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Facilities Update
National Customer Advisory Council Tours Great Hall Construction At New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Members of the New Orleans National Customer Advisory Council were escorted on a hard-hat tour of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center’s Great Hall construction project recently. The tour showcased the redesign progress of the building’s 60,300-sq. ft. column-free ballroom, 4,000-sq. ft. junior ballroom and new pedestrian plaza that will welcome visitors.

Melvin Rodrigue
, president of the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority, surprised the council members by greeting them from atop a boom lift stationed in the construction site. Staff members of the Convention Center and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau were on hand to help guide the tour led by David Mason, director of Construction.

The Great Hall renovation encompasses the original phase of the Convention Center which served as the "Great Hall" of the World’s Fair in 1984. The end result will be the largest ballroom in New Orleans.

The redesign also includes a terrace overlook featuring a 9-ft. by 45-ft. high-definition video display board. The ballroom will contain an extensive lighting package that incorporates an energy efficient LED system that will provide nearly unlimited color combinations, creating an environment customized to the individual event. The Great Hall will divide into four sections and includes a pre-function area totaling 25,000 sq. ft.

The advisory council includes past, current and future New Orleans meeting planners who provide recommendations towards making New Orleans the most preferred meeting destination. Many improvements to the center have been the result of their input. The Great Hall is set to open January 25, 2013 for use by the NFL in events surrounding Super Bowl XLVII.