ICE 2006: a first-hand look at the state of recovery in New Orleans.Because of the many news reports--and the sometimes confusing and conflicting stories--coming out of New Orleans New Orleans (ôr`lēənz –lənz, ôrlēnz`), city (2006 pop. 187,525), coextensive with Orleans parish, SE La., between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, 107 mi (172 km) by water from the river mouth; founded since Hurricane Katrina Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism. , the FSCT FSCT Federation of Societies for Coating Technology
FSCT Fire Support Control Terminal felt it imperative that our exhibitors and attendees receive a first-hand report on the status of the city and its recovery efforts.
FSCT Staff and ICE personnel visited New Orleans in late February where we met with city officials, as well as convention center and hotel management. We are pleased to report that while much needs to be done, especially in those flooded neighborhoods near Lake Pontchartrain Lake Pontchartrain (local English pronunciation [leɪk ˈpʰɑntʃətʰɹeɪn]) (French: Lac Pontchartrain, pronounced , the level of recovery and repair in the city center, French Quarter, Warehouse District, and Convention Center are well underway.
Mardi Gras Mardi Gras (mär`dē grä), last day before the fasting season of Lent. It is the French name for Shrove Tuesday. Literally translated, the term means "fat Tuesday" and was so called because it represented the last opportunity for was a big test for New Orleans For New Orleans: A Benefit For The Musicians' Village Habitat For Humanity is an American benefit double-disc CD, with tracks from Minnesota artists, and national artists. , and it appears that the city and its citizens carried off the celebration very nicely, although crowds were about half of the normal 900,000-1,000,000. However, in all honesty, that is about all the city could handle at this point. It was a well-needed respite and everyone we spoke with was looking forward to the festivities fes·tiv·i·ty
n. pl. fes·tiv·i·ties
1. A joyous feast, holiday, or celebration; a festival.
2. The pleasure, joy, and gaiety of a festival or celebration.
3. , before getting back to the work of rebuilding.
During our stay, we toured many of the city's neighborhoods and sampled several of the better-known eateries. Almost all of the "name" restaurants were up and running--Antoine's, Galatorie's, Arnaud's, Restaurant August--and Cafe du Monde n. 1. The world; a globe as an ensign of royalty.
Le beau monde
fashionable society. See Beau monde.
See Demimonde. was serving beignets and cafe au lait ca·fé au lait
1. Coffee served with hot milk.
2. A light coffee hue. See Regional Note at beignet.
[French : café, coffee + à, with + lait . With over nine months to go until ICE 2006, most of the convention service-related businesses are operating and the city anticipates that all will be open by this summer. Regarding the restaurants, the food was as terrific as we remembered it from the last ICE (in 2002), and the service was quite acceptable. Although the city was a little light on taxicabs downtown, we had no problem obtaining a taxi at the airport.
The hotels are in very good shape, with most of the downtown properties, particularly those being used by the FSCT and ICE, having undergone extensive cleaning and refurbishment. The city is also upgrading Canal St. under a plan previously approved and budgeted.
The Convention Center is almost back to normal, with massive amounts of refurbishment and cleaning already done. Just previous to our visit, the Center hosted its first convention since Katrina with over 15,000 attendees and a 500-booth show in three of its large halls. All renovation to the Center was scheduled for completion by March 31. At the time of our visit, it was ahead of schedule.
There were, of course, signs of the hurricane's effects in many places. Some damage to downtown property is not yet fixed, but we saw construction and repair crews everywhere. The damage to the Hyatt at the Superdome is awesome, but that only underscored the tremendous amount of recovery that already has taken place. (FYI "For your information." See digispeak.
FYI - For Your Information : The FSCT would not have used the Hyatt during ICE in any case.)
Regarding concerns about safety and health, these were discussed fully at our meetings. The Tulane Medical Center is now open and Charity Hospital will reopen shortly in Jefferson, with more medical facilities coming online after Mardi Gras. Air quality is fine. We experienced no breathing difficulty at all. You may check the air quality yourself by going to the government's website, http://www.airnow.gov, which features the results of current air quality testing in New Orleans and other Gulf Shore cities.
While we can detail the statistics of recovery, we cannot adequately relate here the spirit of the city and its people. They ARE going to make this happen. There is a very strong determination to succeed. To be realistic, some parts of the city may never recover; the Lower 9th Ward is a disaster. However, many of the evacuees Resident or transient persons who have been ordered or authorized to move by competent authorities, and whose movement and accommodation are planned, organized and controlled by such authorities. did not go to Houston, et al., but relocated to the suburban parishes and commute back and forth daily--or when there is work. They are expected to return and are anxious to do so as soon as housing is available. Many of the evacuees are expected back when school is out for the year in June and the families are able to return.
As to the future, the city will host two large conventions in June: the American Library Association American Library Association, founded 1876, organization whose purpose is to increase the usefulness of books through the improvement and extension of library services. (17,000 attendees) and the Air & Waste Management Association (3,000 attendees); in August, the American Psychological Association The American Psychological Association (APA) is a professional organization representing psychology in the US. Description and history
The association has around 150,000 members and an annual budget of around $70m. will bring 16,000 delegates to the city; the National Association of Realtors The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is made up of residential and commercial realtors who are brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, and counselors, and others working in the real estate industry. (25,000 attendees) will follow ICE on November 10-13. New Orleans was more than ready to host Mardi Gras and appears equally capable of supporting these major conventions.
The FSCT believes that the city will be in even better shape in November when the Paint Industry arrives for ICE 2006. We will be visiting New Orleans again late this summer and would welcome hearing your comments and thoughts on ICE 2006 and New Orleans.
For more information on the status of New Orleans, please visit the following websites: www.neworleanscvb.com and www.nola.com
Not everyone has the opportunity to build homes for those displaced, but your attendance in November will help to rebuild a city and region that truly needs our industry's financial and emotional support.
On behalf of the FSCT, thank you for your support of our activities. We look forward to seeing you in the Big Easy this November.
Online housing for ICE 2006 will be open shortly on our website, www.coatingstech.org, and updates will be posted beginning in April. The Registration, Housing, and Program brochure will be mailed in mid-May. Contact FSCT at 610.940.0777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list.
by Bob Ziegler--Executive Vice President, FSCT