The week marks the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the storm that flooded 80% of our beloved city of New Orleans, took the lives of 1,833 of its devoted citizens, and caused $151 billion in damage to our region. There was a time (a long time) when all the stories surrounding this catastrophic event were stories of loss, hardship, and destruction. But there was a turning point sometime in the past 11 years where the stories of recovery turned to rediscovery, when people who once talked of surviving began thriving, and those who lost were poised to gain. It’s safe to say that New Orleans HAS indeed made a come back, and a proud one at that. Since Katrina, our economy has grown in the face of a nationwide recession, we’ve won a Super Bowl, and we’ve had a steady growing population, just to name a few achievements. While we still have our issues, namely an unacceptable crime rate and many families still displaced from the storm, our city is definitely transforming for the better. Since the storm, there has been an influx of young people resolute on calling New Orleans home. This expanding population consists of volunteers rebuilding houses, entrepreneurs starting businesses, and natives coming home to start families. All of these individuals have collectively put the Crescent City back on its feet. In 2014, we had nearly 10 million visitors spend over $6.8 billion, the most tourism dollars recorded in the city’s history! That’s something we can be proud of and we are thankful to our local communities and visitors alike for the success we’ve achieved.
We’ve been getting questions and concerns about flooding in New Orleans and we would like to reassure all of our visitors that New Orleans is not flooded! Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of our friends and relatives in Baton Rouge where the water is rising, and we are grateful that the storm has not affected New Orleans.
It’s official! We have laid our old handwritten reservation books to rest. While they have served us well over the past 37 years, we’ve upgraded to an online reservation system so our customers can conveniently book tours online directly through our website! Just click the Book Now button on the specific tour page. Of course we are still in the office 7 days a week, 8AM-8PM so you can always call us with any questions at 504-398-0365. Thank you to all of our wonderful customers for working with us during our transition! And a special thanks to the Peek team for their patience in setting up our new and improved online booking system!
The National WWII Museum celebrate the teamwork, optimism, courage, and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the homefront in the war that changed the world. A special memorial service for these men and women and their descendants will be held Monday, May 30th at the museum in commemoration of their selfless service. The ceremony will commence at 10:30AM with music from the Marine Corps Band New Orleans Brass Quintet, followed by personal tributes from relatives. If you are unable to attend, watch the live stream of Monday’s events here http://livestream.com/nww2m/events/5291535.
Thank you to all active military and veterans for your service.
This Friday is the 46th Annual Greasing of the Poles Ceremony, a favorite carnival tradition! The Royal Sonesta hotel has historically oiled up their balcony poles to deter overly zealous revelers from shimmying up to the coveted balcony space. What started as a practical solution to a serious problem, has (naturally, in the spirit of New Orleans) become a reason to party! This event starts at 10AM Friday morning at the Royal Sonesta hotel. Bryan Blatt will host, local ladies will apply the grease, and a panel of celebrity guests will judge. It's one of those only in New Orleans events you just have to see!
Most New Orleanians have personal anecdotes to share when reminded of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. We saw first hand the tragedy and hardship, the power of community during the rebuilding effort, and the way the media portrayed the events that unfolded during the storms' aftermath. Like many of its community members, New Orleans' tourism industry proved resilient to the wrath of Katrina. As one of the earliest residents to return home, Isabelle Cossart, beloved owner of Tours by Isabelle, recounts her Katrina Story in an article on Buzzfeed. With her and her employees' livelihoods at stake, Isabelle combatted the media's flawed version of Post-Katrina New Orleans with her very own Katrina Disaster Sites Tour, educating outsiders, one van full at a time, exactly what happened to our beautiful city, why, and how it happened.
All failures serve to teach us a lesson and make us stronger. As Hurricane Sandy reminded us not long ago, Mother Nature does not discriminate. Some of the world's oldest and wealthiest cities are prone to the same misfortunes of living at or below sea level that we in New Orleans are all too familiar with. Isabelle recognized the opportunity to educate others in the midst of disaster, which was not easy to do. We can only hope that the perspective we provide on our tours can help others' avoid the same misfortunes we have endured. The Storm was 10 years ago, but its lessons remain relevant. In commemoration of Katrina's 10 year anniversary, we are offering our original 3.5 hour educational Post Katrina Tour through the end of August 2015. The tour will be offered either morning (8:30AM-12:00PM) or afternoon (1:00PM-5:00PM) and the cost is $80/person. (Minimum numbers apply.) Click here to request this tour, or email us at email@example.com.