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2016 Annual Conference - About New Orleans


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HOW CAN I EXPERIENCE NEW ORLEANS' CULTURAL CELEBRATIONS AND FESTIVALS THIS SEASON?

When visiting New Orleans, you can find something magical and unforgettable every day. Whether it's an opportunity to sample our exceptional cuisine, to learn about our rich cultural heritage or a music festival you seek, New Orleans has something for everyone.

New Orleans is known for it's festival calendar, filled with celebrations of food, music and the city's unique culture. Beginning with Mardi Gras and ending with Christmas New Orleans Style, our calendar year has a festival for everyone. And in a city that loves to party, many of our festivals and cultural celebrations are seeing record-breaking attendance levels. In 2014, French Quarter Festival saw more than 732,000 attendees in a four day period and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival hosted more than 430,000 people, its highest attendance levels since 2003. From Cajun and Zydeco to oysters to poboys to Carnival time, we invite you to experience our one-of-a-kind festival season.

Click here to check out the festival calendar for more examples of fun just waiting to be had in New Orleans all year round.

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I HAVE NOT VISITED NEW ORLEANS IN A FEW YEARS. WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

During your trip to New Orleans you'll have the opportunity to indulge in world-famous cuisine, savor specialty cocktails and dance the night away to some of the best live music in the world. Our laid back, friendly culture inspires guests to relax, kick up their heels and live it up.

The city is experiencing millions of dollars in hotel renovations and upgrades, there are more than 1,400 restaurants to choose from with new eateries popping up all the time and a variety of attractions to enjoy as well. The city balances a love for tradition with the energy of innovation, resulting in an eclectic vibe found no where else.

So prepare to let the stress of your 9-to-5 melt away. There are meals to be eaten, toasts to be made and new friends just around the corner.

 

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HOW MANY VISITORS HAVE BEEN TO NEW ORLEANS RECENTLY?

New Orleans hosted 9.52 million visitors in 2014.  These visitors spent a total of $6.81 billion - the most visitor spending ever in the city's history!

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WHAT ARE MY RESTAURANT CHOICES?

According to Tom Fitzmorris and www.nomenu.com, there are more than 1,400 restaurants open in New Orleans today, a new city record! In New Orleans, at breakfast we discuss lunch and at lunch we discuss what's for dinner. We are a city that loves to eat and appreciates food. From fine-dining to $7 po-boys, our food is both unique and affordable. Check out a few of our restaurants, where you will often times find world-renowned chefs cooking in the kitchen. Our city is home to internationally recognized culinary heroes, who are encouraged by locals and visitors alike to experiment in the kitchen and serve up some of the world's most unique and creative dishes that are always seasoned to perfection.  Visit www.neworleanscvb.com for more information.

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WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR SHOPPING?

New Orleans shopping--from the French Quarter to Magazine Street--offers an array of retail choices. Options include The Shops at Canal Place, Saks Fifth Avenue, Jax Brewery, as well as hundreds of boutiques, art galleries and antique stores throughout the city. New to the shopping scene is The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, the frist outlet shopping center in a downtown area, with stores such as Neiman Marcus Last Call, Kenneth Cole, Coach and more. Tax-free shopping offers international visitors even more reasons to experience New Orleans. For more information on Louisiana tax-free shopping, please visit http://www.louisianataxfree.com/

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WHAT TYPE OF EVENTS DOES NEW ORLEANS OFFER SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS?

New Orleans' line-up of sporting events and sports venues are sure to live up to every fan's expectations. The city is home to several sports teams showcasing premier events in football, basketball, baseball and soccer including the Saints, Hornets, Zephyrs and the Jesters. The state of Louisiana, known as the "Sportsman's Paradise," is also renowned for its fishing and hunting hot spots.

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome completed an $85 million renovation; part of an overall $336 million renovation that began in 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. On October 4, 2011, Governor Bobby Jindal joined Saints Owner Tom Benson and key representatives of Mercedes-Benz USA to announce a 10-year agreement reached between the NFL Saints and Mercedes-Benz USA to name the Louisiana Superdome the "Mercedes-Benz Superdome." http://www.superdome.com/  

FESTIVAL PLAZA- CHAMPIONS SQUARE
In one of the most innovative downtown developments in recent years, the pedestrian mall adjacent to Superdome has been redeveloped into a 53,000 sq. foot sports and entertainment plaza with digital capabilities, food & beverage service and performance space. It is a popular gathering place for fans to congregate and get pumped up for the many events at the Dome and Smoothie King Center. This revitalization of a high profile area on the Poydras Street corridor creates one of the most "happening" places in a city that loves to have a good time. Club XLIV located just off the Square is an exclusive, posh venue to prepare for the game and is available for rental for private events.

NEW PRIVATE BOX SUITES
A total of 15 private box suites will be added to the Superdome's 300 level, bringing the total number of luxury suites in the building to 152.

