What’s New This Month in New Orleans Hospitality Industry?

What’s New This Month in New Orleans Hospitality Industry?

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

WHY IT RATES: Travel agents and advisors looking to book clients a vacation they will never forget should look into the offerings from New Orleans & Company.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.


ESSENCE Festival announced their 2019 lineup which is set to take over the Mercedes Benz Superdome July 4th – 7th, 2019 to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

—Headliners include Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Frankie Beverly, Anthony Hamilton, H.E.R., Pharrell Williams and many more.

French Quarter Festival recently announced their 2019 lineup. The free festival celebrates its 36th year and is set to take place April 11th – 14th. Headliners include Galactic, Irma Thomas, Jon Cleary, Little Freddie King, Cyril Neville and many more.

—French Quarter Festival is the largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world, bringing more than 300 acts to 23 stages across the French Quarter.

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The Port of New Orleans set a new cruise passenger record with 1,182,111 cruise passenger movements, up 2.3% compared to a year ago.

—A 23% surge in guests taking Mississippi River cruises helped buoy the total, with new and larger ships set to sail from New Orleans both in the Caribbean and on the Mississippi River in 2019.

—This is the fifth consecutive year the Port of New Orleans has topped one million passengers.


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 last month 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 option and friendly hospitality.

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is on track to open the new 972,000 square-foot facility in May 2019.

—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% in the next five years and will support 64,000 jobs and $6.4 billion in local spending.

New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) officially launched its inaugural culinary class in January at 725 Howard Avenue.

—The $32 million culinary and hospitality institute is home to teaching kitchens, a wine and spirits lab, a retail café space, separate classroom and office spaces for NOCHI and Tulane University and an event center on the top floor.

—A range of enthusiast classes will be offered to locals and visitors alike for those passionate about food, wine and cocktails, looking to improve their skill.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the historic milestone, the festival has added an extra day to the lineup making Thursday, April 25th this year’s opening day. The festival also recently announced a historic lineup for the special anniversary.

—Headliners for this year’s festival include The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band, Katy Perry, Santana, Pitbull, Van Morrison, John Fogerty, Al Green, Bob Seger, Jimmy Buffet and many more.

The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) will expand its operations to a third campus in the French Quarter, The Seignouret-Brulatour Building, next 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.


Mardi Gras season kicked off in New Orleans on Sunday, January 6th, known as Twelfth Night. Parades will continue through Mardi Gras Day on Tuesday, March 5th.

—Carnival Season welcomes more than one million people to the streets of New Orleans.

—The Krewe of Rex chose the colors of Mardi Gras in 1872, with purple representing justice, gold representing power and green representing faith.

—More than 500,000 king cakes are sold each year in New Orleans between January 6th and Fat Tuesday, and another 50,000 are shipping out-of-state via overnight courier.

—Many krewes are known for their unique handmade throws, such as the Krewe of Zulu’s coconuts and the Krewe of Muses’ shoes.

The 3rd annual Top Taco Fest will take place at Woldenberg Park on March 14th for a taco extravaganza featuring nearly 50 local chefs and mixologists competing for the titles of top creative taco, top traditional taco, top creative cocktail and top traditional margarita.

—Top Taco Fest is a ticketed event. Entry allows patrons to sample unlimited gourmet tacos and signature cocktails while voting on their favorites.

The annual Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday will take place on Sunday, March 17th with the most popular procession staged by the Mardi Gras Indian Council beginning at A.L. Davis Park, Washington Avenue and LaSalle Street.

—Super Sunday is a day for the city’s Mardi Gras Indian tribes to put on their colorful suits and “strut their stuff” while marching in a procession through the streets.

—In keeping with traditions that date back to the 19th century, New Orleans Super Sunday is the Sunday closest to St. Joseph’s Day, March 19th.

The 3rd annual New Orleans Bourbon Festival will take place March 20th-23rd for three days of bourbon-focused ticketed events, including a bourbon seminar series, grand tastings, live panels and more. The festival will take place at the Hilton Riverside Hotel and other locations throughout the city.

The annual Wednesday at the Square 10-week Spring concert series will begin March 20th and continue 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.

