New Orleans in great shape for a great Mardi Gras

January 30 2012 | Latest News
January 30, 2012

Don Ames Reporting

The New Orleans hospitality industry is geared up to treat visitors to a great carnival season.

Hotels in the city are ready for the influx as more and more of them are reopening, rehabbing, or starting out brand new.

Jennifer Day-Sully, with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, says accommodations are better than ever.

"The city is offering an extremely fresh hotel stock...lovely new renovations across the city...some new hotels."

The New Orleans Hyatt Regency has gone through a $275 million renovation, with almost 2,000 all-new guest rooms available for the Hyatt's first Carnival since Katrina.

The stock of French Quarter hotels now includes the fully renovated Hotel Mazarin, formerly the Saint Louis, on Bienville.

The Saint is a new hotel, poised to take advantage of its Mardi Gras proximity on Canal Street with 166 rooms.

Hotel Modern, newly opened on Lee Circle, is also a prime parade spot, with viewing stands located in front of the hotel directly on St. Charles Avenue.

The Monteleone's Carousel Bar has expanded its seating area with windows now offering a view of Royal Street.

"Hotels across the city are really digging in and making sure that their properties look amazing," says Sully.

And, hotel occupancy rates already look like there'll be quite a Carnival crowd here to enjoy them.

"It's looking like we're in the high 80's to low 90's for all of the days," Sully says.

She says the new airport concourse will offer visitors a much improved first impression of New Orleans.

She also says the transportation system is improving, and the hospitality industry has gotten very positive feedback from tourists regarding the taxicab situation.

The city's newest form of transportation is also proving to be a big hit.

"We've gotten lots of feedback from our clients and our visitors that they really enjoy the pedicabs."