November 5th, 2013
According the the financial website NerdWallet, which compiled the data: “Positive income growth for people who work in a city is an important factor in its value to prospective residents. A city that demonstrates yearly growth in the earnings of its workers provides a reassurance of its economic health and presents an opportunity for more growth in the future. Cities with significant median personal income growth over a longer period send a signal that the local economy is in an upward trend.” by DIVYA
Cities with the Fastest Growing Incomes
1. Chico, California
Chico is known as a college town, and the local colleges serve as important economic stimuli for the city. California State University, Chico (CSU Chico) provides a large flow of students into the local labor force. Butte College’sTraining Place, located in Chico, offers employee training to local companies, which helps increase the number of skilled workers in the area. Chico’s City Council pledged in 2007 to support and strengthen the city’s economy by increasing its value to job seekers. By working with local businesses, encouraging local investment and improving the physical conditions of the city, they are raising quality of life for the entire city. Earnings for workers grew an enormous 32 percent between 2007 and 2011.
2. Greeley, Colorado
Greeley is a fast growing city in northern Colorado with a unique culture. In 2009, Greeley’s Office of Economic Development and Economic Development Advisory Committee put forth a strategic plan to improve the local economy by bringing more business and diverse industries to the area. In addition, by supporting community education and leadership, they hope to continue making Greeley “Great, From the Ground Up.” The University of Northern Colorado contributes to the economic and cultural health of Greeley by supporting local businesses and by providing educational opportunities for the community that attract visitors from outside the area. The city experienced nearly 25 percent growth in earnings between 2007 and 2011.
3. Bellingham, Washington
Bellingham sits right near the Canadian border, enjoying gorgeous lake and mountainside views. In May, Mayor Kelli Linville detailed how Bellingham officials are working to make the city more economically vibrant by achieving strategic partnerships, retaining businesses, pursuing beneficial city projects and maintaining community values. The Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry focuses on the role of business in economic growth, but also works directly to support the community of Bellingham and Whatcom County. Earnings for workers grew more than 21 percent in Bellingham between 2007 and 2011.
4. Yorba Linda, California
Yorba Linda is a residential community in Orange County that has amenities like equestrian trails, golf courses and considerable park acreage. Yorba Linda’s Chamber of Commerce actively supports local business development and works to create better communication between local government, business and residents. Yorba Linda experienced earnings growth of just over 20 percent between 2007 and 2011, which brought the median earnings for workers to nearly $60,000 for that year. Top employers include the City of Yorba Linda and several retail businesses.
5. Norman, Oklahoma
Norman’s location near two major federal and two state highways serves as a convenient access point for travel by road. Businesses in a diverse set of industries have offices in Norman, including Agio (IT services), PCI (software) and Albon Engineering & Manufacturing. The University of Oklahoma, located in Norman, is a major employer in the city. The university’s Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth is an important partner in local and state economic development. The Norman Economic Development Coalition combines the efforts of several local groups to improve the city’s economy, and the city’s Chamber of Commerce works to increase economic opportunities and innovative business projects in Norman. Norman saw 19 percent growth in earnings for workers between 2007 and 2011.
6. Gainesville, Florida
Gainesville, home to the University of Florida, is located advantageously between the major cities of Atlanta and Miami. The City of Gainesville plays a major role in the development of the local economy, aided by the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, which works to revitalize and encourage investment in several areas of the city. The University of Florida is a major employer in the city and its Innovation Square business and research community, set between the University and downtown Gainesville, is supporting local businesses and startups (at the Innovation Hub), and attracting new investors to the area. Gainesville saw nearly 19 percent growth in earnings for workers between 2007 and 2011.
7. Brownsville, Texas
Brownsville has a population nearing 200,000 and a semi-tropical climate that provides residents with good weather year-round. Education and manufacturing are major industries in Brownsville, and top employers include the Brownsville Independent School District, the University of Texas at Brownsville, Keppel AmFELS and the City of Brownsville. The University of Texas at Brownsville’s Division of Economic Development and Community Services is dedicated to local economic development. The city has seen steady job growth in recent years, lead in large part by the efforts of the Brownsville Economic Development Council. The city experienced nearly 18 percent growth in earnings for workers between 2007 and 2011.
8. Syracuse, New York
Syracuse is a major destination for education, medicine and research, due to the various universities and medical centers located there. Syracuse University, one of the city’s top employers, is a major contributor to the local economy, with payments to city businesses amounting to almost $75 million in 2012, according to a university economic report. The city has several local agencies that work to improve various aspects of the economy, including the Syracuse Economic Development Corporation, the Syracuse Local Development Corporation and the Syracuse Industrial Development Corporation. Earnings for workers grew 17.5 percent between 2007 and 2011.
9. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is famous for its food, music and lively atmosphere. The city promotes economic growth through theOffice of Economic Development, and in partnership with the New Orleans Business Alliance launched theProsperityNOLA plan to accelerate economic improvement through 2018. The University of New Orleans helps spur business development in the technology and research industries through its Research and Technology Park. Other major industries in New Orleans include energy, education, health care, manufacturing and tourism. The city saw 15.6 percent growth in earnings for workers between 2007 and 2011.
10. Tyler, Texas
Tyler is a hub for a varied set of industries, including education, research and health care, and boasts an active tech startup scene. In 2009, the Tyler Leadership Roundtable began the Industry Growth Initiative, a plan to help the city evolve into an “Innovation Economy” through development of a highly skilled workforce and entrepreneurial culture. The University of Texas at Tyler’s Hibbs Institute for Business and Economic Research is a key player in the growth of Tyler and the rest of East Texas by providing important informational resources that support economic development. Earnings for workers grew 14.5 percent between 2007 and 2011.
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October 16th, 2013
Inland American Lodging Group has acquired the 21-story, 285-room Loews New Orleans for a purchase price of $74.5 million, or approximately $261,000 per key.
Resorts will continue to manage the hotel. The Loews New Orleans represents the ninth hotel acquired by Inland American this year and the first Loews-managed hotel in its portfolio.
“We are very pleased to be adding this luxury hotel to our portfolio,” said Marcel Verbaas, president and CEO of Inland American Lodging Advisor. “With its premier location near all of New Orleans’ demand drivers, coupled with its superior amenities, the Loews New Orleans is well-positioned to continue its excellent performance in the market. We look forward to working with Loews to further enhance the asset and its competitive position and profitability.”
The hotel has 17,000 square feet of flexible meeting space with city and river views, a fitness center, full-service spa with a lap pool and a business center.
“New Orleans has been able to regain its position as one of the top lodging markets in the country over the past few years and as such has been a market we had identified as an acquisition target for some time,” added Philip A. Wade, IALA’s senior vice president of investments. “We are thrilled that we have been able to acquire one of the premier hotels in the market.”
October 14th, 2013
Don Ames Reporting
Norwegian Cruise Lines has replaced its seasonal ship at the Port of New
Orleans with a newer and larger model.
The 2,376-passenger Norwegian Jewel docked in New Orleans on Sunday.
“And, she sails for a seven-day itinerary into the Western Caribbean,” says
Robert Jumonville, Director of Cruise and Tourism for the port.
The newly arrived Jewel will depart on Sundays until April 13 with port
calls in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; and the
Honduras Bay Islands.
“It’s a newer ship than the one we had last year, which was the Norwegian
Star,” Jumonville says. “It’s a little bit larger and a little bit newer.
It’s about three years newer than the Star.”
He says the ships are growing, as New Orleans cruise industry continues to
“They keep inching up on us. Every year, they’re giving us a newer, better
ship and a larger ship.”
The Jewel features 16 restaurants and 13 bars and lounges. It will be the
largest ship from the Norwegian line to homeport in New Orleans.
“It’s still not the largest ship to sail out of New Orleans which, until
now, has been Royal Caribbean’s Navigator and the Voyager of the Seas, both
of which will soon be eclipsed by the Carnival Dream in April,” says
And, more are on the way.
“On November 17th, we’ll get the Carnival Sunshine, which has undergone
about a $200 million facelift and it will be a little bit larger than the
Carnival Conquest. The Sunshine will stay here for six months until the
Dream comes over. And the Dream is the largest ship in Carnival’s fleet. So,
that bodes well for our market. Our ships keep getting larger, and offer
more itineraries. It’s a good thing for us.”
Meanwhile, the port continues its efforts to attract more cruise business to
“We’re working with a lot of cruise lines. We’re building a third cruise
terminal at Poland Avenue that should be online some time in the third or
fourth quarter of 2015. And, we’re actively marketing it to various cruise
lines, one of which is Disney. We’ll market it to every viable cruise line
out there. I would say we’re probably in active conversations with four or
five of them.”
Jumonnville says the new terminal facilities are needed to accommodate any
additional cruise lines out of the city.
“The two terminals that we have, Erato Street and Julia Street, are pretty
much full. We have Carnival here year-round, in the Erato Street terminal,
so we don’t have any spots for anything else other than a third Carnival
ship to work the opposite 5-5-4 schedule from the Elation. The Julia Street
terminal is filled with Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, so if we want to
attract another cruise line, we need another terminal.”
“It’s what I call the reverse ‘Field of Dreams’…if you don’t build it,
they won’t come.”
“We’re continuously building,” says Jumonville. “We’re continuously
marketing, we’re continually having good success at getting cruise lines
into New Orleans. And, a lot of that has to do with the draw of New Orleans
and the fact that we have rebounded so successfully from the debacle that
Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise
October 11th, 2013
Lines together have four ships that homeport in New Orleans.
