Sunday, March 12, 2006

Why start at 35 percent?

For our opening Hospitality Index (HI), March 2006, we chose 35 percent. The basis for this choice is that it is equal to the current percentage of pre-Katrina population in the City. Also, the absolute value of HI is hard to conjure with so this is a good starting point, and our efforts will go toward relative changes as we progress.

The past week had several positive indicators for a better April. Many of these relate to the entertainment scene. Here’s how Entertainment Weekly sees it:

New Orleans' live music scene reemerging, slowly
by Ray Waddell


House of Blues New Orleans… has been presenting shows at its club in the French Quarter since a New Year's Eve gig featuring hometown acts Cowboy Mouth, Better Than Ezra and Dr. John.

"In between New Year's and Mardi Gras we've been at about two, maybe three, shows a week, a lot of that being locals and benefits," says Sonny Schneidau, director of touring/talent buyer for HOB New Orleans. He counts HOB-produced tours by the Academy Is and Flogging Molly among the few national shows that have come through.

And that calendar is filling up: HOB New Orleans has a slate of acts in March, including George Thorogood, Juvenile, Sevendust, Nickel Creek, Kem (sold out), Lucinda Williams (sold out), the Go-Go's and two nights of Bonnie Raitt.

Superfly Promotions president Jonathan Mayers is also looking ahead to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. In the past, the New Orleans-based promoter has been very successful in presenting music around Jazz Fest. The event will return April 28-30 and May 5-7, and Mayers says his company will be active by then.

"I think Jazz Fest will have a lot of support and a good year," Mayers says. "We are still figuring out exactly what we are doing. But we plan to be active and have a good presence."


The New Orleans Arena, adjacent to the Superdome, is also slowly coming back online. The arena hosted Placido Domingo in a theater configuration March 4, with attendance near its 5,000 capacity. The event was produced in conjunction with the New Orleans Opera Society.

"We're anxious to put (more) shows on sale so we can prove to the talent community that we're back," says Glenn Minard, general manager of the New Orleans Arena for Philadelphia-based facility management firm SMG.



jbv's Competitive Edge 


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