So I am not the eternal optimist.
Since Haney started it... I am jumping on the bandwagon. I Quote one of my favorite Cake songs..."Somebody, has got to say it all."
So let's come to Jesus and lay our burdens down by the riverside...on Canal street to be exact.
"Depressing Nola Rumor # 5: Major hotel chains conducting "feasability" studies on their New Orleans' locations
I have heard through the grapevine that some of the largest hotel chains within the city, ie. the big ones down on Canal street, have conducted feasability studies on the sustainability of their New Orleans locations. Apparently the results are....scary.
I haven't heard exactly what the results were, but it plays somewhat to the tune of:
IF....IF....they can sell out their rooms for this Mardi Gras (which apparently hasn't happened yet...first time in over two decades minus of course, last year), they can sustain themselves for another year through Mardi Gras of 2008.
What does that mean?
Essentially it means 1. We have to fill those hotels for carnival this year...If we can do that then... 2. We have to do something to greatly increase our Convention and Tourism numbers in 2007.
If we don't do that?
Imagine a Canal Street with two to three towering empty buildings...no lights, no people...nada...just dead, monolithic, hulls. Combined with our inability to get adequate flights into the city, it could be a 1-2 knockout punch to our convention industry: no way to get here and nowhere to stay when they do get here. We've already lost one major convention (Microsoft) due to the lack of flights...I think that single issue could set off a chain reaction into oblivion.
But hey, no worries....Nagin has just created a new position within his adminstration...Director of Tourism. He put our old buddy Ernest Collins on the case....so don't fret, our brilliant brain trust on Poydras street has it all figured out. (what's the emoticon for cynicism?)
I'm sure they'll figure out a way to funnel what cash we have left into their pockets and in three years they'll be gone, gone, gone....along with our last remaining revenue source.
It just begs the point once again...we need leadership...we are losing this battle as Slate so eloquently put it..." at a slow burn".