SEP 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Page 43 of 67

²ConventionSouth ² S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 44 L O U I S I A N A In addition to the new terminal set to open in February 2019, which will add five new gates, bringing the total number of gates to 35, im- provements at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport include a 2,200-car park- ing garage and two new restaurants – Café Du Monde and Shake Shack. There are also changes coming to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the city's largest venue which offers 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space, including a 60,000-square foot exhibit hall, 140 meeting rooms and a 4,000- seat auditorium. In May, the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority adopted a $557 million five-year capital improvement plan that includes meeting room and public area renovations to the 34-year old convention center. It also encompasses development of a 7.5-acre pedestrian park along Convention Center Bou- levard, which will add outdoor entertainment spaces, seating areas, public art and water fea- tures and is expected to be completed in 2020. Other large event spaces include the Mer- cedes-Benz Superdome, home field of the NFL's New Orleans Saints, which has 162,500 square feet of column free space on the Dome Floor for trade or consumer shows. The Premium Bunker Club Lounges and the 200 Level Club Lounges can accommodate corporate meetings, theater style presentations and receptions. Next door, the Smoothie King Center, home to the NBA Pelicans, and host site of multiple NBA All-Star Games and NCAA Women's Final Fours, offers space for special events and general sessions. Additionally, The Opening Act at Champions Square offers 12,000 square feet of interior space inside Champions Square, with built-in stage for concerts, community events, festivals, and private special events Development along the historic riverfront park, which now features new walking surfaces, upgrades to the current fountain, trees, lights and additional seating, includes a $400 million renovation of the old World Trade Center into A New Orleans Four Seasons Hotel and Res- idences, expected to be completed in 2020. Along with 336 guest rooms on the lower floors, the 34-story building will have 80 luxury condo- miniums on the upper floors, 28,000 square feet of meeting space, a signature restaurant and a Four Seasons Spa. Additionally, work on a new $27 million Canal Street Ferry Terminal, offer- ing a ferry boat connection from the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Plaza and the Canal B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Houma Outside of the small city of Houma, Hou- ma's Bayou Country is a swampy landscape of alligators, turtles and other such critters, along with more than 250 species of birds, including blue herons, brown pelicans, white egrets and black-bellied whistling ducks. Swamp tours are available to bring partici- pants close to alligators. "Houma is the place to immerse your meeting in Louisiana culture," said Angela Morehead, convention and meeting sales manager for the Houma Area CVB. "With over 2,500 square miles of wetlands to explore by boat, hiking trail, plane or car, you are sure to find your wild side in Louisiana's Bayou Country. Let us serve up South- ern hospitality and small-city charm alongside our gum- bos, jambalayas and étouffées." Q Cajun Man's Swamp Tour New Orleans is celebrating its 300 Anniversary. Contact:

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