NEW ORLEANS CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU
HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY REPORT, SECOND QUARTER
200 JUNE UPDATE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau
Mary Beth Romig or Jennifer Lotz
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
IT’S ANOTHER SUPER BOWL FOR THE SPORTSMAN’S PARADISE!
New Orleans scored a perfect 10 with Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, making this the 10th time the city will host the NFL’s premier event. With record-breaking attendance for major festivals, six consecutive city-wide conventions and the opening of the 1,000th restaurant, New Orleans’ hospitality industry is celebrating many milestones
NEW ORLEANS – June 2, 2009 – Super Bowl 2013 is the latest addition to New Orleans’ list of upcoming major sporting events, solidifying the city’s reputation as a world-class destination for hospitality, tourism, meetings, conventions and special events. In addition to the Super Bowl, New Orleans was awarded the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2012, the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2013, the BCS National Championship in 2012 and extended contracts with the Allstate Sugar Bowl through 2014 and R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl through 2011.
As reported in the Times Picayune on May 20, 2009, J. Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans CVB, said, “We've had so many of the big sporting events in town during the last year or two, but this [Super Bowl] was the final piece. This closes the circle. Every one of the major sporting events has either been or committed to New Orleans. And that sends a message that our tourism capacity is fully back and can handle anything in the country.”
According to Tom Fitzmorris and www.nomenu.com, New Orleans has hit a milestone with over 1,000 restaurants open in the metropolitan area. This compares to 809 restaurants open in 2005.
Approximately 441,000 people attended the 26th Annual French Quarter Festival on April 17-19. The largest “free” festival in the South included 250 hours of entertainment featuring more than 150 musical performances on 17 stages throughout the French Quarter and the “world’s largest jazz brunch.” The 2008 festival saw attendance levels of 435,000.
April 24-26 and April 30-May 3, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Presented by Shell “Celebrated 40 years of peace, love and crawfish.” The New Orleans Fair Grounds hosted over 400,000 attendees for the seven-day cultural event and saw the highest single-day attendance since 2005 with over 90,000 festival-goers Saturday, May 2.
New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE), one of the most prestigious festivals of its kind, celebrated 18 years of wine and food May 19-23. This year’s NOWFE event brought together world-renowned winemakers, celebrity chefs and industry insiders for another successful festival.
New Orleans is bucking the trend in what is traditionally a slow June and July when the city hosts six city-wide conventions. American Diabetes Association, SP Richards, the CLEAN Show, Society for Human Resource Management, ESSENCE Music Festival and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will bring tens of thousands of meeting attendees to the city this summer.
R+L Carriers has extended its contract with New Orleans through the 2011 football season. In 2008, the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl hosted approximately 30,197 fans.
Approximately 1,000 New Orleans hospitality industry workers marched in a Mardi Gras-like parade down Canal Street for the Power of Tourism in New Orleans Day 2009. Supporting U.S. Travel Association's nationwide, multi-city National Travel and Tourism Week rally, elected officials and members of the hospitality community paraded with Mardi Gras Indians and musicians to combat the mischaracterizations of travel in the media and to promote tourism—the economic engine of New Orleans that generates $5 billion annually and employs 78,000 people.
Flightline First, a full-service fixed base operator at Lakefront Airport, opened its new facility on May 28, 2009. The $1.5 million renovation of the art deco-style structure is in keeping with the art deco terminal building also being restored to its former 1934 glory. Flightline First offers fuel, charter services, helicopter services, rental and crew cars, conference facilities, pilot facilities, hangars and more to the general aviation community.
The famed Roosevelt New Orleans Hotel sign shines bright again. On Wednesday, May 20, the hotel held a lighting ceremony showcasing the Roosevelt name for the first time in almost a half-century. The legendary hotel is undergoing a $145 million historic restoration as the newest member of the Waldorf Astoria Collection™. The Roosevelt will host a 12,500-square-foot spa, a restaurant with cuisine by New Orleans’ own Chef John Besh and will restore the famous Blue Room and Sazerac Bar. The Roosevelt will welcome its first guests in July 2009.
