What’s New in New Orleans’ Hospitality Industry – August/September 2011

· The New Orleans CVB launched two summer campaigns including COOLinary New Orleans (August 1-31) and Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown (August 1-September 30). More than 50 world-class restaurants are participating in the seventh annual COOLinary New Orleans promotion, offering diners two and three-course lunch menus for $20 or less and three-course dinner menus for $35 or less. Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown’s mission is to encourage New Orleanians to enjoy all of the hospitality offerings that make our city one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. This year’s campaign features a strong social media presence on Facebook and the two-month-long program will be filled with give aways from meal gift certificates to a grand-prize “staycation” package valued at $1,000. Simply “like” the CVB’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/neworleanscvb and automatically enter to win.

· The Historic New Orleans Collection hosts the New Orleans Antiques Forum August 4-7, 2011. Attendees from 12 states will travel to The Collection’s Williams Research Center for this year’s program, “French at Heart: Continental Influence in the Gulf South.” The sessions will explore the pervasive influence of French style and French design on decorative arts in the southern United States with nearly a dozen local and national experts on decorative arts.

· Hyatt Regency New Orleans will re-open October 19, just in time for the Super Bowl XLIV rematch when the Saints host the Indianapolis Colts in the Superdome on October 23. The hotel has undergone a $275 million redesign and revitalization and will feature 1,193 contemporary guest rooms, 200,000 sq ft of meeting and event space, and expansive food and beverage offerings, including a freestanding restaurant by a nationally recognized chef who will be announced soon. In March 2012, Hyatt Regency New Orleans and Make It Right, the non-profit organization founded by actor Brad Pitt, will host “A Night to Make It Right presented by Hyatt,” a fundraising gala to celebrate the hotel’s re-opening and help raise funds to complete Make It Right’s goal to build 150 eco-friendly homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. To kick-off fundraising efforts, the hotel donated $300,000 to help build two new homes.

· Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans CVB, has been appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal to the Louisiana State University (LSU) Board of Supervisors. The goal of the LSU Board of Supervisors is to provide leadership and support for the LSU System. The board aids the LSU system in the development of intellectual and professional programs of instruction, research, and public service, works to increase opportunities for students, provides oversight for large contracts and enhances services to the community and the state.

· The Louisiana Superdome recently completed an $85 million renovation; part of an overall $336 million renovation that has been taking place since 2006. Key significant enhancements include an expansion of the Plaza Level concourse by 50 feet, 135 additional new women’s restrooms, additional concession points of sale on the Plaza Level, 3,100 additional Plaza Level seats, 186 digital concourse monitors and two new premium bunker club lounges. The New Orleans Saints play their first regular season home game for the 2011 season at the Superdome against the Chicago Bears on September 18.

· Several summer festivals and special events are gearing up across New Orleans, including Satchmo SummerFest, Satchmo Club Strut, Whitney White Linen Night, Red Dress Run, Dirty Linen Night, Southern Decadence Festival, New Orleans Seafood Festival and Burlesque Fest, all celebrating the unique culture of the Crescent City. For a complete list of festivals, visit www.neworleanscvb.com.

· On July 25, 2011, New Orleans ranked number three on TripAdvisor’s® inaugural TripIndex, a cost comparison of 15 hotspots in the United States, making the city one of the top domestic deal destinations in the country. New Orleans also ranked number six among cities in the United States and Canada according to the results of the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards readers’ survey. New Orleans moves up from its number seven ranking on last year’s list.

· In June 2011, AAA South Magazine readers named New Orleans: Best large city for a weekend, Best Guys Getaway, Best Girls’ Getaway, Best Small Hotel—Columns Hotel, Best Museum of Art—New Orleans Museum of Art, Best Restored Hotel—Roosevelt Hotel, Best Fine Dining—Commander’s Palace, Best Arts and Crafts Fest—Jazz and Heritage Festival.

· Prospect.2 New Orleans, the second edition of the international contemporary art biennial held in New Orleans, has announced the list of artists for the October 22, 2011-January 29, 2012 event. Currently, Prospect.2 will feature 26 local, national and international artists from nine countries.

· Hotel New Orleans, the 170-room hotel across from the 1.1 million-square-foot New Orleans Morial Convention Center, will become the Hyatt Place New Orleans Convention Center and will remain open during the renovation and rebranding. The property features a restaurant, a fitness center, 1,250 square feet of meeting space and will be completed in 2012.

· The Voyager of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International will call New Orleans its homeport beginning November 12, 2011, and will offer seven-night cruises to the Western Caribbean, accommodating 3,835 guests.

