WHY IT RATES: New Orleans has an exciting spring in store, with new hotel and restaurant openings as well as several large meetings and events. —Codie Liermann, Associate Editor
—We look forward to several new developments this year, including a new airport, cocktail museum, children’s museum and more. For a full list of developments, click here.
—The Fillmore New Orleans officially opened its doors in February on Canal Street. The new 2,000-capacity venue, located inside Harrah’s Casino, showcases incredible state-of-the-art production, vintage poster art, VIP amenities, dining options and friendly hospitality.
—Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is on track to open the new 972,000 square-foot facility on May 15th.
—This new, world-class terminal complex will completely replace the current facility.
—The $1 billion project includes in-line baggage screening, a consolidated security checkpoint to three concourses and 35 gates, a 2,200-car parking garage and more concessions options located down the concourse center aisles.
—Food and beverage concessions and news, gift and specialty treat retail concessions will feature a mix of local brands representative of Louisiana and New Orleans as well as national brands that appeal to both the local and visiting passengers, including Shake Shack, Mondo, Leah’s Kitchen and Midway Pizza.
—The new facility is expected to increase the airport’s economic impact by approximately 20 percent in the next five years and will support 64,000 jobs and $6.4 billion in local spending.
—The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) will expand its operations to a third campus in the French Quarter, The Seignouret-Brulatour Building, this month.
—Located at 520 Royal Street, the new campus will include the renovation of a 19th-century structure known as the Seignouret-Brulatour Building with a state-of-the-art rear addition plus a beautiful interior courtyard.
—The 27th annual New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, a five-day ticketed event, will take place April 3rd – 7th throughout the city.
—The event includes more than a dozen wine and food seminars and unique, hands-on experiences. The event will also host its Vintner Dinners, Royal Street Stroll, Vinola and Grand Tastings.
—This year will also introduce the Tournament of Roses sponsored by Harrah’s and a TABASCO brunch on Sunday.
—All proceeds from NOWFE go to causes supporting culinary education, including local food banks and culinary schools, and the event has raised more than $1.2 million for local non-profit organizations over the past 26 years.
—The beneficiaries for this year’s festival are New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) and Café Reconcile. A $15k scholarship will be awarded to one NOCHI student, while Café Reconcile will receive 100 percent of the remaining event proceeds.
—The 36th annual French Quarter Festival, the largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world, will bring more than 300 acts to 23 stages scattered across the French Quarter April 11th – 14th.
—The 2019 lineup features Galactic, Irma Thomas, Jon Cleary, Little Freddie King, Cyril Neville and many more. French Quarter Festival will include more than 60 of New Orleans’ finest restaurants throughout the festival.
—French Quarter Festival, Inc. reports an economic impact of approximately $190 million generated from the festival each year.
—The 41st annual Crescent City Classic is Saturday, April 20th beginning in Downtown New Orleans in front of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and running through the French Quarter down Esplanade Avenue to the finish line in New Orleans City Park.
—The Crescent City Classic is New Orleans’ premier 10k road race and one of the oldest 10k races in the country.
—The annual Zurich Classic, part of the PGA Tournament Circuit, will make its return to the TPC Louisiana golf course April 22nd – 28th, welcoming top golf competitors and fans to the Crescent City.
—Players in the 2019 Zurich Classic include Jason Day, Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood, Brookes Koepka, Bubba Watson and more.
—The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is televised in more than 224 countries and territories.
—The tournament reports a generated spending of more than $40 million within the local economy.
—The 50th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival begins April 25th – 28th and continues the following weekend, May 2nd – 5th, at the Fair Grounds Race Course welcoming more than 500 bands across 13 stages for eight incredible days of live music to celebrate the festival’s 50th
—Headliners of the 2019 festival include Dave Matthews Band, Katy Perry, Santana, Pitbull, Van Morrison, John Fogerty, Al Green, Bob Seger, Jimmy Buffet and many more.
—Each year, Jazz Fest attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and has an economic impact of over $350 million.
—The annual Wednesday at the Square 10-week Spring concert series began on March 20th and continues through May 22nd at Lafayette Square benefitting the Youth Leadership Council (YLC).
