Editor’s Note

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing like cooling off with a nice cocktail — and there will be no shortage of those here in the Crescent City as we welcome the world’s premier cocktail festival, Tales of the Cocktail, July 15-19. While the festival itself is designed for industry professionals — over 18,000 of which attended last year’s festivities — we took a look at how this 13-year-old event has boosted New Orleans’ economy, not just in the summer, but all year long.

And speaking of a summer boost, the metropolitan area continues to be a travel destination, not just for tourists, but for those looking to tie the knot. In 2014, nuptial spending in the New Orleans area reached over $228 million. This month’s wedding feature takes a look at who’s cashing in, and by how much.

This summer also holds a poignant milestone for the city as we mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina next month. Since I moved to New Orleans four years ago I’ve heard a lot of stories and been asked countless times if I was “here when it happened.”

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I wasn’t. What I know of the city has been largely the renaissance, and since I’ve been fortunate enough to join Biz New Orleans I’ve heard nothing but good news from professionals in virtually every industry sector — along with a few new ones, like tech and film. I’ve seen the accolades role in —“No. 1 for Business Climate,” “Top 10 City in the World,” “Fastest Growing Airport in the USA,” “No. 1 New Brainpower City.”

I hear it all the time, as horrible as Katrina was, it was the impetus we needed. It’s made us better, stronger.

Then I went and visited Burnell and Keasha Cotlon. I drove down to the Lower 9th Ward on a hot Thursday afternoon in June and I saw for myself that the recovery has boundaries, and that for thousands like the Cotlons, Katrina is still very much alive.

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Sunni LeBeouf

Black History Month Spotlight This Black History Month, Cox Communications is proud to recognize Sunni LeBeouf for her prolific record of professional achievement, civic philanthropy,...

As we go to mark this decade of regrowth and rebirth, I invite you to read about the Lower 9th Ward Market — a business that exists only because one couple decided to risk everything they had for their community.

They’re out there everyday, creating hope, and they could use all the help they can get.

Happy reading,

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