Anna Whitlow for Northview Hotel Group
NEW ORLEANS – October 11, 2013 – Northview Hotel Group, in partnership with
a fund managed by Apollo Global Management, LLC (NYSE:APO), has acquired The
Queen & Crescent Hotel, at 344 Camp St. in New Orleans, LA. The acquisition
marks the partnership’s second hospitality joint venture in six months.
The Queen & Crescent is located in New Orleans’ Central Business District
just three blocks from the French Quarter and features 196 guestrooms and
2,600 square feet of meeting space. The REO property was acquired by the
partnership directly from the servicer. Northview’s plan is to execute an
extensive renovation of the hotel in 2013 and 2014, and to re-open as a
completely repositioned hotel in Fall 2014. NVHG Management, Northview Hotel
Group’s operating arm, will operate the Hotel and oversee the completion of
the renovation project.
Commenting on the acquisition, Northview Partner Simon Hallgarten said: “The
purchase of the Queen and Crescent represented a unique opportunity to
acquire an underperforming hotel located in the heart of one of the most
vibrant lodging markets in the U.S. Over the next 12 months, we plan to
execute a transformative renovation and strategic repositioning plan, which
in conjunction with the installation of our management personnel, tools, and
systems, we believe should maximize the value of the asset.”
The Queen & Crescent purchase marks Northview’s fourth acquisition since
October 10th, 2013
mid-2012. “Northview continues to see attractive value-add investment
opportunities in the U.S. lodging market. We plan to expand our portfolio
aggressively in the next 12 months,” adds Northview Partner, Matt Trevenen.
In May, 2012, Northview acquired Sanderling Resort & Spa, a picturesque
oceanfront resort in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. In September, 2012,
the firm acquired the Sheraton hotel in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. In
February, 2013, Northview partnered with a fund managed by Apollo Global
Management, LLC to acquire The Beach House Hilton Head, a beachfront hotel
in Hilton Head, South Carolina. All four transactions include a major
renovation component and a strategic re-positioning program implemented by
Northview’s construction management and operational teams.
By Terrance Harris, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Email the author
on October 08, 2013 at 6:24 PM, updated October 08, 2013 at 7:00 PM
New Orleans could be in for a huge party to kick off its Tri-centennial anniversary after the NFL invited the Crescent City, along with two other cities, on Tuesday to bid for the right to host the Super Bowl in 2018.
And should the city be successful in its bid to host Super Bowl LII, much of the credit will belong to New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, who once again played the role of ambassador in convincing the NFL owners to consider the city for what would be a record 11th Super Bowl bid. Benson made the city’s case first in front of the Super Bowl Advisory Committee on Monday and then again Tuesday in front of the 31 other team owners during the owner’s meeting in Washington, D.C.
As a result of his effort, New Orleans has been invited to bid on the 2018 Super Bowl along with Minneapolis and Indianapolis.
“I’ve got to hand it to Mr. Benson,” said Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation president and CEO Jay Cicero, whose organization partnered with the Saints to land the invite. “We are very happy and very proud to be partnered with the Saints on this bid. Hopefully if we are successful we will be able to host a record 11th Super Bowl here in New Orleans in 2018.”
And if all goes well, the city and its organizers are looking forward to topping the previous 10 Super Bowls that have been hosted here in what will be the celebration of the 300th year of the birth of New Orleans. The city’s Tri-centennial figures to be a major theme in the bid the Saints and the Sports Foundation will present during the NFL owner’s spring meetings May 19-21 in Atlanta.
“That is a very special year for this city and state so that is going to be a major part of our bid,” Cicero said. “That will be a year long celebration having the Tri-centennial and hosting another Super Bowl in the same year here in New Orleans.”
The city, which is coming off a successful hosting of Super Bowl XLVII in February when the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, earned the right to bid against a strong slate of interested cities.
Miami, which is currently tied with New Orleans for hosting the most Super Bowls at 10, was not selected to bid for the 2018 Super Bowl along with Tampa and Dallas.
The cities left standing with New Orleans were Indianapolis, which hosted a highly successful Super Bowl in 2012, and Minneapolis, which will be opening its new stadium in 2018.
“The competition is fierce, very fierce,” said Cicero, who organization is taking part in its fourth Super Bowl bid. “It has grown tremendously in the past 10 years. The economic impact, the media exposure and all the other notoriety and the type of visitors that come to Super Bowl are all big reasons why cities are going all out to get it back to their stadiums or first time cities like New York-New Jersey who are hosting this year have gone all out to bid on the event.”
New Orleans, of course, seems like the early favorite due to its location and experience having hosted Super Bowls in 1970, 1972, 1975, 1978, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1997, 2002 and 2013. But Cicero said the city can’t simply count on its long tradition of hosting Super Bowls alone due to the competition that now exist.
