Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It really is a "Ho" Zone

Despite denied requests from the CVB to see the Boston Consulting Group's heralded report that has led to the Ho Zone proposal, we managed to find it online.  Turns out it was on the Lt. Gov's, Culture, Recreation and Tourism website the the whole time.

Boston Consulting Group Report

But...don't bother twisting your neck to read it.  It really isn't worth your time.  I stayed up all night last night reading it... and some other things...I will sum it up for you.  There really isn't that much to sum up.

It basically states that the city's efforts to market to an older, more mature tourist have failed over the past decade.  The goal now is to market towards a younger, drunker crowd.

....really...that's what is says.

Their data points to prove this strategy are rather intersesting.  Take this chart:

At first glance, the assessment seems accurate....unless of course you're from New Orleans and immediately there is a on overlooked aspect on the chart that will jump out at you like a turd in a punchbowl....Katrina.  They didn't bother to take the worst natural disaster in American history into account when they set out to prove that our previous marketing strategy to an older, higher-end clientele wasn't working.  If you look at the chart the numbers actually peaked in 2004, right before Katrina...but never mind that....that shit doesn't work when you look at the cumulative numbers.

Pick that cherry.

So what type of tourist does BCG think we need to go after?  Really simple....young, drunk ones.

Ok, fair question.  But I won't answer....I'll let the residents of the French Quarter do that.

How do we get these young, drunk visitors to come to our city and partake of Miller High Life, Whip-its, and Lucky Dogs?  Get Demi Moore as a spokesperson (let me know if you got that joke)? No...we enterprise on what the BCG thinks is our best asset...."unique bawdiness."

In case you're not clear about what that means:

Bawdy - indecent; lewd; obscene

Alrighty then.  Who knew Reverend Storm had the winning marketing strategy for the city all along...he just needed to do his business down in the Quatah's instead of out in a JP park.

Wow...this is a really interesting strategy to base a 14 million dollar annual taxing zone on.  I wonder how much we paid for this report...

Convention & Visitors Bureau to merge with Tourism Marketing Corp. under plan being rolled out today

The New Orleans Hospitality Strategic Task Force spent about $250,000 on the study, conducted by Boston Consulting Group, and focused on creating a long-term plan for the hospitality industry to be achieved by 2018, the city's 300th anniversary.

Well...no...not so much.  Actually...much, much more.

Apparently the person Jaquetta White was speaking with from the New Orleans Hospitality Strategic Task Force pulled a sly one on her.  I assume she asked "How much did 'you' pay for it?"  And that person replied on behalf of their individual agency and said 250k.  They didn't bother to mention all the other agencies that paid for it.  Let me give you a run down on what I have confirmed:

Public Entities -

New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corp. - $250k

Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District - $250k

Lt. Gov. Office of Culture, Recreation and Tourism - $250k

Convention Center - $250k

Public/Private -

New Orleans Conventions and Visitors Bureau - $250k

Private -

Harrahs Casino - 125k+???  not sure on amount

Various Hotel/Motels - ?????

I'm told that, in all, the report may have cost 1.5 to 2 million dollars.  Damn...I'm not charging enough for my blog reports.

Let me try something...."We need to market to drunken frat boys!"  Please deposit 1.5 million here.  I'll let you know how that experiment works out.

So we paid 1.5 million or more for the Boston Consulting Group to tell us we need to market to younger, drunker people.  Then our city "stakeholders" took that report and crafted an entirely new multi-million dollar taxing zone in order to do this.  Those darn "stakeholders"...I wish I knew who they were.

As luck would have it...

Interesting list.  I can say with absolute certainty that at least two of the people on the "Secondary" list are adamantly against SB 573 as it stands. But according to "Primary" stakeholders....everyone is all "gun ho!".

Let me jump back and repost this page from the report:

You may have already noticed that BCG noted that "NOLA is a terrific 'Leveraged buy-out'" opportunity.

What?  What the fuck do they mean by that?  Is that the basis for the Ho Zone itself?  That has to be the most disturbing sentence in the entire report...and I read every sentence.

