Tuesday, 06 September 2016 11:31

LED: Scholarships for small contractors in flood areas; N.O. Tourism report; BRAC; Parade of Homes

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new orleans tourismBusiness news for today: Louisiana Economic Development announces flood-affected region scholarships for small contractors; now, a virtual Parade of Homes; New Orleans Hospitality winners; BRAC issues commentary on Louisiana Education:

(From News releases)

Small contractors in Louisiana’s flood-affected regions can qualify for a limited number of scholarships when registering for an innovative new program to help small construction companies build a solid foundation for business growth and success. The Louisiana Contractors Accreditation Institute, to be conducted throughout the state in October and November, will help small and emerging construction companies learn the basics of the industry and prepare for the state’s licensing exam.

The institute will offer critical information about construction management and how to prepare for the General Contractors State Licensing Exam. The course is open to construction-based Louisiana businesses and anyone with an interest in starting one. Partners making the program possible are Louisiana Economic Development, the Louisiana Community & Technical College System and the State Licensing Board for Contractors.

The six-week course, to be offeredOct. 3 to Nov. 9, will feature two-hour evening sessions twice a week. The course will be offered via interactive distance-learning to multiple locations throughout Louisiana. Tuition is $200, but LED is offering 50 scholarships on a first-come, first-served basis for those residing in parishes designated in the federal disaster declaration, due to recent flooding.

Those parishes are: Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

To register for the institute with a scholarship, contact Catherine Barber at(985) 448-5916orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about the program, visitwww.OpportunityLouisiana.com/LCAI


Following the success of its annual Parade of Homes event this past June, the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans (HBAGNO) has teamed up withR&D DESIGNto offer a “Virtual Parade of Homes” designed to enhance the traditional Parade of Homes experience. It will provide potential homebuyers and those hoping to renovate their existing home with opportunity to tour new homes and see the latest in home construction and design all year-round.

R&D DESIGN, a full service marketing agency which specializes in high quality virtual reality content, has brought a dynamic new technology to the New Orleans real estate market that allows viewers to tour homes virtually with 360° videos. When viewers watch these360° videoson a smartphone or tablet, which they can view by rotating their device, it will afford them the experience of looking at every aspect of a room from every angle.

Virtual Reality (VR) videos will allow people to see beautiful, new energy-efficient homes featuring the latest design trends, includinghomes with gyms, saunas and access to walking paths,home automation, sustainable homebuilding, colorful open kitchens, better blending of the inside/outside and more, all with the click of a mouse. Visitors will also be able to get great ideas for renovating an existing home.

“By offering these 360° virtual reality tours online, we will be able to highlight many more homes during our annual Parade of Homes in June and throughout the year as more homes are completed and become available for sale,” said Jon Luther, executive vice president of the HBA of Greater New Orleans. “We encourage builders, real estate agents and potential homebuyers throughout our community to take full advantage of this new technology which could influence the way people buy and sell homes.”

Currently, the homes open for tour on the Parade of Homes are limited by homeowners’ and homebuilders’ willingness to allow hundreds of people to walk through their brand new homes. In addition to spotlighting the existing homes on the annual Parade, the 360° tours will highlight those homes that aren’t yet ready for the June showcase, as well as major remodels of occupied homes that cannot be open for tour.

“As the local housing market continues to evolve and become more competitive, it’s important for builders to be able to showcase their homes to their best advantage. That’s where 360° virtual reality videos come in,” said David Holtman, co-founder and managing director ofR&D DESIGN. “In addition to being an ideal selling tool for builders, these videos will enhance the buyer experience by allowing them to see a particular property before and after physically seeing it.”

For more information and a list of virtual homes and their physical locations, visit:virtual.nolapoh.org.



  • New Orleans has been selected to host the66thNBA All-Star Game 2017for the third time in 10 years. The game will be played on Sunday, February 19that the Smoothie King Center.
  • Allegiant Airhas announced non-stop flights from Concord, NC to New Orleans with fares as low as $45 beginning on November 18, 2016.
  • GLO Airlineshas announced its fifth non-stop flight destination from New Orleans to Huntsville, AL beginning on September 30, 2016.
    • This new flight to Huntsville, AL will be offered three days a week on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • The Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans has announced their40thAnniversary Seasonofferings, including the Performing and Visual Arts Season that will highlight interdisciplinary; spirit of forward-thinking dreamers.
    • The CAC 40thseason began in August and will continue through June 30, 2017.