NEW SIDELINE SEATING
The sideline seating on the Plaza Level will be completely revamped, moving patrons closer to the action, with improved sightlines. The new seating units will add approximately 3,100 prime seats up close to the team benches.

REDESIGNED PLAZA LEVEL CONCOURSE
The Dome's Plaza Level concourse has been expanded and includes additional food service areas, specialty stands and restrooms. The new concourse also has all-new flooring, lighting, murals, color scheme and signage.

NEW PREMIUM GROUND LEVEL CLUB LOUNGES
Located below the reconfigured Plaza Level stands, the new premium clubs feature private entry directly from the parking garage, an upscale environment for private events, and high-end amenities including a fixed bar, lounge & table seating, television monitors and restrooms.

NEW LOOK OUTSIDE
These exciting new changes aren't limited to the interior of the Superdome. Louisiana's most famous landmark was recently outfitted with a shiny new look on the outside. The entire 400,000 sq. ft. of anodized aluminum on the exterior walls were replaced giving the photogenic building a bold, brassy look from every angle. A new dynamic LED lighting system replaced the former "wash lights" and illuminates the exterior of the Superdome. This energy efficient system will allow for unlimited color and lighting patterns that can be customized specifically for every event.

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WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR ATTRACTIONS AND MUSEUMS?

New Orleans is home to attractions and museums that speak to the city's unique culture as well as general attractions sure to please any visitor. Examples include: plantation homes, riverboat cruises, tours, Café Du Monde, African American Museum, Louisiana State Museums, The New Orleans Historic Collection, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Audubon Zoo, Harrah's Casino and its entertainment-filled Fulton Street Promenade, New Orleans Museum of Art, Bestoff Sculpture Garden, City Park, the Botanical Gardens, Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots, Contemporary Arts Center, Louisiana Children's Museum, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Orleans Ballet, Audubon Insectarium, The Southern Food and Beverage Museum, Museum of the American Cocktail, The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Blane Kern's Mardi Gras World and the National WWII Museum.

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WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO GET TO NEW ORLEANS?

There are plenty of flights into New Orleans! Airlines operating out of the Armstrong International Airport include: Air Canada, AirTran, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, PeoplExpress, Southwest, Spirit, United, U.S. Airways and VacationExpress.

For the fourth consecutive year, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has experienced an amazing increase in passenger volume and is the fastest growing airport in the U.S.According to the 2013 statistical summary, the airport moved 9,207,636 passengers in 2013, an 18 percent increase over the 7,787,373 passengersin 2009. The 7.1 percent increase in 2013 is credited in large part to the growth of the New Orleans region as a top flight destination for leisure, conventions and business. Today, the millions of passengers traveling from New Orleans can select one of thirteen airlines presently operating at the airport for their air travel needs.

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WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR TAXIS, BUSES, AIRPORT SHUTTLES AND STREETCARS?

There are over 1,200 taxis available on New Orleans' streets and at major hotels. Taxi rates are $3.50 plus $.30 per one-eighth mile thereafter. There is also an additional charge of $1.00 per passenger after the first passenger.

During peak visitor times (including Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest) taxi rates are $7 per person or the meter rate, whichever is greater. A fixed rate of $36 (one to two people) is charged from the airport to most areas of New Orleans. For parties of more than two, the fare is $15 per person.

RTA services are $1.25, including bus transportation and the streetcar. Thirty-three bus and streetcar lines are running daily. Bus service allows transportation throughout the city's major corridor, extending from the Faubourg Marigny to Riverbend.

Airport Shuttle, Inc. is the official ground transportation for Armstrong International Airport, with service to and from New Orleans' hotels and other designated locations. Fare is $20 per person one way and a discounted $38 per person round trip is now available.

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DOES AMTRAK SERVICE NEW ORLEANS?

Yes, the City of New Orleans train is running to Memphis and Chicago, while the Crescent runs to Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York. The Sunset Limited runs to Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Tucson and Los Angeles.

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WHAT ARE THE NEW ORLEANS CVB AND THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS DOING TO BE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?

Call it green, call it sustainability, but being environmentally savvy is not a trend. It's an important business practice that's here to stay. That's why New Orleans is one of many destinations working to become more environmentally friendly.

New Orleans is happy to announce we now offer pedicabs as an alternative mode of transportation! Companies like Need a Ride can provide transport to neighborhoods such as the French Quarter, Marigny, Downtown and Warehouse District.

Second Line Stages, the first green independent stages in the United States, has opened its doors in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans. The $32 million project build the stages of the studio to the exact standards of the motion picture industry and to comply with the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver Certification.

Even New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration has gone green. Kern Studios, the largest producer of Carnival floats, began reducing the impact on the environment by using biodiesel in the tractors pulling floats along the parade routes and also reuses several of their floats for multiple Mardi Gras parades. The Krewe of Rex is using biodegradable string on their special Mardi Gras beads, preventing the beads from hanging in trees for extended periods of time.

Adding to a section of environmentally friendly practices, New Orleans is incorporating green practices into its famous festivals. On September 5, 2009, Project 30-90, the city's first all green music festival, featured several of local musicians to support the initiative.

