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Tourism, conventions, and major attractions in New Orleans

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As we wrap up the Bayou Classic weekend and approach NCAA Bowl Season, it seems like a perfect time to start a thread about tourism and conventions in New Orleans. Who's in town? What's going on? What's the economic impact?

Things seemed to be going very slowly in 2006, but tourism picked up in early 2007, and major conventions have really come back in full swing in late 2007. In late 2007/early 2008, we have what looks to be an amazing stretch of events:

  • New Orleans Bowl (December 21)

  • Sugar Bowl (January 1)

  • BCS National Championship (January 7)

  • Mardi Gras (February 5)

  • NBA All-Star Game (February 17)

  • New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (April 25-27 & May 1-4)

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As for the Bayou Classic, a little more than 53,000 people attended the game in the Dome, which is down from pre-Katrina years but up from last year. There were probably 55,000+ people in the city over the weekend, especially after the game. As for the economic impact, the Bayou Classic pumped an estimated $200 million into the local economy. Excellent news for the city! :thumbsup:

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And finally, there are two conventions in New Orleans this week, including the (major) return of the International Workboat Show.

Acoustical Society of America

November 27-30

1,300 visitors

Diversified Business Communications International Workboat Show

November 28-30

11,000 visitors

That should make for a great week for local business owners all over the city, but especially in the Quarter and the CBD. :thumbsup:

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Dont forget the French Quarter Festival! Its becoming a massive deal now!

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You're definately right, tennis! The FQF has really become a major yearly event in the city. I can remember when the FQF was basically just attended by residents of the Quarter, and to see it as it is today, with attendees from all over the nation, is really astonishing.

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Also the Louisiana High School Athletics Association's annual state football championships are coming up... next weekend I believe. Superdome, babay.

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Yep Brian, it should be another great HS Championship weekend! 5 games total!!!

This is a very impressive list of sporting events coming up for the Crescent City!

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Yes indeed, Brian and Richy! The football championship weekend in New Orleans is always a good time.

BTW, I found this on NOLA.com and thought it was pretty cool:

Three New Orleans hotels recognized

Three New Orleans hotels have been named among the 100 best hotels in the Mainland U.S. by the Reader's Choice Survey of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine. The Windsor Court, the Ritz-Carlton and Harrah's Hotel all made the list. The 20th annual survey is based on responses from more than 28,000 travelers.

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Yes indeed, Brian and Richy! The football championship weekend in New Orleans is always a good time.

BTW, I found this on NOLA.com and thought it was pretty cool:

Three New Orleans hotels recognized

We always hear about hotels like the Ritz, the Windsor Court, Intercontinental, etc. but it was a very nice (and quite suprising) to see the new Harrah's Hotel so high on the list! :thumbsup:

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Want to add that the American Meteorological Society will have it's annual convention here from Janaury 11-15th. It will bring about 2500 people to town. I have several friends coming down, and plan on showing them the best of New Orleans.

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The Arcadia is a beautiful ship. I hope we get some positive news from the cruise industry soon. I'm disappointed that we do not have a second Carnival ship at this time.

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Speaking of the Arcadia, it looks like British Cruise Line P&O Cruises will have 5 more cruises stopping in New Orleans in 2008. Link

Nothing wrong with another ~15,000 international tourists visiting the city next year! :thumbsup:

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According to a report on FOX 8 News a couple of nights ago, the economic impact of having the Sugar Bowl and the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans will be equivalent to the city hosting a Super Bowl. That is incredible news! :thumbsup:

If the current BCS system stays as it is for the extended future, it will essentially guarantee New Orleans a Super Bowl-like economic event every 4 years.

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Next week, Power-Gen International, a power generation conference, will be in town playing host to "more than 17,000 attendees from 76 countries". According to the Convention & Visitors Bureau calendar, this will be the largest conference of the season.

Speaking of which, I am disappointed with the convention center's failure to update their calendar which, right now, does not list events beyond the end of next week. Am I wrong in assuming that there might be at least 1 convention within the next three months ?

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Great news in the T-P this morning!

Big Easy gets nod to host ArenaBowl

Article

We can add this to the already long list of major sports events being played in New Orleans in 2008. AFL Commisioner David Baker said on WWL this morning that the AFL brought the ArenaBowl to New Orleans last year as a good gesture, but after the amazing success they had here, they're now bringing it back as a smart business decision.

Compared to Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, the Sugar Bowl/BCSNC, etc. the ArenaBowl isn't a huge event, but it's the fact that New Orleans will get international TV exposure for another event next year which really makes this a great announcement.

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Go figure...the AMS conference is actually the 16th through the 20th...don't know how I got that wrong. OU is having a big alumni reception in the Vieux Ballroom at the new Harrah's Hotel. This will be my first visit to the new hotel, and I'm curious to see what it is like.

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All these events, yet somehow we cant hold a small presidential debate! Strange Indeeed! Good to see real events coming to this city!

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Well, if you have a daughter of pretty much any age, you already know this, but the Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana concert tour will be coming to the New Orleans Arena on January 26. This is the concert tour that has been selling out at arena box offices in less than 5 minutes, and has outsold Bruce Springsteen, The Police, and Led Zeppelin. New Orleans is the only stop on the Gulf Coast, so expect lots of people from Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida to make their way into the city for the concert.

And BTW, if you're looking for some floor seats, there are 2 available on StubHub for $2,800 each. :lol::huh:

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The earliest numbers are out, and the 2007-2008 college football bowl season in New Orleans generated about $400 million for the city! Unbelievable! :w00t:

And apparently New Orleans is very much in the running for another NCAA Men's Final Four in the next few years, as the Final Four officials were in New Orleans to take in the BCS Championship and were very impressed with what they saw. That's what the bowl season generated that may have been the best thing for the city; hundreds of thousands of people going back home all over the nation and telling their friends about what a wonderful time they had in New Orleans, and major event officials from things like the Final Four and NBA All-Star game spending time in the city to see just how well things are going post-Katrina, and going home very impressed. You really can't put a dollar figure on that! :thumbsup:

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Every sporting & major event should be held in New Orleans, period. No one can touch N.O. when it comes to the economic impact from major events.

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I agree. Now if we can land another SuperBowl.

Isn't the Arena Bowl being played here again this year?

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Isn't the Arena Bowl being played here again this year?

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The headliners for the 2008 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival were announced today, what do you guys think?

The biggest national names:

  • Stevie Wonder

  • Billy Joel

  • Sheryl Crow

  • Keyshia Cole

  • Robert Plant with Alison Krauss

  • Tim McGraw

  • Jimmy Buffett

  • Santana

  • Maze featuring Frankie Beverly

  • Widespread Panic

  • Randy Newman

  • Diana Krall

  • Al Green

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I think that Widespread Panic is awesome. My wife wants to see Sherly Crow and Billy Joel. Overall...a great lineup with several big names

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