What’s New in New Orleans’ Hospitality Industry – January 2011
· Founded in 1886, the historic Hotel Monteleone is celebrating 125 years of hospitality in the French Quarter. Year-long festivities in 2011 include special events, vacation getaway packages and a 125th anniversary gala.
· 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. On November 13, 2010, NOMA presented the exhibition Great Collectors/Great Donors: the Making of NOMA, 1910-2010.
· The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) and the Al Hirschfeld Foundation have teamed up to present “Drawn to Life: Al Hirschfeld and the Theater of Tennessee Williams.” The exhibit commemorates the centennial of Tennessee Williams’ birth and will display dozens of drawings at THNOC January 11-April 2, 2011. In addition to celebrating the 100th birthday of the legendary author, the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival will also celebrate its 25th anniversary March 23-27, 2011.
· New Orleans was named one of the 10 Best Cities to Hold a Business Meeting by Globe and Mail in January 2011.
· On January 2, 2011, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB) opened its doors to a permanent exhibit titled Tout de Suite- All about Sugar. The exhibit aims to remind visitors and locals of the importance of sugar to New Orleans’ rich culinary culture.
· The Louisiana Restaurant Association’s (LRA) Board of Directors has announced Stan Harris as its new President and CEO. In January 2011, the LRA also announced that Melvin Ziegler Jr. of Embers Bourbon House will serve as 2011 Chapter President and Tommy Cvitanovich, owner of Drago’s Seafood Restaurant will serve as the 2011 LRA Chair of the Board of Directors. The LRA represents more than 7,500 restaurant operations and related businesses.
· The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and Allstate Sugar Bowl brought in thousands of fans for the two college bowl games held on December 18, 2010, and January 4, 2010. The Troy Trojans defeated the Ohio University Bobcats, 48-21 in front of 29,159, fans while 72,000 spectators watched the Ohio State Buckeyes defeat the Arkansas Razorbacks 31-26 for the 77th annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic. The Allstate Sugar Bowl brings $140 million in economic impact to the city of New Orleans and this year’s game was sold-out.
· Galatoire’s was named as one of Bon Appetit’s Top Celebration Restaurants by the prestigious food magazine’s restaurant editor. The selective award honors only nine restaurants from across the country.
· The Roosevelt New Orleans has been named one of Food and Wine Magazine’s “Editor’s Best Hotel Experiences of 2010” in its December issue.
· The Domain Companies, a national development firm based in New Orleans and New York, is working to develop the South Market District, combining 450 first-class apartments with 170,000 square feet of upscale retail, restaurants and entertainment venues in the heart of downtown New Orleans.
2010 YEAR IN REVIEW
New Orleans was one of the most popular and fastest growing destinations in the country in 2010. According to Smith Travel, results for the months of January-November 2010 compared to the months of January-November 2009, New Orleans posted a positive RevPar change of 17.6 percent, the largest increase in the country’s top 25 markets. (RevPar, Revenue Per Available Room is a measure of hotel success reflecting occupancy multiplied by average daily rate.)
Ending 2009 with 7.5 million visitors, the New Orleans CVB is hopeful 2010 will end with 7.5 million visitors or more. This is in part due to the fact that several large conventions in 2010 set year-over-year attendance records and participation at meetings and festivals in the spring greatly increased.
2010 Festival Attendance
Mardi Gras 1 million +
French Quarter Festival presented by Capital One 512,000
Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell 375,000
New Orleans Wine and Food Experience 10,000
ESSENCE Music Festival 400,000
Tales of the Cocktail 17,000
Satchmo SummerFest 26,000
Southern Decadence Festival 125,000-135,000
Voodoo Music Experience 125,000-150,000
Poboy Preservation Festival 45,000
Awards and Accolades
· In November 2010, Zagat Survey named New Orleans is the most affordable dining destination in the country. Zagat surveys more than 375,000 diners from around the world in order to help consumers make informed decisions about restaurants, hotels and attractions.
· In November, Travel + Leisure (T+L) announced that New Orleans was voted the number one urban destination in the country for New Year’s Eve, Neighborhood Joints and Cafés, People-Watching, Singles/Bar Scene, Cocktail Hour and the overall category of Nightlife in the 2010 America’s Favorite Cities survey.
· On July 23, Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans CVB, was inducted as the Chairman of the Board for Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), the international governing body of convention and visitor bureaus.
· Following the New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl victory on February 7, 2010, the Saints returned to the Superdome on September 9 for the 2010 regular season and defeated the Minnesota Vikings. According to overnight ratings data released by the Nielsen Company, the Vikings-Saints game on NBC Sports was the highest-rated NFL regular season primetime game in 13 years, the highest-rated NBC regular season primetime game ever and the highest-rated NFL Kickoff ever.
· Located adjacent to the Louisiana Superdome, the 60,000 square-foot Champions Square opened to the public on August 21, 2010, and is a major addition to downtown New Orleans. The special events site and fan entertainment area operates before and after Saints games, features a large music stage, multiple food vendors and can accommodate more than 8,000 fans. Located within Champions Square just steps from the stage, is the new club XLIV, which opened to the public in late September 2010. The club is an indoor, climate controlled lounge space featuring high-end leather furniture groupings, full service bars, a projection wall and televisions.