The 7th annual BUKU Music + Art Project returns to Mardi Gras World on March 22nd-23rd for two days of music and art.

—BUKU festival boasts an impressive lineup of EDM, hip-hop and various subgenres of indie rock artists.

—Headliners for this year’s festival include Lana Del Rey, A$AP Rocky, Dog Blood, Excision, Kevin Gates and many more.

The 11th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week will take place March 25th-29th, bringing a week of summits, showcases, panels, workshops and competitions to New Orleans.

The 33rd annual Tennessee Williams Literary Festival returns to the French Quarter March 27th-31st for five days of events honoring New Orleans’ literary history.

—Festival attendees can experience master classes, panels, theatrical events, tours and the crowd-favorite “Stella” shouting contest.

The 11th annual Hogs for the Cause will welcome 85 local and regional barbecue master and backyard chefs to the UNO Lakefront Arena Grounds, March 29th-30th, for a weekend of BBQ, beer and live music.

—Participants will compete in seven categories, including: whole hog, ribs, pork butt/shoulder, porkpourri, sauce, fan favorite and fundraising champion.

—This year’s 10th anniversary will feature a weekend of special programming including a Gala Dinner, Bacon Night and a Craft Beer Hall.

The 16th annual Saints and Sinners Literary Festival will take place March 29th-31st bringing together the LGBT literary community to celebrate the literary arts.

—The festival features diverse panel discussions and master classes around literary topics that provide a forum for authors, editors and publishers.

The 12th annual Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival will bring bands, Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans funk and African dance to Louis Armstrong Park March 30th-31st for a celebration of the African diaspora and the melting pot of tradition that makes New Orleans’ culture so unique.


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.

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 April. The new property will feature 67 guest rooms, a library bar and a curated concierge service.


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.

Chef Justin Devillier and his wife Mia Freiberger-Devillier have officially opened their third restaurant, Justine, which combines the sophistication of Parisian brasseries with the playfulness of the South’s most lively district, located in the French Quarter at 225 Chartres Street. True to the heart of French brasserie culture, the bustling, multi-roomed restaurant offers a versatile space to be enjoyed by all.

—Chef Justin Devillier is the Chef/Owner of La Petite Grocery, Balise and Justine, and the 2016 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef South. His wife Mia Freiberger-Devillier is the Director of Operations & Partner at La Petite Grocery, Balise and Justine.


Allegiant Air started a new seasonal nonstop flight from Louisville International Airport (SDF) to New Orleans beginning February 28th, 2019 through May 5th, 2019. The flight will be offered twice weekly on Sundays and Thursdays.

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 (3,000 or more in attendance) includes:

Worldwide Spirit Association (WSA) National Competition | March 16th – 17th

—The WSA National Competition is the Grand National Cheerleading competition for the Worldwide Spirit Association featuring the best of the best in the cheerleading arena.

—Projected attendance: 20,000

Marine College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session | March 16th – 18th

—Cardiology specialists explore the latest discoveries in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, HealthIT, imaging, diagnostics, publications and continuing medical education.

—Projected attendance: 14,500

Southeastern Conference (SEC) Gymnastics Championship | March 19th – 23rd

—This will mark the first time that the SEC Gymnastics Championship will take place in Louisiana.

—The SEC Gymnastics Championship is a preview of competition at the national championship meet.

—Projected attendance: 5,900

The Endocrine Society Annual North American Convention | March 23rd – 26th

—This year’s Enhanced Science Pathways will feature Neuroendocrinology, Nuclear Receptors and Gene Regulation and Reproductive Endocrinology.

—Special “meeting within a meeting” tracks integrate focused discussions, oral and poster abstract sessions.

—Each Pathway will have a reception with thought leaders and the next generation of researchers.

—Projected attendance: 9,000

American Counseling Association’s Annual Conference | March 27th – 30th

—The world’s largest educational event for professional counselors.

—Projected attendance: 3,500

5LINX International Training Event | March 27th – 30th

—5LINX is an American multi-level marketing company headquartered in Rochester, New York, which offers utility and telecommunication services, health insurance, nutritional supplements and business services.

—Projected attendance: 7,500


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