—Wednesday at the Square’s music lineup features local talent, as well as local restaurant and drink vendors and an artist village.
—Entry is free and open to the public.
For a full list of events, click here.
—Local hospitality group Leblanc + Smith has added The Corsair Hotel to their portfolio. The Corsair will be a boutique-style hotel, featuring 15 rooms including four suites, a restaurant, a pool, pool bar and lobby bar. The Corsair will be located Uptown on Saint Charles Avenue. The Corsair is expected to open Fall 2019.
—HI New Orleans, the latest development from Hosteling International, will open in early Spring at 1028 Canal Street. The hostel will feature 24 private rooms, 122 dorm beds, a large common space, public café and community room.
—Atelier Ace, the creative group behind the Ace Hotel, will open Maison de la Luz, a distinctive new guest house located in the city’s Central Business District this Spring. The new property will feature 67 guest rooms, a library bar and a curated concierge service. The Maison de la Luz will open this month.
Restaurants and Bars:
—Chef Donald Link is gearing up to open his latest concept, Gianna, an Italian restaurant.
—James Beard Award-winning Chef Rebecca Wilcomb will be the executive chef.
—Located on the corner of Magazine and Girod streets in the newly built Kalorama building.
—Coquette’s co-chefs Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus are opening a new restaurant, Thalia, in the Lower Garden District later this Spring. The 37-seat restaurant will be an establishment for the neighborhood and will have a focus on community and sustainability.
—Tales of the Cocktail will open its own bar taking over the former home of Pigeon & Prince, an events space in the Central Business District.
—The four-floor venue will be called Storyteller X Tales (“Storyteller by Tales”) and will be the future home to private events, classes and the Tales of the Cocktail Bar, which is expected to open in the coming months.
—Barracuda, a new taco stand and margarita garden, recently opened on Tchoupitoulas by local hospitality native Brett Jones.
—The Franklin officially reopened in the Marigny last month under the culinary leadership of Executive Chef Dane Harris. Reviving the spirit of the restaurant’s previous iteration, the warm and inviting gastrobar celebrates the city’s food and drink culture, love for art and design and vivacity.
—Jewel of the South, the latest concept by bartender’s Chris Hannah and Nick Detrich, recently opened on St. Louis Street in the French Quarter. The bar features a thoughtfully curated cocktail menu as well as a small plates from the kitchen.
—Acclaimed New York chef Akhtar Nawab recently opened a Mexican restaurant, Otra Vez, on Julia Street in the city’s South Market District.
New Direct Flights:
—Spirit Airlines announced a new seasonal nonstop flight from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to New Orleans beginning on May 2nd, 2019.
—Delta Air Lines announced a new nonstop weekend service to Raleigh-Durham (RDU) beginning on June 8th, 2019. The flight will be a Saturday and Sunday only service.
Meetings and Conventions:
Meetings (3,000 or more in attendance) includes:
—American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Annual Conference & Expo| April 3rd-7th
—AOTA is the world’s largest gathering of occupational therapists and companies.
—The conference features more than 350 vendors and 450 booths with interactive displays of the latest technology.
—Service projects include modifying ride-on toy cars for local children who have mental and physical disabilities to promote play and independent mobility through the GoBabyGo
—Projected attendance: 8,000
—Ellucian LIVE Annual Summit | April 7th-10th
—Shaquille O’Neal and Tara Westover are a few of the dynamic keynote speakers at this year’s summit.
—Ellucian works with more than 2,500 institutions in nearly 50 countries to enhance operations for more than 20 million students.
—Ellucian is the world's leading provider of software and services higher education institutions need to help students succeed.
—Projected attendance: 8,000
—Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. (AKA) 87th South Central Regional Conference | April 18th-21st
—Kamala Harris, Gov. John Bel Edwards, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and representatives from the Louisiana Black Caucus are among the notable attendees at this year’s conference.
—This is the region’s 87th conference and is themed Sensationally Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service in the Crescent City.
—The South Central Region is the second largest region of the AKA sorority and includes chapters from Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and New Mexico.
—Projected attendance: 7,000
SOURCE: New Orleans & Company press release.