· In November 2010, the 64-room Hotel Le Marais, located at 717 Conti Street, reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation.
· The 1,966-passenger Norwegian Spirit from Norwegian Cruise Lines began sailing from New Orleans on November 7, 2010, and will depart year-round on seven-night cruises.
Museums, Films and Cultural Attractions
Presenting more than 50 artists in venues throughout the city, Prospect.1.5 New Orleans, a program that highlights the contemporary arts scene in the city, will take place November 6, 2010-February 19, 2011. Prospect.1.5 will also serve as a preview to Prospect.2 New Orleans, the next edition of the international biennial, which will take place October 22, 2011-January 29, 2012.
· On October 26, 2010, the Presbytere opened its doors for Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond, a $7.5 million exhibit that remembers the events of 2005 and showcases the renewal of New Orleans.
· “Broadway Across America-New Orleans” brought a stellar list of performances for the 2010 season at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre of the Performing Arts. Cirque Dreams Illumination (Sept. 28-Oct. 3) headlined the series and was followed by Rain (Nov. 3-7), Monty Pythons Spamalot (Dec. 14-19). Theater fans can look forward to The Color Purple (Feb. 11-13), West Side Story (March 15-20) and Shrek the Musical (May 31-June 5) in 2011.
· The New Orleans Museum of Art was the only North American venue for Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from Walt Disney Studio. This major exhibition featured more than 600 rarely seen original artworks that brought legendary fairy tales to the screen, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. The exhibit coincided with the highly-anticipated animated film The Princess and the Frog, which features Disney’s first African American princess, Tiana, who lives in New Orleans during the Jazz Age.
· 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 that wrapped in 2010 include:
· “The Green Lantern”
· “Memphis Beat Season 1”
· “Treme Season 1”
· “Sunday Best Season 2”
For a complete listing and more information, visit www.filmneworleans.org.
Meetings and Conventions
· In 2010, the nation’s sixth largest convention center, the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, celebrated its 25th Anniversary. The Center has hosted more than 1,977 major events that brought 12.1 million delegates to the New Orleans area. Activities at the Convention Center produced a total economic impact of $48.1 billion from its inception date of 1985 through 2009.
· New Orleans CVB was able to overcome flat booking levels entering into 2010 and fare much better than other major US cities suffering from the economic downturn, high unemployment and the national backlash against meetings. Several large conventions in 2010 set year-over-year attendance records including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
A LOOK AT 2011:
2011 Festival Calendar
· 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
· 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. and Sept.
· 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. TBD
· New Orleans Burlesque Festival/Sept. 15-17
· Gretna Heritage Festival/Oct. TBD
· Art for Arts’ Sake/Oct. TBD
· New Orleans Film Festival/Oct. TBD
· Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival/Oct. 14-16
· Krewe of Halloween/Oct. 29
· Voodoo Music Experience/Oct. 28-30
· Louisiana Swamp Festival/Nov. TBD
· New World Rhythms Festival/Nov. 12-13
· Words and Music Literary Festival/Nov. TBD
· New Orleans Po-boy Preservation Festival/Nov. TBD
· Christmas New Orleans Style/December
· Adding nearly 1,200 high-quality rooms to the city's inventory of 35,500, Hyatt Regency New Orleans is being completely repositioned and is set to open in the fall of 2011. The hotel is undergoing a multi-million dollar redevelopment, doubling its meeting and exhibition space to 200,000 square feet.
· Carnival Cruise Lines has committed an additional ship to New Orleans. The Carnival Ecstasy, a 2,617- passenger ship, begins sailing four- and five-night cruises year-round from New Orleans on September 22, 2011. New Orleans is also the home port of the Carnival Triumph, which will be replaced by the Carnival Conquest, in November 2011. Also, the Voyager of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International will call New Orleans its homeport beginning November 12, 2011. The Voyager of the Seas will offer seven-night cruises to the Western Caribbean and can accommodate 3,835 guests.
Museums, Films and Cultural Attractions
· The National World War II Museum, home to the new Solomon Victory Theater, Stage Door Canteen and American Sector Restaurant, continued its $300 million expansion by breaking ground on the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: Land, Sea and Air on August 27, 2010. The new Pavilion will display large artifacts, including a B-17, and will honor all of the service branches that served in World War II. This new addition is scheduled to open by spring of 2012.
· The HBO hit series Treme, which chronicles the historic neighborhood following Hurricane Katrina and is currently filming its second season, has released a music CD featuring several of New Orleans’ extraordinary musicians. Music is also available for digital download on iTunes.
· 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.
Meetings and Conventions
· Investors from around the globe will once again converge in New Orleans for Entrepreneur Week, March 18-26, 2011. This annual gathering, which is made possible by the New Orleans non-profit organization The Idea Village, brings some of the nation’s most innovative minds together, including top executives from major companies and MBA student’s from around the country, for this one-of-a-kind event.
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 Bass Masters 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/US/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 has 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). This $58.5 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.
Additional flights in 2011 include:
TOURISM INDUSTRY STATISTICS AT A GLANCE
About the New Orleans CVBThe 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.
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