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Morial Convention Center signs contract with Centerplate

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Tariq Hanna, New Orleans chef recently named one of the country’s top ten pastry chefs by Dessert Professional Magazine, created a baked confection to serve as the un-official agreement signed by Bob Johnson and Des Hague.

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Senior Vice President, Convention Centers, Centerplate and Bob Johnson, General Manager, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center signing cake with edible ink.

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Cake Proclamation

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NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center formalized its partnership with Centerplate by executing the contract for hospitality services for the Convention Center.

Centerplate was selected following a competitive review process that focused on creativity rather than the financial model as has been the industry standard. “New Orleans’ culinary brand is very important to our facility as it is for the city,” said Bob Johnson, President and General Manager of the Convention Center. “Centerplate fully understood that we wanted to change the paradigm of convention centers’ hospitality experience and that is what won them the contract” he continued.

The occasion was commemorated by the two parties signing a cake, topped with a declaration reproduced in icing, using an edible ink pen.

As part of its winning proposal, Centerplate created an innovative hospitality strategy that celebrated the culinary history and rich culture of the city of New Orleans. “We have been proud to be a member of the New Orleans community for more than a decade, and are thrilled to extend our services to the convention center and play an even greater role in this special city,” said Des Hague, President and CEO of Centerplate. “It provides an opportunity to leverage our vast experience in convention centers to enhance the appeal of the center and contribute to the economic growth of New Orleans."

Melvin Rodrigue, Chairman of the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority and General Manager & Chief Operating Officer of Galatoire’s Restaurant said “New Orleans restaurants stand at the forefront of world-class dining and that must be reflected in our a convention center, as well. Centerplate has the ability to deliver that reputation to all of our convention guests.”

The term of the contract begins July 16, 2011 for an initial 7 years but another unique aspect of the relationship is its “evergreen” element. Every year Centerplate meets established performance thresholds, another year is added to the end of the contract.


NEW ORLEANS ERNEST N. MORIAL CONVENTION CENTER: With 1.1 million square feet of contiguous exhibit space, an award winning staff and first class amenities, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCCNO) is the sixth largest convention center in the nation and a consistent Top 10 host of the largest number of conventions and tradeshows annually. A leading rainmaker of the city’s hospitality industry, MCCNO event activity has produced $39.12 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $2.19 billion in new tax revenue. 

CENTERPLATE: Centerplate crafts and delivers "Craveable Experiences. Raveable Results." in 250 prominent convention, sports and entertainment venues across North America.  Centerplate has provided services to 12 Super Bowls, 19 World Series, key events for the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, Art Basel Miami Beach, 15 official U.S. Presidential Inaugural Balls and the largest plated dinner in history at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Centennial Celebration.  Visit the company online at www.centerplate.com.

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