Saturday, July 08, 2006

Morial Convention Center

The convention center was home to many of the main conference functions. From the main opening sessions and special events to the daily conference offerings and vendors, attendees spent a large part of the week in and around this area. Shuttle bus loading zones were at the river's end of the center and clearly marked to help those of us who were directionally challenged.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the convention center post- Katrina. Walking there from my hotel late Thursday afternoon, not the smartest idea I had over the weekend, I was interested in the palm - or were they palmetto? - trees scattered thoughout downtown and directly outside MCC. They were all the exact same height and I had a fleeting thought that they were recent additions to the area, part of the MCC renovation. Anyway, I would estimate about two thirds of the center was renovated and ready for use. There were construction workers on site each day of the conference, but not many. I don't know if that was because it would have been disturbing to the conference or because there were not people available to work.

After looking at what is now, I needed some perspective from what was then. Here are links to information about Katrina and the Morial Convention Center:

I continue to be amazed not only at what has been done, but the overwhelming need for help to continue. Getting convention business and tourists will bring money into the region. I heard ALA brought in over $25 million to the local economy; sounds great until you realize it is an $8 billion industry. But I keep thinking, what about the locals?

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