Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ready, Aim at Foot, Fire!

New Orleans is a city that depends upon tourism. Therefore, one would think that when an established tour operator suggests a new, family oriented attraction, that the city would jump at the opportunity. But then New Orleans politics and special interests get involved. I watched it happen with pedi-cabs, Segways and food trucks. Now its the Ducks.

Most major cities have Duck Tours. WW II era DUKWs are refurbished and used to take tourists  for rides through the city culminating in a splash into the local water feature. I have been on Duck tours in Boston, San Diego, London and Singapore. In New Orleans, we have a historical tie in with DUKWs with the National WW II Museum. A Duck tour would be a natural for the city.

The operator wants to take tourists on a 2 hour tour driving over to Metairie and launch into Lake Pontchartrain. The Vieux Carre Commission, the body that is charged with overseeing the French Quarter, claims that tourists with duck call noisemakers will detract from the ambiance of the Quarter. (You have female tourists baring their breasts for beads and you're worried about a few noisemakers?) In fact, the tour operator does not plan to drive through the French Quarter. His proposed route is to get out to Canal Street and take that route to the cemeteries. From there he will jump onto I-10 and over to Bonnabel Drive to the boat launch.

But our city council has decided not to decide and postponed approval for "further study."

3 comments:

Old NFO said...

In other words, they are SCREWED unless they bribe the right pol or pols...

Peripatetic Engineer said...

That's probably part of it, but the operator (Gray Lines) is well established in this city. The complaints came from the Vieux Carre Commission, a group chartered by the city to protect the historical aspects of the French Quarter. They are really tough on architectural changes. This is the first time I've heard them weigh in on a tour.

Brigid said...

Duck tours are so much fun! I hope it works out, the city could use it.