Ninety miles down I-10 East is all that separates Baton Rouge from New Orleans. That's not that long of a drive for NFL fans looking to be a part of Super Bowl XLVII festivities. That's why area businesses and hotels are preparing for the overflow crowds here in the Capitol City.
While the season may be over for the saints, New Orleans is still in football mode as the city prepares to host Super Bowl XLVII. But with thousands of people expected to flood the Big Easy, Baton Rouge has launched its own marketing blitz.
"Once those two teams are determined, we're going to hit those markets with advertising and public relations say, 'Baton Rouge is accessible, affordable, and available'. So you can get here we've got the rooms and you can afford it...unlike what could happen in New Orleans," said Visit Baton Rouge president and CEO Paul Arrigo
Arrigo says that first weekend in February will be a huge deal for the city's tourism--a time when travel to red stick is typically slow. Area hotels are already starting to see business spike.
"We normally run, in January, probably between 30 and 40 percent," said Baton Rouge Lodging Association president Gary Jupiter. "Right now during the Super Bowl, my hotel is over 50 percent full. We expect to have a good turnout."
Jupiter says they're expecting 10,000 to 20,000 Super Bowl fans to fill most of the city's 10,000 hotel rooms that weekend.
"We've showed our ability to be able to house large amounts of people...large numbers of people. This will be just another opportunity for us to show off our city," said Jupiter.
Arrigo hopes to keep football fans in the city as much as possible. He says three Mardi Gras parades and many more events are planned for the weekend.
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