Businesses warned of Super Bowl restrictions - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Businesses warned of Super Bowl restrictions

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New Orleans, La. -- Each day it seems downtown is getting a little more dressed up. Many Canal Street businesses have fancier facades.

"Let's put our best face forward. And the best way to do that is to fix up the facade of your building.  And, you know, we've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, private property owners have spent millions of dollars fixing up their facades and what that does... it shows that we're ready for business, that we take care of our city and it goes a long way toward attracting new investment," said Kurt Weigle, president and CEO of the Downtown Development District.

And even though the street overhaul downtown is racing to a finish, businesses and residents in the area are told to brace for more traffic restrictions because of the approaching Super Bowl.

"You know the big game is on its way and we really want people to be prepared for the traffic and parking impacts that they may see during the week of the Super Bowl. and. of course, the Mardi Gras period on either side," said Ryan Berni, spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Restrictions in parking and driving will also affect the French Quarter.

"I'm not really nervous, I just feel like the city started a little bit too late, you know.  They waited to the last minute to do all this stuff and its affecting, like, the street musicians and, you know, people [who] do things like this for a living," said Quarter resident Angela Hubbard.

Pat Kahn, a resident of the Quarter and a realtor, was showing a property Thursday afternoon. 

"Yes, it will be a little bit of an inconvenience because we will have many more people here than normal.  But we love people and that's why we're here and that's why we live in the Quarter," Kahn said.

She likes the improvements made in anticipation of the game.  "We have all sorts of parking stuff set up and streets repaired and sidewalks fixed.  A lot of new landscaping has come in between here and the airport, and I think it's going to be super," Kahn said.

Pam Fortner, owner of the Tropical Isle Bars in the French Quarter, is thrilled about all that is happening in the city, as well.

"People come here to eat, to drink, to listen to the fabulous music," she said.

Fortner said her employees are ready to deal with the coming restrictions.  "They have to get here a little bit earlier, they have to leave earlier in time, but they accept that this is a [special] time. Employees say, 'Is this a busy time, the busy time?'  Yes," she said.

The city concedes some people will deem the inconveniences a pain in the neck.  "Oh, they're going to whine just because it's their nature, but no, they're getting through it and they're happy to be here," Fortner continued.

"I do love that, you know, the tourists come and they're bringing the money to our city," stated Hubbard.

Berni said businesses and residents can keep up with the traffic restrictions by logging onto the city's Super Bowl-related web site: nola.gov/super bowl.

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