Report: Mardi Gras Boardwalk developers 'aggressive' in marketing

By By Justin Phillips / American Press

Even though delays seem constant and progress appears slow for Mardi Gras Boardwalk, a recent status report submitted by the

company to the City Council says otherwise.

The report describes how Mardi Gras

Boardwalk has over the past six months been “intensely aggressive in

marketing to and

meeting with resources in the three foundational areas that are

critical to the long-term success of the boardwalk project.”

The three listed areas are financial support, prospects for the hotel and retail venues, and entertainment management. Each

area was broken down into specific subsections.

In the financial support subsection, the report says that even though the city expects an economic turnaround in the near

future, bridge capital and long-term financing have been hard to come by for Mardi Gras Boardwalk officials.

“However, after extensive discussions,

we have reached the point with three serious, solid candidates who are

ready to enter

the final phase, finishing due diligence and negotiating terms, to

establish the needed short and long-term funding with them,”

reads the report.

In the hospitality and retail venues subsection, conceptual presentations of the boardwalk concept are credited for procuring

“letters of interest” from several businesses. Businesses listed as having submitted a letter include the Marriott Hotel,

Walk-Ons Bistreaux and Bar, Happy’s Irish Pub, Dean-O’s Pizza, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Growlers Pourhouse and Seabar.

In the entertainment management

subsection of the report, Mardi Gras Boardwalk listed The ARK Group as a

development and management

group having submitted a “letter of interest.”

The report also mentioned the project’s financial progress. Gilcrest Investments Inc., a development financing and construction

firm, was listed as being “ready to actively involve their funding sources if LCMGB can secure an extension.”

Encore Global Investment Management was also listed as possibly getting involved in the project.

With one business mentioned in the

report waiting to see if the City Council grants the 120-day extension

to Mardi Gras Boardwalk,

the request has become a definitive moment in the project’s

history. With some of the council members growing tired of the

delays, Mardi Gras Boardwalk has an uphill battle to restore the

confidence city officials once had in the project.

Councilman Rodney Geyen has been vocal about the project and what he believes to be a lack of progress.

“I don’t need to read the book. Green talks. We’ve given them ample time to do what they had to do. We don’t need to read

another book,” Geyen said of the report.

“We need to sign some papers with some finances in place for development. At this particular point, I’m very adamant about

making that happen. If they can’t do it, let’s open it up for someone else to do it.”