· FestiGals, part festival part meeting, provides a fun and enriching weekend for women to relax, enjoy special events, and explore New Orleans' rich and diverse cultural heritage October 7-9, 2011. Headquartered at the Hotel Monteleone, the weekend also features the S.H.E Conference - a series of captivating seminars dedicated to Self, Heart, and Empowerment! The conference will also include a Keynote Luncheon, featuring CNN Anchor and Special Correspondent, Soledad O'Brien, who will discuss her critically-acclaimed memoir “The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities!”

· On July 29, it was announced that the Louisiana State Museums and The Historic New Orleans Collection received reaccreditation by the American Association of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded to the nation’s museums.

· The Saint Louis Hotel opened a new wine bar called Patrick’s Bar Vin on July 14, 2011, coinciding with Bastille Day.

· Executive Chef Mathew Fultz of 7 on Fulton Restaurant was recently selected as one of the top 25 chefs in Louisiana by the American Culinary Federation. Louisiana Cookin’ magazine also announced their selection for the 10th annual chefs to watch awards. The list of five Louisiana chefs include New Orleans-based chefs Drew Dzejak, Executive Chef of the Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel and Phillip Lopez, Executive Chef at Rambla.

· In May 2011, the Astor Crowne Plaza received five out of the eight top company awards, presented during Hospitality Management Corporations’ Annual General Managers’ Conference. Awards presented to the Astor Crowne include: Highest Growth in RevPar Percentage, Highest Actual RevPar Achievement, Greatest IBFC Growth, Highest Percentage of Growth in Overall Hotel Revenue and Full-Service Hotel of the Year.

· The Algiers Economic Development Foundation announced its schedule for the fourth annual Wednesdays on the Point Summer Riverfront Concert Series. The eight-week series will take place every Wednesday beginning June 22 through August 10 from 6-9 p.m. at the foot of the ferry terminal in the historic Algiers Point.

· The New Orleans African American Museum is featuring “A Gumbo of Colors: New Works by New Orleans Quilt Artists” through August 27, 2011. The exhibition features beautiful pieces by Cecelia “Cely” Taplette- Pedescleaux, Sara Hollis, Jacqueline Hughes Mooney, Susan Charles, and the members of the Beecher Memorial United Church of Christ Quilt Guild, a collective of women quilt artists founded 17 years ago by Pedescleaux.

2011 Festivals
· Zulu Lundi Gras Festival/March 7
· 25th Annual Lundi Gras at Spanish Plaza with Rex/March 7
· Mardi Gras Day/March 8
· Soul Fest/March 12-13
· Spring Fiesta/March 25-April 3
· Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival/March 23-27
· Louisiana Oyster Jubilee/March 26
· New Orleans Classic Auto Festival/March 13-14
· New Orleans Roadfood Festival/March 25-27
· French Quarter Festival/April 7-10
· New Orleans Earth Day Festival & Green Business Expo/April 17
· New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Presented by Shell/April 29-May 8
· Mid City Bayou Boogaloo/May 20-22
· New Orleans Wine and Food Experience/May 24-28
· Greek Festival/May 27-29
· New Orleans Oyster Festival/June 4-5
· New Orleans Vieux-to-Do/June 10-12
· ESSENCE Music Festival/July 1-3
· San Fermin in Nueva Orleans/July 8-10
· Tales of the Cocktail/July 20-24
· COOLinary New Orleans/Aug. 1-31
· Satchmo SummerFest/Aug. 4-7
· Whitney White Linen Night/Aug. 6
· Dirty Linen Night/Aug. 13
· New Orleans Red Dress Run/Aug. 13
· Southern Decadence Festival/Aug. 31-Sept. 5
· New Orleans Seafood Festival/Sept. 9-11
· New Orleans Burlesque Festival/Sept. 15-17
· FestiGals/ Oct. 7-9
· Gretna Heritage Festival/Oct. 7-9
· Prospect.2 New Orleans/Oct. 22, 2011-Jan. 29, 2012
· Art for Arts’ Sake/Oct. TBD
· New Orleans Film Festival/Oct. 14-20
· NOLA Fashion Week/Oct. 15-21
· Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival/Oct. 14-16
· Krewe of Halloween/Oct. 29
· Voodoo Music Experience/Oct. 28-30
· Louisiana Swamp Festival/Nov. 5-6
· The New Orleans Fringe Festival/Nov. 16-20
· Words and Music Literary Festival/Nov. TBD
· New Orleans Po-boy Preservation Festival/Nov. TBD
· Christmas New Orleans Style/December

· June 4-12, 2011, the city played host to the New Orleans Oyster Festival, the Louisiana Seafood Festival, Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival and the Creole Tomato Festival. Thousands of visitors meandered through the Historic French Market for Creole Tomato Fest, which celebrated its 25th year while approximately 16,000 festival-goers stopped by the Old U.S. Mint for the Cajun Zydeco Fest and Louisiana Seafood Fest.

