Super Bowl 2013 overflows into parish

Published 8:14 am Sunday, February 3, 2013

With the hype, pageantry and crowds dedicated to Super Bowl Fever, the Northshore is profiting from what has become known as “overflow,” which is having a positive economic impact on local parishes, along with their municipalities and hospitality industries.

As part of a committee that has welcomed dignitaries, businessmen and other visitors at the Northshore region’s airports, St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Brenda Reine Bertus said this is a great marketing opportunity for the area.

“We simply want to plant some seeds with professionals to let them know we are more than a tourist destination or a suburb,” she said. “The Northshore is home to several corporations, including Chevron, Globalstar and SPC Pool Corp., to name a few, and this is a great corporate location.

“The Northshore has a lot to offer, including a huge population base of more than 500,000 people in the three-parish area of Tangipahoa, St. Tammany and Washington parishes, award-winning school systems with nationally recognitions, access to three international airports, an interstate interchange of four interstates converging to offer transportation in multiple directions for product movement and more.”

All this information is included in goodie bags that will be given out at the airport.

The regional marketing at Northshore airports was planned by a coalition comprised of representatives from St. Tammany Parish Government, the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation, The Tangipahoa Economic Development Foundation, Washington Economic Development Foundation and municipalities in the parish including Slidell and Covington. They came together in an effort to work as unified hosts to guests Friday and Saturday.

Washington Economic Development Foundation Director Ryan Seal participated in that effort.

“We made a brochure touting the national and regional companies located in the three-parish area,” he said.

The brochure, which includes information about population, educational opportunities, workforce availability, recreation and the business climate and opportunities, was included in goodie bags made available to visitors flying in to Bogalusa’s George R. Carr Memorial Airfield. A banner was also placed at the airport to welcome guests.

Seal, who monitored traffic at the airport Friday and was available to provide assistance if needed, said the city of Bogalusa has made many improvements at the facility.

“Mayor Charles Mizell is committed to improving the airport and increasing air traffic,” he said.

King cake, coffee and food was also available for the visitors at the Slidell Municipal Airport, which was expecting 30 planes between Friday and Saturday. The Hammond Airport was expecting about 150 planes, according to Bertus.

Sidell Airport spokesperson Felicia Carpenter said multiple types of jets were due to arrive Friday and Saturday, mainly corporate.

“We are a reliever airport for Louis Armstrong International Airport and the Lakefront Airport, both in New Orleans. The 30 reservations put us at our maximum, because we already have planes here. We even have some banner tow planes that will be working this weekend.”

She said the airport set up hospitality suites for the pilots, the workers on the jets.

“We want to ensure that all clientele are treated with the greatest hospitality we can offer,” she said.

As the first stop on the leg of their Super Bowl XLVII excursion, the Northshore region was prepared to make a lasting impression and begin what officals hope will become ongoing, long-term relationships.

With Super Bowl Fever running high, and very contagious, the local economy will be the real winner of the event, even on the Northshore.