Visitors declare Mardi Gras 2015 a rousing success

Visitors declare Mardi Gras 2015 a rousing success

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - With the Carnival clean-up well underway, the view turns to impact. While it's too early for a lot of numbers, we checked in with the people checking out of downtown hotels.

“The kids had a blast, weather and all," Dewayne Smith said. "They still had a blast. Everybody had a blast.”

"It was awesome," Samantha Grier said. "It was what everybody said it was."

Smith, from Slidell, stayed downtown.

"It's a lot more convenient to do it downtown than trying to go back and forth because it's just a headache with the parking," he said.

Out-of-towners like Grier, from North Georgia, said, "Everybody was very friendly, I didn't have to flash for my beads, I just wore my cute furs so it was a great time. It's a very good trip."

Just like the heavily laden trees on St. Charles Avenue, hotels were full over the weekend.

"The hotels were 99 percent going in,"  Lauren Cason with the Convention and Visitors Bureau said. "Every indication was that the city was sold out Saturday night. ...So many people do stay with family and friends, but a good barometer for us is that when the hotels are busy, then we know people are staying here and spending money. "

The weekend is typically busiest, with the rest of the country seeing Monday and Tuesday as just another start to the work week.

In the midst of the Mardi Gras mayhem, the International Studies Association checked in for a conference with nearly 6,000 attendees. So even though Carnival is over, a busy convention season begins.

Armstrong International Airport reported a six-year-high in traffic with 20,000 people scheduled to depart today.

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