The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will hold three contemporary exhibitions in June. This summer’s exhibits include works by artists Rachel Jones and David Weber, Martin Von Haselberg and Marcus Coates.
The Audubon Nature Institute has several reasons to celebrate. Not only did the Audubon Aquarium welcome a new penguin chick named Endymion in February 2009, but the Audubon Insectarium is gearing-up to celebrate its first anniversary. The Audubon Insectarium opened June 13, 2008, and is the largest free-standing museum dedicated to insects and their relatives in North America. The Insectarium hosts nearly 900,000 insects. Chosen from more than 120 nominees, Audubon Insectarium received an award for Outstanding Achievement at the 15th annual Thea Awards Gala on March 7, 2009. Audubon was one of 16 world-class recipients honored by the Themed Entertainment Association, along with Walt Disney World’s EPCOT, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Busch Gardens and the 2008 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies, among others.
Mid-City Lanes Rock n’ Bowl has moved to a new location. The classic New Orleans venue combines musical acts with bowling and was established in 1941. The new Rock n’ Bowl can hold special events with over 1,000 guests, has an expanded dance floor, two party rooms, 18 lanes and still displays unique murals on the venue’s walls.
Ella Brennan of Commander’s Palace Restaurant was honored by the James Beard Foundation with a Lifetime Achievement Award. According to the foundation, “The Lifetime Achievement award is given to an individual whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America.”
The first phase of The National World War II Museum’s The Road to Victory capital campaign will open November 6, 2009. The newest complex will feature the Victory Theater, a 4-D cinematic experience, The Stage Door Canteen, a dining and entertainment venue, and The American Sector, a Chef John Besh Restaurant with cuisine inspired by the Home Front. Tom Brokaw and Tom Hanks are among the celebrities confirmed to attend the grand-opening events. Future additional phases will include a campaigns Pavilion, the Liberation Pavilion and additional themed gallery pavilions. The $300 million expansion will quadruple the size of the existing facility and will be completed in phases by 2015.
The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2009. Louisiana was the first state to initiate a program of this type, offering international visitors tax-free shopping while traveling within the state.
10,000 motorcycles rolled through the streets May 7-10 for Bike Week New Orleans at the Broken Spoke. The inaugural event included bike shows, organized rides, special cuisine and food events and entertainment in the city’s Warehouse District.
May 22-24, Greek Festival New Orleans is in its 36th year on the banks of Bayou St. John. The three-day event celebrated Greek heritage and cuisine.
June 13-15, A New Orleans Vieux-To-Do allows festival-goers the experience of three different festivals all happening close to each other on the same weekend, including the New Orleans Seafood Festival, the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival (both at the Old U.S. Mint) and the Great Creole Tomato Festival.
July 3-5, The ESSENCE Music Festival is celebrating its 15th year! The biggest African-American festival of its kind showcases a stellar line-up of musical talent with concerts in the Louisiana Superdome, inspiring seminars, history, community and a marketplace. Maxwell, John Legend, Anita Baker, Ne-Yo, Salt ‘N Pepa, Teena Marie, Robin Thicke, En Vogue and Al Green join Beyoncé at the 2009 festival.
July 8-12, Tales of the Cocktail is often described as “the most spirited event of the summer.” In its seventh year, the festival celebrates cocktails, cuisine and culture with more than 100 separate events and seminars.
July 30-August 2, Satchmo Summerfest is an entertaining and educational weekend in the French Quarter honoring New Orleans’ native son, Louis Armstrong. Celebrate with live musical performances, local cuisine and special seminars.
September 2-7, known as “Gay Mardi Gras,” Southern Decadence Festival celebrates gay life, music and culture and is always held during Labor Day weekend.
Mardi Gras 2009 kicked off on January 6 and ended with Fat Tuesday on February 24. This year’s Mardi Gras reached pre-Katrina crowd levels of approximately 1 million attendees. City officials estimated that 750-850,000 people enjoyed Mardi Gras in 2008.