2010 Festival Attendance

2011 Festival Attendance

Mardi Gras

1 million +

Mardi Gras

1 million

French Quarter Festival


French Quarter Fest


Jazz and Heritage Festival


Jazz and Heritage Festival


New Orleans Wine & Food Experience




ESSENCE Music Fest


ESSENCE Music Fest


Tales of the Cocktail


Satchmo SummerFest


Southern Decadence Festival


Voodoo Music Experience


Poboy Preservation Festival



· In July, the Roosevelt New Orleans celebrated the second anniversary of its reopening after a $170 million historic restoration in 2009. Since its reopening, nearly 350,000 guests have stayed at the property.

· W Hotels of New Orleans-French Quarter will unveil a multi-million dollar renovation in Fall of 2011. The property began its renovations in December 2010 and includes a full renovation of the restaurant space, a facelift to the exterior of the building and a revamp of guest rooms. The W New Orleans, located downtown, has also unveiled a newly renovated meeting space totaling 13,000 square ft and featuring 13 meeting and banquet rooms, and views of downtown New Orleans.

· The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans is undergoing a $9 million guest room renovation; it’s first since opening in 2000. On October 6, 2000, it became the city’s first luxury hotel to open on Canal Street, housing 527 guest rooms, 35,000 square feet of meeting space, a 25,000 square foot day spa and fitness center.

Recent Awards and Accolades
· In May 2011, Rent.com ranked New Orleans as a Top Ten City for Single Men, stating its unique culture and affordability make it a top choice among this group. Also, Shutterfly.com named New Orleans one of the “Ten Most Joyous Cities in the United States.”

· Travel + Leisure, a top international travel publication, continues to recognize New Orleans as a must-visit destination. In April, Travel + Leisure Magazine named City Park New Orleans one of 12 of “America’s Coolest City Parks.” This announcement also coincides with City Park’s latest addition to the 1,300 acre park, The City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center, which features 16 hard and 10 clay courts. Travel + Leisure also named New Orleans’ Garden District as one of “America’s Most Beautiful Landmarks.” The Windsor Court Hotel was named to Travel + Leisure’s “America’s Best Affordable Hotel List” in March 2011.

· The third Annual Jazz Half Marathon & Merrill Lynch 5K will take place on October 29 and will help support the Cancer Program of Children’s Hospital of New Orleans.

New Orleans will host the following major sporting events from 2011-2013:

· Junior Olympic games – July 27-Aug. 6, 2011
· State Farm Bayou Classic – Nov. 26, 2011
· R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Dec. 2011
· Allstate Sugar Bowl – Jan. 2012
· BCS Championship Game – Jan. 2012
· SEC Basketball Championship – March 8-11, 2012
· NCAA Men’s Final Four Basketball Championship – March 31-April 2, 2012
· Super Bowl XLVII – Feb. 2013
· NCAA Women’s Final Four – April 7-10, 2013

· Carnival Cruise Lines continues to commit to New Orleans. It was recently announced that the Carnival Ecstasy, which begins sailing four- and five-night cruises from New Orleans September 22-October 31, 2011, will be replaced by a newer ship, the Carnival Elation in November 2011. The new ship is also set to sail year-round for four- and five-night cruises from New Orleans. The city is also a homeport to the Carnival Triumph, which will be replaced by the Conquest in November 2011.

Museums, Films and Cultural Attractions
· The National World War II Museum achieved another milestone in its ongoing $300 million expansion project when the museum unveiled the $3 million John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion on June 4, 2011. Visitors will be able to see first-hand the techniques conservators use to repair and restore boats, vehicles, weapons and artifacts. The Museum also opened Soda Shop by Chef John Besh on National Ice Cream Day (July 17).

· New Orleans continues to set the stage as a home to fine theater. Broadway Across America has committed to New Orleans for another season. Beginning September 15, 2011, hits such as The Addams Family, Rock of Ages, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific, Blue Man Group and Disney’s The Lion King will bring Broadway to the Mahalia Jackson Theatre.

· The historic Orpheum Theater began renovations in April and is set to reopen in 2012. The theater, which was home to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, has been closed since 2005.

· The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) is celebrating 100 years in 2011. NOMA, located in City Park, houses more than 30,000 art objects encompassing 4,000 years of world art. NOMA also unveiled a new large scale, site-specific installation by the internationally renowned artist Swoon. Entitled Thalassa, the work is named for and inspired by the Greek goddess of the sea and is on display until September 25.

· The lights of the legendary Saenger Theatre marquee shine bright again. The 2,700-seat Canal Street theatre, which originally opened in 1927, will undergo a $38.8 million restoration and is scheduled for completion in late 2011.

According to the Office of Film and Video, New Orleans boasts the most diverse portfolio of film and television work in the state of Louisiana, catering to the largest of studio features, the smallest of independent projects and also to a wide range of television and commercial productions.

