French Quarter businesses prepare for Carnival season

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Despite the threat of rain, businesses in the French Quarter started getting ready for a busy carnival weekend, but some worry construction work could hurt business.

Some people who work on Bourbon Street are increasingly frustrated with construction, especially as carnival season gets closer.

"It's been incredibly frustrating because we get no answers from anyone on the city council, we get no accountability from the mayor, nothing. We're basically just told this is what it is, deal with it, and it's horrible," Sales Manager Rue Bourbon Balconies Elizabeth Schindler said.

Schindler said she's lost business because of it.

"I've had clients who have canceled huge parties and huge events," Schindler said.

She hoped Krewe du Vieux would change that until she said organizers changed the route just two weeks ago without an explanation.

"I had a three floor, and no actually entire building buy out, specifically for Krewe du Vieux, because it was supposed to come up Bienville," Schindler said.

When the clients learned the parade would no longer be going down Bienville, they canceled.

However, Kristian Sonnier with the Visitors Bureau is hoping it will be business as usual when the 100 to 400 blocks of Bourbon Street reopen next Thursday.

"We heard that some businesses were suffering because it was hard to get to them and inconvenient because of the construction. So we know they're eager to get back to normal with the new and improved Bourbon Street," Sonnier said.

Some employees say they are upping their staff and hours for the parades.

"To make sure everything is covered because Mardi Gras have parades down here so we expect them to be a big turn out," Raven Caldwell said.

Despite the potential for rainy weather, businesses are expecting a lot of foot traffic.

"It's Mardi Gras. People are going to be out there rain or shine especially for Krewe du Vieux. It's kind of the unofficial kick off of Mardi Gras. Everyone really looks forward to that one," Sonnier said.

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