There’s no place like New Orleans. Forever known as the birthplace of jazz, famous for its unmatched Creole cuisine and rich in history, The Big Easy is gearing up to celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2018 with big updates.
“Some of the anticipated developments include a new airport terminal, potential expansions at the convention center, continued investment in technology and lots of new hotels,” says Cara Banasch, MBA, senior vice president of business development and strategy at New Orleans CVB. About 19,000 guest rooms are currently located within 1 mile of the 3.1-million-sq.-ft. New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
“Many [meeting] professionals choose New Orleans because attendance is higher here,” she says, noting the city’s meetings business is currently at a 20-year high. “It is a place people want to come back to again and again.”
Only in NOLA can attendees spend downtime listening to live jazz on Frenchmen Street, binging on beignets at Cafe Du Monde, exploring The National WWII Museum or taking in the beauty of the Mississippi River aboard Steamboat Natchez. Find out what’s ahead for the city and why planners have so much love for New Orleans.
Three major projects are expected to revitalize the city.
1. Construction is underway on a nearly $1 billion development at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. The project will add a 760,000-sq.-ft. North Terminal to the grounds, along with a 2,000-space parking garage and a $17 million hotel, in October 2018.
2. A 47-acre mixed-use development surrounding is in the pipeline for the next several years. The nearly $3.5 billion Convention Center District Development (or C2D2) is projected to attract and accommodate 4 million new visitors annually and will include a 1,200-room convention headquarters hotel, a multimodal transportation hub, and a river walk with shops, restaurants, museums and galleries.
3. North Rampart Street/St. Claude Avenue Streetcar, opened in October 2016, will run along the edge of the French Quarter and connect four of the city’s most historic neighborhoods: Treme, Marigny, St. Roch and Bywater. Each ride will cost $1.25.