March 7 and 8, 2009, the Audubon Zoo welcomed more than 21,300 visitors for Soul Fest 2009, drawing more guests to the Zoo than any festival weekend since Hurricane Katrina.
March 25-29, 2009, New Orleans hosted some of the country’s finest writing and publishing figures for the 23rd annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. The five-day festival offered master classes, panel discussions, theater and music events and literary walking tours.
The 73rd Annual Spring Fiesta took place in the Uptown, Garden District and French Quarter areas of New Orleans March 27-April 5, 2009. The festival celebrated the history and culture of New Orleans and offers tours of historic New Orleans homes not usually open to the public.
The New Orleans City Park and Stephen Rehage, Voodoo Festival Producer, have agreed to hold the 2009 Voodoo Music Experience on Friday, October 30, Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1. The festival will be held in the same location as last year, in and around Roosevelt Mall. An amendment to the Voodoo Festival’s existing 10-year contract with City Park was signed during a meeting held at the New Orleans CVB’s headquarter offices. The 2008 concert series estimated crowds of 100,000 attendees.
The Louisiana Roadfood Festival made its début this year in the historic French Quarter April 4-5, 2009. This free festival celebrated the food of Louisiana and featured brass bands, panel discussions and 16 of the state’s best restaurants. The Louisiana Road Food Festival coincided with the Annual Oyster Jubilee on Bourbon Street and linked the two festivals via the “World’s Longest Po-boy.”
The Allstate Sugar Bowl and Bowl Championship Series (BCS) have committed to New Orleans through the 2014 bowl season. The agreement between the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, BCS and ESPN extends the contract an additional four years. The BCS championship, which alternates cities yearly, will call New Orleans home in 2012 with the city hosting both the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the BCS game in the same season that year. In 2014 New Orleans will host the Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which celebrated its 75th anniversary on January 2, 2009, at the Louisiana Superdome when the University of Utah Utes defeated the University of Alabama Crimson Tide in front of 71,872 attendees.
New Orleans has been awarded the NCAA 2012 Men’s Final Four and the 2013 Women’s Final Four.
Lakewood Golf Course wrapped up a $9 million redesign and reopened for public play February 28, 2009.
New windows are just one of the latest features of the more than $200 million facelift for the Louisiana Superdome. The Dome’s four completely redecorated Club Lounges will also soon be accessible via two private escalators from the outside concourse. The final phase of the upgrades will be a shiny new anodized aluminum outer surface.
April 5, 2009, New Orleans hosted 2,500 athletes for the city’s first Ochsner Ironman 70.3. The following weekend, 20,000 runners geared-up to run the world-famous Crescent City Classic 10K run.
April 18, 2009, bikers competed for a cause, to raise awareness and funding for cancer survival and research, with the Tour De Lis bike race.
The Tournament Players Club (TPC) of Louisiana hosted the 51st consecutive pro golf tournament, the PGA Zurich Classic, April 20-26, 2009. This year’s tournament winner was Jerry Kelly after he shot one-under 71 in the final round.
Aeromexico, the official airline of Latin America, announced on April 7, 2009, that the airline will fly six weekly nonstop flights between New Orleans and Mexico City. Beginning July 6, 2009, Aeromexico is New Orleans’ first international flight service since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Armstrong International announced this year that the airport served 7.94 million passengers in 2008, a 5.5 percent increase over 2007.
According to the Port of New Orleans, Norwegian Cruise Lines has committed one ship to New Orleans through October 31, 2014.
Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta opened to the public March 21, 2009. The award-winning trumpeter will headline and present star-studded musical performances.
The Hotel Monteleone’s world-renowned Carousel Bar celebrated its 60th anniversary on May 21, 2009. In 2008 the Carousel Bar was voted “Best of the City” by National Geographic Traveler.
The 166-room La Quinta Inn & Suites, located at 301 Camp Street, reopened in February 2009 after a complete renovation of the hotel’s interior and exterior.
The New Orleans CVB is pleased to announce that several convention sales managers including Raquel (Rocky) P. Dufauchard, Susan Ives and Carl Lauto received a Certified Meeting Professional designation, while Fay Nedd received a Certified Government Meeting Professional certification.