And how does this report create the basis for the Hospitality Zone?  I don't see it...anywhere.  Is there another dossier that hasn't been made public?  Should I put a call in to the shadow government?

Meanwhile...I wonder if this has anything to do with anything....

More to come...


jeffrey said...

I like that one of BCG's bullet points is, "Images of Katrina never erased" but somehow they manage to erase it from their interpretation of their own data.

Jason Brad Berry said...

You should read the whole thing...I'm sure you were already going to do that. I know you will see things I didn't.

I still don't understand how the are claiming this report is the basis for the zone....I don't get it.

What do you think about the "leveraged buy-out" comment?

Anonymous said...

Janet said:

Thank you for your incredibly valuable and interesting blogs!!!! Yes, you do need to be paid more. Funny how that works. :<<<<<<

lunanola said...

The response I received from a law firm on 5/10/12 in response to my Public Records Request for the Boston Consulting Group's report:

"We have been asked by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (the CVB) to respond to your email of May 9, 2012 requesting a copy of the full report of the Boston Consulting Group. We advise you that the CVB is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(6) corporation, organized under the Louisiana Nonprofit Corporaton Law as a membership corporation and is not a public body within the meaning of the Louisiana Public Records Law. Accordingly, it doe not respond to public records requests.

"We are not taking any position as to whether the documents you seek are the proper subject of a pubic records request addressed to a public body in possession or control of such documents."

(This response was received after a CVB senior executive had informed me via email that "the full report you are referring to is proprietary.")

Consider also: while the report dates back to 9/1/09, it was apparently only posted to the Lt. Governor's website for public viewing just a month ago.

booethius said...

re lunanola's:

"while the report dates back to 9/1/09, it was apparently only posted to the Lt. Governor's website for public viewing just a month ago."

now why on god's green earth would mitch not want it posted up on the lt. gov's site when he was there?

how far down the line is chia-mitch looking? why would he have scuttled this thing under a rug unless he had a notion of using it as a false presence for one of his inexhaustible mayoral power-grabs?

that doesn't seem to jive seeing mitch's 180 on the cvb/notmc consolidation after getting elected as mentioned in the previous article.

and such foresight certainly doesn't jive with his relentless expansion of mayoral power, unless he plans to eliminate mayoral term limits in nola, which i certainly don't put past him.

the only thing that's clear to me in this is that mitch wants the power to channel copious sums of $$$ from whatever source he can get it into no-bid contracts... no shortage of local politicians who wouldn't, i suppose.

but back when you were writing that stuff about cedric richmond's non-profit scam where he'd start up a bunk org then use his legislative stoke to funnel money into it, i seem to recall you mentioning it as a common practice among nola legislators at the time, including our honorable mitch... am i making that up?

Jason Brad Berry said...

You are not making it up.

And I gave everyone the skeleton key to almost every politicians special interests if you remember:


Jason Brad Berry said...

Luna....this is the MO for the CVB. They just want us to keep pumping money into their coffers and don't ask questions. Well...tough titty said the kitty....I'm about to turn up the heat.

Stuart h smith said...

Same scam the oil boys used in the legacy lawsuit study. Ignore Katrina. How convenient.

Anonymous said...

Where is the State Legislative Auditors office and their audit of CVB (both sets of books they use to funnel money)? They haven't done a proper audit of this entity at all. Daryl Purpera you are MIA right now.

Where is Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy the Treasurer on this ill conceived plan?

Where is the Lt Governor Jay Dardenne on this?

Where is Senator David Vitter on this proposal?

Where is Governor Jindal (who hates new taxes) on this issue?

Where is Rep. Steve Scalise on this issue?

Where is the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR?)

Where is CB Forgostten on this issue?

Where is the New Orleans Inspector General and his thoughts on this plan?

Where is Jackie Clarkson?

Where is Susan Guidry?

Where is Kristen Palmer?

The citizens will not let Mitch Landrieu create this position so he can take it over once he leaves the Mayor's office. Mitch we know the CVB funnels money to you for your side trips so they are off the public record. The citizens will not stand for this I assure you.