WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter shows us how businesses in the downtown corridor are gearing up for tens of thousands of guests.
New Orleans and its LBGT Community are gearing up to host Southern Decadence.
It’s a festive weekend-long celebration of frolicking Out & About in the French Quarter.
“It’s a lot of people in the streets; it’s a lot of gay, lesbian, LGBT community people out doing their thing,” local Ruth Vernotico said.
But Willie Mackie will tell you, the invite is extended to all.
“Come in freely without any bias and have a good time because we’re ready for everybody, I mean everybody,” Mackie said.
The past two years, storms like hurricane Isaac put a damper on turnout.
But this year the forecast is favorable.
The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates more than 120-thousand guests.
“And we’re ready for the storm that is southern decadence,” business manager Josh Duffy said.
“It’s exciting to see all these people want to come to our city,” Vernotico said.
The Decadence crowd is expected to pump an estimated 125-million dollars into the local economy.
Hotels in the French Quarter and the Central Business District are expected to sell out.
From economy hotels, to the luxurious Roosevelt; all are already getting great numbers.
“You know this festival, draws what will nearly be a full house for us the entire weekend, so we’re thrilled they’re back in town,” Roosevelt General Manager Tod Chambers said.
Restaurants are ready to serve up Cajun Cuisine.
Hospitality workers are excited about the uptick, after the traditionally slow summer season.
And let’s not forget the bars.
Most are decked out for decadence, and have beacoup booze.
“We’ve back ordered all the liquor that we possibly could,” bar manager Scott Horner said. “We’re gearing up for it.”
Adult apparel and novelty shops are geared up too.
Trotter asked, “Are you ready? “We have everything in stock we are ridiculously prepared for Southern Decadence,”
“Anytime New Orleans has an opportunity to put itself on stage and let people see it we always shine and I think that that’s great,” Vernotico said.
Behind Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, Southern Decadence is one of the city’s highest attended events.
That’s why the New Orleans Police Department is putting together a comprehensive plan to keep crowds safe.