“I think we have about as good a chance as we’ve ever had to get it,” he said. “But having gone through this several times, we have won it by a landslide and we’ve won it by two votes so you never know.
“It’s a very competitive process and hopefully we will be in that number when the NFL owners chose which city will host the 2018 Super Bowl.”
And should the city be the last standing once the 32 owners vote in May, it will be largely because of the influence of Benson.
“One of the hallmarks of Mr. Benson’s legacy and tenure as an NFL owner has been his desire and focus to get Super Bowls to the city of New Orleans. It’s one of the most important things on his agenda,” said Saints senior vice president for communications Greg Bensel. “He feels very strongly about it. He thinks New Orleans is the best city to host a Super Bowl. He puts a lot of effort into it.
“Mr. Benson is extremely excited about the opportunity to put this bid together, especially for the time in New Orleans history, the 300th anniversary.”
August 21st, 2013
The City of New Orleans received three proposals from groups interested in redeveloping the former World Trade Center building at the foot of Canal Street. Read the rest of this entry »
August 21st, 2013
“Learning English is life-changing,” said Tessa Wheelock, the adult education coordinator for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. Read the rest of this entry »
August 14th, 2013
August 13, 2013
August 5th, 2013
UPDATE: to read a full report on the RTA Board of Commissioners vote, click here.
The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority approved $2 fees for passengers traveling on its Mississippi River ferries as part of a broader package that takes into account concerns among Algiers residents afraid that price tag will fall too heavily upon blue-collar workers making the trek every day.
Veolia Transportation, the private company that runs New Orleans’ buses and streetcars and stands ready to take over management of the ferries, added several discounts to its initial plan that received a good amount of gratitude from residents and public officials at the meeting.
The fares are now headed to the City Council for final approval or additional changes. The earliest likely date that city lawmakers could take up the issue is Aug. 22.
The new fares must make up a $2.8 million shortfall in the annual budgets to run the Algiers-Canal Street and Lower Algiers-Chalmette ferries. State subsidies, to the tune of $6 million, are expected to provide the difference.While the hours of operation, which the state cut drastically earlier this year, are still up in the air, the goal is to return the ferries to an 18-hour-a-day service, City Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer said.
August 03, 2013
Drums beating, horns blowing, neighborhood pulsating from the rhythms of dancing – it must be Tremé. The New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network announced today the Tremé Culture Fest will return October 18th-20th, featuring a Club Crawl and lecture series and culminating in a Jazz Mass and Tremé United Second Line.
The Tremé Culture Fest is a continuation of the overwhelming success of the 2012 Tremé 200 Bicentennial celebration. The kickoff of the Tremé Culture Fest will begin Friday, October 18th, with a Neighborhood Stroll & Bar Hop at Li’l Dizzy’s Café and continues Saturday, October 19th, with the Tremé Lecture Series at Perseverance Hall in Armstrong Park. Sunday, October 20th, offers the Tremé Jazz Mass at St. Augustine Church followed by a United Second Line.
“We are taking it to the streets again in Tremé, where it all started,” said Toni Rice, President of the New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network. “There is no other place that ’speaks’ New Orleans like Tremé and we are again boasting all of the traditions that make this neighborhood fitting for a celebration.” Tremé is considered the oldest black neighborhood in America, the origin of the Southern Civil Rights Movement, and the birthplace of jazz. It is the hotbed of the city’s culture, overflowing with vibrant brass band traditions, where a second line can take place on any given Saturday or Sunday.
The lecture series, jazz mass, and second line are free and open to the public. Visit us online at http://www.tremeculturefest.com for more information and updates or call New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network at 504-523-5652. Follow us on Facebook (Tremé Culture Fest) and Twitter (@tremefest).
July 30th, 2013
Louisiana has the second-best business growth potential in the country and the fourth-best overall business climate, according to Business Facilities’ 9th Annual Rankings Report. Though the full rankings won’t be released until early next month, some of the results have been made available in advance. Louisiana was ranked No. 5 for best business climate last year. The state actually fell from a No. 1 business growth potential ranking in 2012 to No. 2 this year. The state is also ranked No. 2 for natural gas production and No. 10 for lowest cost of labor in this year’s rankings. Louisiana “has steadfastly executed a diverse growth strategy that is nurturing new high-tech ventures while building on the Pelican State’s traditional strength in the oil and gas sectors,” says Business Facilities in its preview of the full rankings, which specifically spotlights strong showings by Louisiana, Texas, North Dakota, Washington and Utah. Also, LED’s FastStart workforce training program is once again named the nation’s best. This is the fourth straight year the FastStart program has taken top ranking. “Louisiana’s innovative workforce training effort remains the gold standard for this critical development requirement,” says Business Facilities’ Editor in Chief Jack Rogers. You can check out the full preview of the rankings here.