In addition, Hotard, one of the area's leading providers of motorcoach transportation, switched to a greener fleet. The company has begun to introduce new motorcoach models that cut particulate matter, black smoke, by 90 percent. The company is investigating additional ways that it can go green, including the use of bio-diesel fuel.

Airport Shuttle New Orleans, the official airport transportation provider for the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, is going green with all-new clean burning propane hybrid vehicles. Propane is now being used in all of Airport Shuttle's vehicles, thanks to a new technology that enabled the conversion of existing engines to a propane hybrid.

As part of their dedication to serving the public, the Regional Transit Authority purchases environmentally friendly equipment and adopts initiatives and programs that helps reduce theirenvironmental impact on our city, our region, and our planet. 

Many hotels are implementing green practices as well. Other tips for travelers are available at www.neworleanscvb.com.

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IS NEW ORLEANS A SAFE PLACE FOR VISITORS?

Yes. No other city in the world manages special events, crowd control and visitor safety as well as New Orleans.

New Orleans welcomes more thannine million visitors per year and celebrates like nowhere else with worldclass gatherings such as Mardi Gras and dozens of annual festivals andprestigious sporting events. The world's most prominent corporations andassociations select New Orleans for conferences and business events rangingfrom a 10-person corporate board meeting to large association city-wideconventions with tens of thousands of attendees from around the world.

New Orleans is continuing 2014on a high note, hosting the 63rd NBA All-Star Game in February,which welcomed more than 87,900 sports enthusiasts throughout the All-StarWeekend. Shortly after came a busy Mardi Gras season that collectively welcomedmore than one million revelers. In April, New Orleans hosted the best event inwrestling, WWE's Wrestlemania XXX, which welcomed more than 75,000. The cityalso celebrated the 31th Anniversary of the French Quarter Festival,welcoming a record-breaking 733,000 fans over a four-day period. Jazz Fest andESSENCE welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors and celebrities. Theconvention schedule for 2014 is strong, hosting a number of citywideconventions, some with 30,000 attendees.

Visitor Safety

As with any destination, we recommend that vacationers andconvention attendees practice common sense and do not wander into deserted,non-tourist areas of the city.

The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and itstourism partners maintain great relationships with the New Orleans PoliceDepartment (NOPD) and newly-appointed Superintendent Michael S. Harrison. TheNOPD's senior leadership team is happy to meet with CVB customers about theirspecific groups. In addition, the New Orleans CVB informs the top leadership ofthe NOPD of the complete convention and visitor schedule so they may providecustomized coverage in areas where specific events are occurring.

The NOPD has implemented a new "Special Events DeploymentPlan."  This plan essentially blankets the hospitality area (the FrenchQuarter, Canal Street, the Marigny and Treme neighborhoods) with nearly twicethe number of NOPD officers, dressed in new fluorescent vests, during majorevent weekends. In addition, the NOPD now enforces a curfew ordinance in theFrench Quarter, which prohibits minors under the age of 17 to be in the FrenchQuarter streets unaccompanied by an adult after 8 p.m. on weekends.

Visitors to New Orleans can expect:

  • 100 officers assigned to the 8th District, with 13 officers assigned specifically to Bourbon Street during the evening through the early morning hours.
  • Six officers assigned specifically to Bourbon Street during the evening through the early morning hours.
  • Police patrols on Segways.
  • 11 officers and supervisors devoted to daytime patrols on foot as well as Vespa scooters, golf carts, motorcycles and Segways. This includes Royal Street, Bourbon Street, Chartres Street, Jackson Square and parks.
  • 10 officers and supervisors assigned to Convention Center Blvd. via patrol cars, Vespa scooters, Polaris carts and Segways.
  • A minimum of six officers on horseback every night.
  • Portable light boxes on major cross streets such as Canal, Iberville, St. Louis and St. Peter.
  • Sky Watch towers to increase visibility, observation and police presence.
  • The permanent staffing of tourist areas is also routinely augmented by the assignment of Reserve NOPD Officers who are assigned on night shifts and weekends.
New Orleans' popular tourist areas are among the most safe and walkable places for visitors of any city in America.

Crime exists in all major cities. In New Orleans, the vast majority of violent crime is targeted criminal-on-criminal drug and retaliation acts which occur in inner-city neighborhoods. As with any destination, we recommend that vacationers and convention attendees practice common sense and do not wander into deserted, non-tourist areas of the city.

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WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS SHOULD I NEED MEDICAL CARE WHILE VISITING?

Hospitals and urgent care facilities include:

 

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WHAT IS THE POPULATION OF NEW ORLEANS?

According to 2010 Census Bureau estimates, New Orleans' population is made up of approximately 343,829 residents. Jefferson Parish, adjacent to New Orleans and a part of the metro area, is home to 432,552 residents according to 2010 Census data. New Orleans' hospitality industry is the city's largest employer with a work force that is 80,000 strong.

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