Hotels don't expect immediate tourism impact from shooting

Hotels don't expect immediate tourism impact from shooting

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Thursday's parade route shooting attracted national attention that tourism industry leaders don't want, but local hotels don't expect any immediate impact.

"The parade people scattered, the pink dancers were everywhere," said Woody Beall, a visitor from Mobile, Ala., who witnessed it all from a second floor window on St Charles Avenue.

"One kid was standing on top of another kid and punching him, and the other kid was laid down. I saw one guy take off behind the Popeye's," Beall said.

Beall said after the shooting, three-fourths of the crowd left. But Friday, tourists were pouring in.

"We live in Chicago, we're not strangers to it," said Bob Broten.

"It's not going to deter us to come down and do what we wanted to do - enjoy Mardi Gras," said St. Louis resident Julia Frazier.

In fact, parade-goers are setting up temporary shop just steps away.

"Not long after this event happened, people were putting up ladders getting ready for today," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

But visitors say they're taking precautions.

"Keep an eye on where we are, if anything looks shady," said Michael Frazier of St Louis.

"Stay with more people," Slidell resident Vernon Shields said. "The bigger the group, the less potential for someone to come in and attack someone."

One guest house operator we spoke with said his guests are undeterred, and that absolutely no one checked out.

"No, it comes with the territory," said David Strickland of Biloxi. "You go to Spain to run with the bulls. Some get gored. It is a city environment, and stuff happens."

The hotels near the scene said they haven't had any check-outs.

"We will do it again tonight," said Cindy Broten of Chicago.

In spite of what he saw, Beall said he wants to move here.

"We will be down on the street for sure. It was a random thing that happened," Beall said.

But it's not something he wants to see happen again.

Tourism leaders issued the following joint statement Friday afternoon expressing regrets to the victims of the shooting: "The city welcomes more than one million revelers during the Carnival season each year, and incidents such as this are rare."

Tourism leaders commended the NOPD and State Police safety plan in place through the Mardi Gras weekend.

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