Major movies and productions filming in 2011 include:
· Headshot
· Ricochet
· Paperboy
· Parker

For a complete listing and more information, visit www.filmneworleans.org.

Meetings and Conventions
Meetings (3,000 or more in attendance) in 2011 include:
· American Mathematical Society and Mathematics Association of America/Jan. 6-9
· American Academy of Dermatology/Feb. 4-8
· American Physical Therapy Association/Feb. 9-12
· ESPN BassMasters Classic/Feb. 18-20
· Cisco Partner Summit/Feb. 28-March 3
· Louisiana National Guard/March 11-13
· Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages/March 16-19
· Sungard Higher Education/March 20-23
· American Counseling Association/March 23-27
· American College of Cardiology/April 2-5
· American Educational Research Association/April 8-12
· National Intramural Recreational Sports Association/April 13-16
· New Orleans Dental Conference/April 14-16
· National Catholic Education Association/April 26-28
· United Fresh Produce Association/May 2-5
· American Institute of Architects/May 12-14
· Rotary International/May 21-25
· American Society of Microbiology/May 21-24
· National Conference on Volunteering & Service/June 6-8
· Institute of Food Technologists/June 11-14
· National Athletic Trainers Association/June 19-22
· American Library Association/June 23-28
· American Society of Animal Science Societies/July 10-14
· Amateur Athletic Union/July 27-Aug. 6
· Disabled American Veterans/Aug. 6-9
· Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association/Aug. 29-Sept. 1
· National Association for College Admission Counseling/Sept. 22-24
· American Public Transportation Association/Oct. 3-5
· Specialty Graphic Imaging Association/Oct. 19-21
· International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans/Oct. 30-Nov. 2
· National Association for Gifted Children/Nov. 3-6
· National Communication Association/Nov. 17-20
· Diversified Business Communications/International Workboat Show/Nov. 30-Dec. 2
· American Society of Health-System Pharmacists/Dec. 4-8

· Former New Orleans Saints Quarterback and New Orleanian Archie Manning have partnered with Harrah’s New Orleans to open Manning’s, a restaurant and bar located in Fulton Square set to open in fall 2011.

· World-renowned chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto have announced their partnership and the formation of Home on the Range: Folse Tramonto Restaurant Development, LLC, in which their first joint venture will be Restaurant R’evolution. The restaurant is scheduled to open in the Royal Sonesta Hotel in 2011 and will offer contemporary Creole cuisine.

· In total, a $300 million modernization project is underway at the New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport. Last March, the airport began a $16.9 million terminal improvement project that will double the size of Concourse D, creating six new gates and 8,000 square feet of space for concessions. This project, which is expected to be completed in September 2011, will create 1,000 construction jobs for the regional economy and provide an enhanced airport experience for all passengers with minimal passenger disruption.

· In July of 2010, the construction began on a new Consolidated Rental Car Facility (CONRAC). The nearly $75 million project will greatly increase rental car capacity to accommodate current needs and anticipated growth over the next 15 years and will increase capacity from 800 cars to approximately 1,800. The CONRAC will also eliminate the need for off-site shuttles to rental car facilities currently scattered throughout the area and is scheduled for completion in 2013.

Additional flights in 2011 include:

  • Southwest Airlines (Third direct flight from New Orleans to Baltimore-Washington International) began June 2011
  • Delta Air Lines (Daily non-stop service to Kansas City) began June 6, 2011
  • Southwest Airlines (Third direct flight from New Orleans to Nashville) beginning October 3, 2011


  • 2010: 8.3 million visitors / $5.3 billion (highest visitor spending in city’s history)
  • 2009: 7.5 million visitors / $4.2 billion visitor spending
  • 2008: 7.6 million / $5.1 billion
  • 2007: 7.1 million / $4.8 billion
  • 2006: 3.7 million/ $2.8 billion
  • 2005: July-December stats not available
  • 2005: January-June: 5.3 million / $2.6 billion
  • 2004: 10.1 million / $4.9 billion
  • 2003: 8.5 million / $4.5 billion
  • Taxes: $250-300 million in tax revenues … more than any other business sector
  • Economic impact of tourism: $5 billion
  • Employment: Nearly 70,000
  • Hotels: 263 and 35,800 hotel rooms
  • Restaurants: 1,205 (www.nomenu.com)
  • Airport: As of August 2011; 14,713 daily seats and 119 daily operations serving 37 destinations

About the New Orleans CVB
The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is a nationally accredited, 1,000-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. We create $5 billion in new capital each year-more than any other business sector-by attracting millions of visitors, special events and conventions. The CVB and its members persuade thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and four countries. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. For more information, please visit www.neworleanscvb.com.

Media Contact
Jenn Lotz
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