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H-town Drops The Ball/atl Wins Again

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Although I was not thinking like a buzzard feasting on the remains of the dead, after Katrina wiped out the Big Easy, I was holding out hope that the city leaders in Houston would make a serious play for New Orleans's huge and highly lucrative convention business...unfortunately, Atlanta seems to have beaten them to the punch...

Atlanta lures conventions from New Orleans

14 gatherings make the switch so far


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 10/21/05

Almost two months after Hurricane Katrina stormed through the Gulf Coast, Atlanta continues to add conventions previously scheduled for New Orleans.

The city recently booked four large meetings, bringing a combined 63,500 visitors this year and next. That's on top of the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Anesthesiologists meeting, which is expected to bring about 15,000 conventioneers each to town starting Sunday.

Link to full story...

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/business/1...onventions.html :(

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Before we all jump on the Houston Dropped the Ball bandwagon, it might help to consider one of the key ingredients to hosting a convention...hotel rooms. Over 10,000 rooms, holding 43,000 evacuees are still in use and therefore, off the market. That's 20 percent of Houston's hotel stock. The number of available rooms is so small that local officials are scrambling to find rooms for the relatively small crowds who will come to Houston for the World Series.

And for those who might be griping that it is time for the evacuees to get out of those rooms so we can get some convention business, consider this: The 80,000 conventioneers in Atlanta will use, at best, 40,000 rooms for 3 days, or 120,000 room nights. The Katrina evacuees are using 10,000 rooms for 2 months, or 600,000 room nights! Is our hotel/restaurant economy really getting hurt?

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RS beat me to it. If you'll recall, a handful of conventions had been cancelled or postponed because there were evacuees using two of the area's largest convention centers. Add to that the fact many hotel rooms are still booked by evacuees either waiting to return to NO or waiting for FEMA assistance in finding longterm housing here in Houston and the larger conventions would be pretty stupid for not looking at more secure locations to book conventions.

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Are you sure that said Houston? I mean, I thought Houston was in a downward spiral in conventions. I mean, would couldn't attract one if we built a brand new hotel and built out our convention facilities.

(sarcasm in case anyone missed it)

Also, I know that there is a proposal out for the Astrodome conversion, but does anyong think there will be new hotels or mass rennovations of the existing ones around Reliant. The place is becoming another major convention area.

Another neat concept, both convention areas are on the same LRT line.

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