The Future of New Orleans

New Orleans is up-to-the-moment and fresh and lively.  The future of New Orleans is on Esplanade Avenue.  Come find out for yourself.  What am I talking about?  I’m talking about the future of a magical city that is not like anywhere else in the world.  Follow me….


Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans
There is only one way to enjoy the real New Orleans: on Esplanade Avenue!



The biggest segment of New Orleans’ economy is tourism.  It is the engine that keeps people employed, by far.  We are still an important port city but the port has become mostly mechanized and it doesn’t employ a lot of people.   We’re not even in the top ten list of U.S. container ports according to this website.  I believe it.

Tourism has swelled to fill that job gap.  There are thousands upon thousands of hotel rooms in New Orleans waiting to be filled by people like you.  Most of them, unsurprisingly, are owned by big multinational hotel conglomerates.  You know them: Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton.  There are also smaller hotel chains operating in the city.  Some of these brands are owned by the big three but others are owned by smaller regional players.  Either way, there is big money to be made in New Orleans hospitality.

The city wants to grow its tourism industry even bigger.  Last year, New Orleans hosted 10.5 million visitors.  The plan is to increase that number to 13.7 million next year.  The city is shooting for 17 million people a year in the foreseeable future.  New Orleans is putting most of it’s eggs in the tourism industry’s basket.  Some people call New Orleans ,”The American Venice.”  It’s true in more ways than one.

You can’t blame the powers that be for trying to attract more visitors.  Laissez les bon temps rouler!  New Orleans is unlike any other city in the world.  Build it bigger and people will come.  New Orleans has been 300 years in the making and the best is yet to be.  We’re going to have the best Mardi Gras ever in 2020!

New Orleans tricentennial
300 years of New Orleans goodness—the best city in Louisiana since 1718!


If you have to ask what makes New Orleans special, you obviously haven’t spent any time here.  New Orleans IS special and the future of New Orleans will be special, too.  What makes New Orleans special?  It’s the culture.  New Orleans is like no place else.

The French Quarter, and the usual top ten lists of things to do in New Orleans reflects that, but, frankly, from where I sit on Esplanade Avenue as I write this, the French Quarter and the top ten lists are the least interesting things about New Orleans.  I don’t go to the French Quarter as a citizen of New Orleans.  Buying a tee shirt and visiting a strip club aren’t usually on my list of errands I need to accomplish on any given day.  Melanie (who is the better half of La Belle Esplanade’s operation) and I went to dinner in the French Quarter last week.  We both looked up from our menus and said to each other, “This is tourist food.”

I know you come to New Orleans for jambalaya and gumbo and crawfish etouffée, but there is more to Creole New Orleans cuisine than what you read about in the guide books or what you can find off the interchangeable menus in the French Quarter.  We live in a vibrant city where the culinary culture is alive and ever-changing—creatively and deliciously building off the past.  We do eat gumbo in New Orleans but we don’t eat it every meal.  The future of New Orleans is its constant mix of influences.  New Orleans is a gumbo pot and it’s results are different with every bite.  Savor the flavor of every New Orleans moment.

The best gumbos can be sampled outside the usual tourist paradigm.  I’ll tell you where to go.





You can stay in a chain hotel or you can stay in an AirBnB or a Vaction Rental by Owner.  You’re not going to get the same experience as the curated introduction that you’ll get at La Belle Esplanade.  Name another hotel or empty apartment where the owner will take the time to share what he or she knows about this wonderful city Melanie and I call home.  There is only one place, and it’s here.  Every morning starts with a curated breakfast salon of local delicacies picked up from all over the city and at least an hour of conversation with witty and informed hosts who are very familiar with New Orleans past, what’s happening in New Orleans today, and the future of New Orleans.

La Belle Esplanade was modern when our inn was built and it will remain modern for years to come.


The future of New Orleans is at La Belle Esplanade
We’re talking about a magical city as embodied in the inn which is the orange house in the middle of this photo

New Orleans tourism operates on an industrial scale in order to take care of all the people who visit every year.  Our small boutique hotel operates on a different scale.  With only five spacious suites, not everyone can be a part of the La Belle Esplanade adventure.  What does this mean for you?  It means the future of New Orleans tourism invites bigger and more hotels, and it invites bigger and more vacation rentals, but it also means that there is another option for the discerning traveler.  There will always be a better option for the discerning traveler who wants to visit New Orleans like they really live here and who wants to feel New Orleans’s pulse.

The future of New Orleans is unlike any other hotel you’ve ever stayed in.  The future of New Orleans is La Belle Esplanade.  Good memories are made on our street.  Make yours here.

À votre santé,

La Belle Esplanade

where every morning starts with a curated breakfast salon of good food and good conversation about all things New Orleans.

Friday, November 24, 2017:  It’s the day after Thanksgiving today.  We here in New Orleans have plenty to be thankful for.

Looking for something to read from our early days in business?  New Orleans 70119.