I might have to make some vacation plans:
The New Orleans business establishment-in-exile has set up a beachhead in a government annex here, across the street from the state Capitol. From here, organizations like the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau have begun to plot the rebirth of the city.
In the cramped offices and hallways of this building, called the Capitol Annex, and continuing into the evening at bars and restaurants around Baton Rouge, New Orleans’s business leaders and power brokers are concocting big plans, the most important being reopening the French Quarter within 90 days.
Also under discussion are plans to stage a scaled-down Mardi Gras at the end of February and to lobby for one of the 2008 presidential nominating conventions and perhaps the next available Super Bowl.
So far, those conversations have been taking place largely without the participation of one central player: the city. “They’re still in emergency mode and not yet thinking strategically,” said J. Stephen Perry, the chief executive of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We’re thinking strategically.”
The hurdles are formidable when so much of the city is still flooded and some are predicting it could be six months to a year before New Orleans is once again habitable. But the power brokers are not deterred.
If they are up and running, they could use the tourism- that you can be sure of…