Jazz Fest is expected to have an economic impact of over $400 million

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) — The Jazz Fest is over, but the city is still reaping the rewards as many visitors choose to spend a few more days in town. The highly anticipated return of Jazz Fest is giving New Orleans a welcome economic boost.

“We’re doing this tour – a food tour,” said Terry Zajec from California. She’s spending a few days in New Orleans after coming to town for the Jazz Fest. “So it’s a two-hour tour.”

“I would like to spend maybe another extra day, like going home on Wednesday. But you know, work,” she said.

Jazz Fest draws tens of thousands of visitors to the area, with many choosing to spend their time outside the fairgrounds once the music is over.

“We checked out Frenchman Street a bit. I saw groups there. We have to go to Tipitina and see Galactic one evening. So we had a great time!” said Jack Kalbach of Maryland.

“We’re going on a steamboat cruise!” said Clea Simon of Massachusetts.

“We always stay a few extra days just to relax,” said Stewart Richardson of Maryland. “Because if you try to go to work or do anything after that, it’s like your brain slows down.”

That means more money for the restaurants, bars and shops that have been missing out on Jazz Fest crowds for several years.

Mary Beth Romig with New Orleans and company said the return of Jazz Fest is a much-needed boost to the economy and people’s minds.

“Generally, Jazz Fest has an economic impact of around $400 million, which is huge and much needed,” she said. “So it’s those kinds of little ripple effects that really make a difference when we get to have Jazz Fest in all its glory.”

Ask Jessica Duggins at the Toulouse Royale gift shop in the French Quarter. She said since Mardi Gras the store has seen a steady stream of visitors and the “ripple effect” has been fantastic for business.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled,” Duggins said. “People are there in the morning before they leave, they get hats and sunglasses, t-shirts. So it’s been great for the city all around.

But the effects of the Jazz Fest go beyond that.

“These strangers who keep coming back…they’re ambassadors for New Orleans when they go back to wherever they live,” Romig said.

“To see the trams packed and people having dinner and going to all the music clubs…Jazz Fest has a life of its own when you think the doors close at 7pm, but the action goes on late into the evening. “

And it will only get better with time.

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