NEW ORLEANS — Knocked out of Clean’s rotation temporarily by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is set to host the industry’s biggest exhibition for the first time in eight years. And while the recession has everyone in this and every other industry carefully counting their pennies, the outlook is positive for this year’s show.
More than half (53.5%) of readers responding to the April survey appearing in the Wire, American Drycleaner’s e-mail newsletter, say they plan to attend Clean ’09 — almost exactly the same percentage as planned to visit Clean ’07 in Las Vegas, which wound up bringing in almost 15,000 visitors. And with more than 400 booths assigned at press time, the show is on a pace to match 2007’s exhibit numbers, too.
“Given the economic challenges we’re now facing, that’s significant progress,” said Roger Cocivera, president and chief executive officer of the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) and chairman of this year’s Clean Executive Committee, on the association’s website. “What’s more, I’m confident because I know the operators are going to turn out.
“I don’t know what the final numbers will be, but I do know there will be many serious buyers looking for solutions,” he adds. “I also know that they’re going to find a terrific lineup of vendors with plenty of machinery, chemicals, vehicles, textiles, software and everything else they need to succeed in today’s challenging market.”
Even though business may be down, Clean is the only place to see it all. It’s the one-stop university of fabricare and management knowledge (now with even more sessions). It’s the place to check in with old friends and renew alliances in the industry. It’s no wonder drycleaners — so familiar with multitasking — are getting ready to go to the show. From an efficiency standpoint alone, Clean can’t be beat.
There’s still time for operators to take advantage of low airfares and hotel rates; the housing reservation deadline has been extended to June 1. A cursory check of airfares finds roundtrip, nonstop and one-stop flights available from major metropolitan areas for $300 or less — and that’s without the show discounts. And whatever the cost, a visit to the Clean Show is a business deduction and an experience key to survival — can drycleaners afford not to go?
Beyond the show floor, New Orleans is Clean’s most unique host city — an authentic melting pot (er, crawfish boil?) of French, Spanish and Creole cultures. There’s good food, good music and good times right outside the doors of the renovated convention center, in one of the most lush, historic settings anywhere in the country.
American Drycleaner will offer more information on New Orleans’ many attractions next week as we continue our Clean ’09 Preview. But now’s the time for drycleaners who are serious about their businesses to make their reservations.
Clean ’09 has negotiated travel discounts for show attendees; contact Globetrotter Travel or mention the following show discount codes when contacting preferred providers independently.
Globetrotter Travel: 800-322-7032, firstname.lastname@example.org
Air Tran Airways: 866-683-8368
Discount Code MSY061409
American Airlines: 800-433-1790
Discount Code A9569AA
Continental Airlines: 800-468-7022
Z Code, ZEUB; Agreement Code A9ESD6
Avis Rent A Car: 800-331-1600
Discount Code J945616
Clean ’09 has negotiated discount rates at 19 hotels including the six sponsors’ headquarters. To take advantage of special rates, reserve online by June 1, 2009, or call the Housing Bureau for all hotels except the Monteleone; call it directly at 504-523-3341.
Clean Housing Bureau: 888-424-5250
Astor Crown Plaza (CLA) — $149
Country Inn & Suites — $109/$129
Embassy Suites — $172
Hampton Inn & Suites — $145/$199
Hilton Riverside (TCATA) — $182/$222
Holiday Inn French Quarter — $119
Iberville Suites at The Ritz-Carlton — $139
International House — $119
Loews Hotel — $165/$190
Marriott New Orleans (UTSA) — $162
Monteleone (DLI) — $155
Omni Royal Orleans (ALM) — $132
Residence Inn — $165
The Ritz Carlton — $189
Royal Sonesta — $145/$175/$205
Sheraton New Orleans (TRSA) — $167/$197
St. Christopher’s Best Western — $99
W Hotel — $169
Wyndham Chateau Bourbon — $129