In an effort to help corporations and associations reduce costs and achieve more successful meetings during this unusual economic climate, The New Orleans CVB and the New Orleans Morial Convention Center have extended “Extraordinary Experiences,” the quickest turnaround, most meeting planner-friendly program in the country, offering complimentary space, F&B, marketing resources and more for meetings held during specific months from now until 2013.
Meetings (3,000 or more in attendance) in 2009 include:
· Professional Convention Management Association/Jan. 11-14
· American Fence Association/Jan. 14-16
· National Automobile Dealers Association/Jan. 24-27
· American Society for Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition/Feb. 1-4
· Golf Course Superintendents Association of America/Feb. 2-7
· Helen Brett Enterprises/Feb. 14-17
· National Rural Electric Cooperative Association/Feb. 11-16
· National Science Teachers Association/March 19-22
· True Value Company/March 27-29
· Association of Fundraising Professionals/March 29-April 1
· National Afterschool Association/April 2-4
· National Association of Elementary School Principals/April 2-6
· Lifeway Christian Resources/April 3-4
· New Orleans Dental Conference/April 2-4
· American Mosquito Control Association/April 5-9
· Direct Marketing Association/April 6-8
· Federation of American Societies/Experimental Biology/April 18-22
· Sourcemedia Conferences & Events/May 4-7
· Helen Brett Enterprises/May 16-19
· Association of Legal Administrators/May 18-21
· American Diabetes Association/June 5-9
· Southern Forest Products Association/June 9-10
· World Educational Congress for Laundering & Dry Cleaning/June 18-21
· Society for Human Resource Management/June 28-July 1
· Louisiana Restaurant Association/July 18-20
· Helen Brett Enterprises/Aug. 21-26
· National Black MBA Association, Inc./Sept. 23-24
· Society of Petroleum Engineers/Oct.4-7
· Specialty Graphic Imaging Association/Oct.7-9
· American Society of Anesthesiologists/Oct. 17-21
· National Community of Pharmacists Association/Oct. 17-21
· Congress of Neurological Surgeons/Oct. 24-29
· American Association of Blood Banks/Oct. 24-27
· National Minority Supplier Development Council/Oct. 24-28
· Helen Brett Enterprises/Oct. 30-Nov. 4
· U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Brownfields 2009 Conference/Nov. 15-17
· American Speech-Language-Hearing Association/Nov. 19-21
· Diversified Business Communications/Dec. 2-4
· American Society of Hematology/Dec. 5-8
Tourism Industry—Statistics at a Glance
· 2008 visitor numbers: 7.6 million
· 2008 visitor spending: $5.1 billion
· 2007 visitor numbers: 7.1 million
· 2007 visitor spending: $4.8 billion
· 2006 visitor numbers: 3.7 million
· 2006 visitor spending: $2.8 billion
· 2004 visitor numbers: a record-breaking 10.1 million
· Visitor numbers in an average pre-Katrina year: 8.5-9 million
· Taxes: $5 billion in visitor spending, $250-300 million in tax revenues and 35 percent of the city’s annual operating budget
· Employment: 78,000+
· Hotels: 209 and 33,500 of 38,000 hotel rooms
· Restaurants: 1,004
· Airport: As of June 2009— 117 flights serving 33 cities
· New attractions to open since 2005 include:
o The Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB)
o Museum of the American Cocktail
o The Audubon Insectarium
o Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World
o Lakewood Golf Course
o The Roosevelt Hotel
Consistently recognized as one of the top five convention and visitor bureaus in the United States, The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is the driving force behind New Orleans' most important industry, tourism. Today the cultural riches, sensual indulgences and unparalleled service that define the New Orleans experience continue to flourish, as they have for centuries. The most celebrated and historic core of the city - including the French Quarter, Central Business District, Warehouse and Arts District, Magazine Street, the Faubourg Marigny and Garden District - are thriving. For more information, visit www.neworleanscvb.com.