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Art is the Driving…

Dec 4 - 30, 2016
Art has a power that reaches beyond personal visual expression. This exhibition… more

Celebration in the…

Dec 04, 2016 - Jan 01, 2017
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

Christian Marclay's…

Dec 4 - 4, 2016
THE CLOCK by Christian Marclay comes to New Orleans! Never before exhibited in… more

Christmas New Orleans…

Dec 4 - 31, 2016
There's no place like New Orleans for the holidays during Christmas New Orleans… more

Christmas New Orleans…

Dec 4 - 4, 2016
  French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI) proudly presents the free… more

Create a Cig Presents…

Dec 4 - 4, 2016
Create A Cig in Kenner will be hosting a nonprofit event Pictures with Santa… more

Historic New Orleans…

Dec 04, 2016 - Apr 09, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection is gearing up for an exciting new… more

Holiday Home and…

Dec 4 - 31, 2016
Just in time for the holiday season, The Historic New Orleans Collection will… more

Jefferson Performance…

Dec 4 - 11, 2016
The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged) is a fast paced, hysterical, whimsical… more

Magazine St. Holiday…

Dec 4 - 18, 2016
Dat Dog’s Magazine Street location will also transform during the first… more

Mama's Music

Dec 04, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In Big Mama's Lounge. 21+ with valid photo I.D. 7-string guitarist Justin… more

Marche Créole

Dec 04, 2016
Marche Créole is an exciting new market selling fresh farm to table… more

Miracle on Fulton…

Dec 4 - 24, 2016
NOV 22 – DEC 24 Hourly Snowfall 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Gingerbread… more

Modgun by Robert…

Dec 4 - 18, 2016
The public is invited to tour the newly installed ModGun by Robert Tannen, the… more

New Orleans Saints vs…

Dec 4 - 4, 2016
The New Orleans Saints & the Detroit Lions kick-off at 12:00 pm. more

Newcomb Art Museum -…

Dec 4 - 30, 2016
Featuring work by nine women artists from the island continent, this exhibition… more

The New Movement…

Dec 4 - 18, 2016
The future begins at Beta, as the latest talents emerging from TNM's… more

The New Movement…

Dec 4 - 18, 2016
Sunday night is home to School Night at TNM - a show that features the… more

The NORDC/NOBA Center…

Dec 4 - 4, 2016
 It's that time of year again! This holiday season, bring the whole family… more

World Famous Gospel…

Dec 4 - 25, 2016
Join us for our new Gospel Brunch experience which includes local talent… more

Art is the Driving…

Dec 4 - 30, 2016
Art has a power that reaches beyond personal visual expression. This exhibition… more

New Mardi Gras Study Shows New Orleans Realizes Continued Strong Economic Impact and Increasing Returns Over Direct Services Costs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:

King Logan
504-296-5111

New Mardi Gras Study Shows New Orleans Realizes Continued Strong Economic Impact and Increasing Returns Over Direct Services Costs

(New Orleans) - A new study on the economic value of the 2011 Mardi Gras season showed a total contribution to the New Orleans economy of $300.7 million, while providing the City of New Orleans with nearly $8.50 in tax revenues for every $1 the city spent in direct services support like police, fire and sanitation.

In addition, Mardi Gras 2011 represented slightly more than 1.5% of the city's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) when combining direct expenditures and a "brand value" estimate to the calculations, commented Tulane economics professor Toni Weiss, who performed the new study on behalf of the Carnival Krewe Civic Foundation.

Weiss stated, "What is most interesting about these numbers are how they compare to the City's expenditures in 2009; a 29% decrease in City outlays from two years ago. This is obviously a benefit for the citizens as it illustrates a greater degree of fiscal responsibility. Additionally, it means that every tax dollar generated as a result of Mardi Gras generates a greater return on the City's investment."

A spokesman for the Carnival Krewes Civic Foundation, John Charbonnet said, "Mardi Gras as the iconic celebration for New Orleans has proven to be consistently resilient for our economy, and our city leadership is to be commended for their efficient and thorough approach to spending city tax dollars in support of the related activities. Mardi Gras continues to be a substantial revenue producer for the city and a significant part of the lifeblood of the community's economy."

Weiss stated that her report was compiled using economic data on Mardi Gras spending in the City of New Orleans exclusively, and is limited to actual expenditures obtained from out of town hotel visitors, local citizens, carnival krewe officials, krewe members and city government. Using this information, she placed the total direct economic impact and brand value of Mardi Gras on the New Orleans economy at approximately $300.7 million.

An earlier study conducted on the 2009 Mardi Gras celebration concluded that the event had a slightly higher impact. The interesting question this year was whether the current economic situation nationally and to a smaller degree locally would affect the ability of Mardi Gras to generate the amount of expenditures and the fiscal impact on both the City and the local economy as it had previously.

Weiss added, "the answer to this is both a yes and a no. Local expenditures on parading, parties, food, alcohol, and related items were stronger in 2011 than in 2009 and this created, obviously, a very positive movement in the economic impact of Mardi Gras. Unfortunately, this positive impact was not enough to offset the influence that the national economy has on tourist expenditures. Hotel room revenue, while achieving enviable occupancy rates, was down 5% from 2009 due to a decrease in average room rates of 7%. While this reduction in lodging expenditures was too great to overcome increases in local spending, the good news is that the overall decline in direct economic impact was minimal. Additionally, once tourist dollars rebound there is every reason to believe that future Mardi Gras seasons will be stronger than ever."

While the decrease in average hotel room rates created a downward pressure on the economic impact of Mardi Gras 2011, Weiss cited three positive factors that helped keep the numbers strong. First, Shrove Tuesday 2011 was March 8th; the latest it has been in over 60 years. The later Mardi Gras is the better for the economy. The king cake season is longer; people have recovered from the Christmas season; Valentine's day, traditionally a very strong day for jewelers and florists in other parts of the country but often overlooked here, is less marginalized; and the excitement and therefore the willingness to spend money has time to build. Second, though related to the first, is that the 12 day season corresponded with students' spring breaks around the country, allowing people to not only come to town but to stay for a longer period of time. Because of this factor, occupancy rates were very high especially in the middle of the week between the two main weekends and on the evening of Fat Tuesday. Third, krewes and individual members of krewes increased their aggregate expenditures on throws, events, parties, gifts and balls.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

(All data - 2011 Mardi Gras)

Total direct economic impact of Mardi Gras on the New Orleans economy

$144,091,533

Total direct and indirect impact of Mardi Gras on the New Orleans economy

$300,656,546

Percentage of New Orleans GDP

1.5%

Net fiscal benefit accrued to the City of New Orleans as a result of staging Mardi Gras including franchise value

$13,108,538

Return on City's investment in Mardi Gras

$8.45/$1.00

 

Note: City information obtained from the Office of Chief Administrative Officer; Smith Travel Services (STR) is source of hotel occupancy data for 2011 Mardi Gras