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GVLaker06

American Marketing Association Collegiete Conference

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Hey guys, Ive never been to louisiana, but I am vice president of my AMA chapter at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI.

The conference is held every year in NO, except last year for obvious reasons. This year they decided to pass up on the corporate sponsored case study and the case study is being done on the revitalization of New Orleans.

Several of my group members have come up with ideas for our target market and theme. Some say that new orleans needs to appeal to younger, mardi gras goers, some say older and more financially established gamblers and tourists.

Many of the ideas dont solve the problems in any way. The best (or worst) idea was to turn New Orleans into the Bowling capital of the world, because the student said there is an abundance of flat and now relativily inexpensive land in low lying areas.

My idea was to let the low lying areas become wetlands, which they are naturally and create lakes, marinas and replace the old inexpensive urban houses with modern expensive condos, houses and towers. Of coursw with strict building codes, like florida has. Then rebuild new orleans around this to spark economic development and attract residents of all demographics. A buyout of mass amounts of land would need to take place. It may not be a good idea, but it is better than most.

Anybody think I am on track? Way off track? Does anybody have any helpful ideas?

It is hard for poeple from the rest of the country to come up with a good idea about what should become of someone elses city.

Help me out if you can, any info or ideas would help.

Thanks!

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Well first of all thanks for coming down to the city. We really appreciate it.

However, your idea really wont fly with many residents and preservationist. Your idea would more likely go over easier near the lakefront area. But even that still a stretch. If you are looking for BIG TIME DEVELOPMENT look towards New orleans east area. There is an abundant amount of land and I think byouts would go over much easier than in the other sections of town.

But one idea that i've been trying to formulate in my mind is to boost the city's film industry. There is already a production studio under construction and the state has the tax credits to continue to attract films to the area, but we have an area of land in Downtown New Orleans that is currently the sight of old housing projects. This area really has potential.

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Any plan for New Orleans must start with a comittment to rebuild our vanishing coast and truly commit to adequate levee protection. 500 year protection is the goal, but currently our levee system might be a 50 year system. And that is debatable. Before any real investment can occur here, obviously we need to have protection that will secure investments for more than 50 years.

New Orleans is a city with very little land. We became the 4th most densely populated city in the country as a direct result of our limited space. But, it is our only option. Until I see a real effort to protect the city with robust levee protection, I'd have a hard time supporting a return to nature for any of our leveed areas.

One thing that these case studies must address is the current structure of the Go Zone Act. In its current form, it only encourages businesses to relocate OUTSIDE of New Orleans, as cities that had very few adverse effects from Katrina are now included in the Go Zone... Mobile, AL, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette. Currently, there is no extra incentive to invest behind levee protection. There needs to be an extra incentive to invest in leveed areas. Why invest in New Orleans when you can get the same incentives in Baton Rouge or Lafayette... both cities well inland and of high elevation? This has served to drain New Orleans of many businesses already, and it will continue until this is adressed.

I know your question was a more "bricks and mortar" inquiry, but this stuff needs to be adressed as well.

Thanks for coming to New Orleans and keeping us on the radar screen. I hope you enjoy your stay.

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Thanks for the responses, they real question in the study of how to revitalize New Orleans is how to bring the tourists and essentially the economy back, but I figured rebuilding was an important step.

I will look into the film industry idea. It has great potential. I will look into go zone as well, although I am not familiar with it at this point.

The cases are 25 pages each and submitted by dec. 16th. The top 6 will be presented in New Orleans but many teams go for the workshops and seminars, so I will be there even if my school doesnt advance.

I am looking forward to my visit.

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