  • The inauguralNew Orleans Daiquiri Seasonis set to take over New Orleans for the month of September.
    • Formerly the New Orleans Daiquiri Festival, the Tales of the Cocktail team is bringing back the festival as a season with 30 days of special events and tastings across New Orleans.
  • Southern Decadence, the largest LGBT event in New Orleans, returns to New Orleans’ French Quarter for its 45thyear August 31-September 5 for a weekend of parties, concerts, parades and revelry.
    • New Orleans is a major destination for LGBT travelers, affirming the history of diversity, tolerance and inclusiveness in welcoming all.
  • Louisiana Seafood Festivalwill welcome a weekend full of seafood, live music, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, an arts village, family activities and more to the City Park Festival Grounds September 2-4.
    • This festival celebrates the fresh and flavorful bounty of seafood in Louisiana.
    • Advance tickets are $8 per day or $22 for a weekend pass. Tickets will increase to $10 per day at the gate, with proceeds extending support to flood victims in Louisiana.
  • Jazz in the Parkreturns to Armstrong Park on September 8thoffering much more than a live concert series, with local music, artwork and lots of food vendors.
    • Jazz in the Park will occur every Thursdayfrom 4-8 p.m.through November 3, 2016.
  • The 4thAnnualDownriver Festivalwill celebrate “Oysters & the Future of Our Coast” along the Mississippi River with live music, cooking demonstrations, presentations and panels on Saturday, September 10thfrom 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.at the Old U.S. Mint and the French Market.
  • Throughout the week of September 12-18,Restaurant Week New Orleans, formerly “We Live to Eat Restaurant Week,”  offers discounted menus across the city.
    • Restaurant Week New Orleans offers lunch menus for $20 or less, as well as dinner and brunch menus for $39 or less.
  • The 8thannualNew Orleans Burlesque Festivalwill host parties, discussion panels, burlesqueworkshops and the Queen of Burlesque competition September 15-18.
  • The inauguralFried Chicken Festivalwill take place on September 25thin Lafayette Square with over 20 restaurants offering their take on the celebrated southern staple.
    • The festival will celebrate National Chicken Finger Day from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.with family-friendly activities, live music throughout the day and of course, lots of fried chicken.
    • Vendors will compete to win the title in the Best Fried Chicken Contest, judged by local and national food experts.
  • Festivals will continue through October with some big names and local favorites:
    • Hosted by the Contemporary Arts Center,Art for Arts’ Sakewill welcome over 30,000 guests to stroll the Warehouse District art galleries, gift shops and exhibits along Julia Street and Magazine Street on October 1st.
    • Tremé Fall Festivalreturns October 1-2for the second-annual celebration of this cherished New Orleans neighborhood through live music, food, arts, building projects, free health screenings and tours of St. Augustine Church and more.
    • Oscar®-qualifyingNew Orleans Film Festival, presented by the New Orleans Film Society, returns for its 27thyear October 12-20.
      • The New Orleans Film Festival received more than 4,000 submissions from 115 different countries and will be showcasing a lineup of 200 films.
    • TheCrescent City Blues & BBQ Festivalwill bring local and regional art vendors, live music and lots of great barbecue with an emphasis on Louisiana cuisine to Lafayette Square October 14-16.
    • New Orleans’ official Halloween Parade, theKrewe of Boowill roll Saturday, October 22from the Marigny Neighborhood to Downtown New Orleans.
    • October 23rdwill mark the 10thannualOak Street Po-Boy Festivalwith live music, local merchants and more than 50 vendors offering their best po-boy.
    • Halloween weekend brings theVoodoo Music + Arts Experience October 28-30, with an impressive lineup of artists including G-Eazy, Band of Horses, Kevin Gates, Mutemath and more.

For a full list of festivals, clickhere.


  • Chef Emeril Lagasse’s newest restaurant in New Orleans,Meril, will open its doors on September 24th.
    • Meril is the first new restaurant in New Orleans for Chef Emeril Lagasse in almost two decades.
    • Chef Will Avelar will be at the helm in the kitchen. He most recently served as sous chef at Emeril’s Delmonico.
    • It is named after the celebrity chef’s daughter and will have a menu inspired by meals Lagasse enjoys cooking at home for his family, dishes he’s enjoyed while traveling as well as inspiration from years of experience.
    • The restaurant is located in the New Orleans Warehouse District and will be open daily for lunch and dinner.


  • Construction has begun on anew terminalatLouis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, set to debut in 2018.
  • This $826 million project will feature 30 gates, a 2,000-car parking garage, a central utility plant and a ground transportation staging area.
  • The new terminal is projected to have a $3.2 billion annual economic impact on tourism in New Orleans.
  • The airport has also added a variety of new flights:
    • Allegiant(One new twice-weekly departure to Concord Regional Airportbeginning November 18, 2016)
    • GLO Airlines(Three times weekly departure to Huntsville International Airport beginning on September 30, 2016)
    • Condor(One new twice-weekly departure to Frankfurt, Germany, beginning May 3, 2017)
    • Allegiant(One new twice-weekly departure to Tulsa International Airport, May 26, 2016)
    • GLO(Two new seasonal weekly departures to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, June 24-September 5, 2016)
    • JetBlue(One new daily departure to Fort-Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, beginning September 29, 2016)
    • Branson AirExpress(Return of seasonal air service four times weekly to Branson Airport, May 26-August 14, 2016)
  • Condorwill begin seasonal nonstop flights fromFrankfurt, Germanyto New Orleans twice weekly on May 3, 2017.
    • This will be New Orleans’ first nonstop flight to Europe since the 1980s and will connect New Orleans passengers to more than 120 other cities in the Eastern hemisphere through Condor’s partner airlines.
    • Flights will depart on Wednesdays and Sundays on a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 259 seats.
    • The flight is estimated to bring nearly 10,000 people to New Orleans annually.


  • American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine Annual Meeting |September 13-25
    • This annual meeting is the premier event for Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic medicine professionals; it will host guest speakers, workshops and educational sessions focusing on all realms of electrodiagnosis neuromuscular diseases and neuromuscular ultrasound.
    • Projected attendance: 1,200
  • ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. ServiceMaster Experience | September 14-17
    • For the first time, the inaugural ServiceMaster Experience will bring all cleaning, home maintenance, pest control and lawn fertilization brands together to showcase services through a state-of-the-art, interactive mobile exhibit.
    • Projected attendance: 1,400
  • Water Environment Federation (WEFTEC) | September 24-28
    • WEFTEC is North America’s largest meeting of its kind, offering water quality professionals from around the globe the opportunity to learn water quality education and training.
    • Projected attendance: 18,000


The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today issued a public policy commentary urging the Louisiana Department of Education to incorporate into its Every Student Succeeds Act implementation a plan to increase student engagement in workplace experiences, thereby better preparing students for life after high school. The commentary takes issue with those who have sought to leverage the federal law as a means of weakening school accountability. The full commentary is attached and availableonline.


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