Kentucky gets the trophy, New Orleans gets the gold

Posted on: April 3 2012
"Final Four had a huge impact on tourism"

April 3, 2012
Chris Miller, WWL news

The Kentucky Wildcats are going home with the trophy, while New Orleans counts its money! Local tourism leaders say they could not be happier with the recently-concluded NCAA Final Four, and are already looking forward to what's coming later this month.

This year's Final Four estimated economic impact is $135 million. Kelly Schulz of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau says based on what they're hearing from merchants in New Orleans, they don't expect that estimate to go down.

"All of the tourism-related business are reporting just record sales for the weekend," said Schulz.

The Final Four is the latest in a wave of visitor-oriented events -- the Sugar Bowl, a Saints home playoff, the BCS title game and Mardi Gras. Schulz says it's not over, either.

"And now we are kicking off festival season," Schulz said. "We've got French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest right around the corner and April's looking like it's going to be a great month as well."

French Quarter Festival starts Thursday, April 12 and ends Sunday April 15. Jazz Fest's two weekends begins Friday, April 27.