New Orleans' Morial Convention Center Combats Economy with Vendor Contracts

Hoping to minimize the future impact of the global economy on local tourism, the board of directors for New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has voted to shorten several service contracts with vendors from annual agreements to monthly ones, reports local newspaper The Times-Picayune.

"We're reacting to both the current and future environment," General Manager Bob Johnson told The Times-Picayune. "The economy continues to affect tourism."

Already, the contracts of four firms that provide legal services to the convention center have been moved from an annual renewal schedule to a monthly one, according to convention center officials, who say that more month-to-month contracts are likely.

"It's actually allowing us to take a step back so that we can have a better reign on our expenses," Board Chairman Melvin Rodrigue told The Times-Picayune.

The new vendor contract strategy is the latest in a string of cost-cutting efforts made since Hurricane Katrina by the Morial Convention Center, which announced in August, for instance, that it would operate on a four-day work week in order to save 20 percent—or $100,000—on its utility bills.