New Orleans bound conventions come to Memphis instead - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New Orleans bound conventions come to Memphis instead

The marching ducks at the Peabody Hotel always attract a crowd; much like the famous hotel itself attracts conventions. Conventions can be a saving grace for the hotel industry. "There's a period when the tourist season is slow and conventions can make up for that slow time," says Charles Landrum, manager at the Peabody Hotel.

And as busy as Memphis is now it will soon be busier. A number of conventions previously scheduled to take place in New Orleans were forced to look for other host cities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. So far four have landed in Memphis. "Three of them are in area hotels," says Kevin Kane of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, "one is a major group that will be in the convention center in February." Kane admits available hotel space has been an issue, but minor inconveniences are worth eventual dividends. "You're talking about people coming to this city and obviously staying at hotels, eating at restaurants, and spending their money," says Kane.

Conventions busting loose from the Big Easy can do so without contractual conflicts through the end of next March. That's when officials in New Orleans expect things to be back on track. In the meantime Kane says "we are absolutely pursuing every possible piece of business we can relocate to the Memphis area."

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