue for the annual retreat began well before the election by a nonprofit called the Congressional Institute, says Delaware County Republican Congressman Pat Meehan.

“It’s actually a nonpartisan group that is outside of Congress itself. And it begins working on the venue immediately as soon as we leave this year, they will look at next year’s site to begin the planning.”

He says the retreat is usually somewhere within driving distance of Washington, D.C.

He says not only is Philadelphia convenient, but it can handle the security necessary for such a high-profile event.

Past GOP retreats have been in Hershey, Baltimore, and Virginia in recent years.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Ted Cruz arrived in Philadelphia.

The Democrats had their retreat here in 2015.