AICP Candidate Pilot Program Gives Head Start to New Planners

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The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is implementing its new AICP Candidate Pilot Program this year. It is welcome news for many new planners. In the past, planners have only been eligible to take the AICP Certification Exam after completing the required work experience which, depending on your education, can range from 2-8 years. Many test takers from past years have noted that had they been able to take their exam right out of college, they may have performed better, with their coursework still fresh in their minds. This observation led to the creation of the AICP Candidate Pilot Program which, as of December 1st, allows graduates of accredited urban planning programs to take the AICP Certification Exam before having completed their work experience requirements. After passing the exam, individuals can use the title “AICP Candidate” until they have completed their work experience. This allows young professional planners to stay involved in the national and international planning scene of the American Planning Association (APA) and AICP and recognizes their dedication to professional planning work while candidates are just entering the planning field. Many young planners, including TMG’s Nathan Lipson, are taking advantage of this opportunity and will be eligible to take the exam in May of 2018 along with those taking the standard exam for immediate certification. Included among these planners will be TMG’s Hal Baillie. Best of luck to these individuals, and more information on the new Candidate Pilot Program can be found here: https://www.planning.org/aicp/candidate/.

Expanding Service Options Continue at Louis Armstrong International Airport

new terminal

Louis Armstrong International Airport welcomed four new Frontier Airlines flights on October 5th and 6th with service to Austin, Providence, Islip (NY), and San Antonio. For the inaugural New Orleans-Providence flight on October 5th, Frontier celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by the airport’s Aviation Director Kevin Dolliole.  Incoming Providence passengers enjoyed refreshments, MSY beads and a traditional water cannon salute. Frontier’s other inaugural flights went off without a hitch despite Tropical Storm (and later Hurricane) Nate approaching the Louisiana coast. Frontier’s expansion of service to/from LANOIA represents a continuation of a number of carriers expanding service options throughout 2017. Frontier is not the only “low-cost airline” to expand this fall. Months after announcing direct service expansion to Baltimore-Washington, Spirit Airlines launched nonstop flights to Boston, Tampa, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Newark (NJ) in time for Thanksgiving, as well as seasonal service to Columbus (OH) starting next March. Southwest Airlines expanded service to Raleigh-Durham and Columbus (OH), which began in April.

LANOIA has also made strides toward international destination expansion with new offerings which were introduced earlier in 2017. The first of British Airways’ Flight 244 with nonstop service from New Orleans to London-Heathrow was celebrated this past spring. Just after the inaugural flight landed in London on March 27, British Airways announced plans to increase the number of flights from four to five weekly. This expansion is an excellent indicator for the airport and for local tourism of increased activity as international travelers (particularly from Europe) can make their way to New Orleans more efficiently. Airport officials estimate that this direct service to a “world business capital” such as London will generate around $41 million in annual tourism for the city. Even more cities have popped up on the list this year: In May, Condor began to provide nonstop service to Frankfurt, Germany. Weekly non-stop service to Freeport, The Bahamas began May 27, 2017 on Vacation Express. One focus of the new terminal will be to allow for larger aircraft often used for longer international hauls to use a number of gates for loading. Perhaps this will facilitate even further international service expansion, such as restoring past service to Central and South America.

 

TMG Consulting Facilitates DBE Workshop in Baton Rouge

651f58fe-9f07-40d6-8315-9a1c9a60a220The 12th Annual Business Opportunities Workshop was held at the L’auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge on October 31st, 2017. This annual event series was first started by TMG as a tool to allow small and disadvantaged businesses to interact and create business relationships with Airport staff, prime firms, agencies providing small business assistance, and other small firms. This free workshop is sponsored by the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport and is geared toward those interested in pursuing future work with the Airport and other businesses in the surrounding area.

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The workshop brought together over 100 attendees from a variety of backgrounds including small business owners, government officials, and resource groups. Along with sitting in on informational presentations, attendees were given the opportunity to network with other businesses while enjoying a complimentary breakfast and lunch catered by the casino. This event is one of many outreach efforts encouraging small and disadvantaged business development in Baton Rouge. The Airport was selected by the Airports Council International (North America) as the Small Hub Inclusion Champion for 2017, recognizing their dedication to promote diversity in the airport industry both through business development and community engagement.

1401f5e9-f0f7-4f9f-9943-8d5cc36e3162The opening remarks were given by Ralph Hennessy, Interim Director of Aviation for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, and followed by DBE consultants Dylan Wade and Nathan Lipson of TMG Consulting who presented an overview of the Baton Rouge DBE program and discussed the best practices for submitting bids and proposals. Joe Levraea, Program Manager for BTR of AMG Consulting, gave an overview of upcoming projects and contract opportunities available at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.

 

be94f18c-bdae-4af1-ab95-6c2ab0a441aaMike Taffaro kicked off the afternoon events describing procurement opportunities with the Airport as well as the City of Baton Rouge. Remy Graves, DBE/SBE Program Manager for the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development, discussed what it takes to become DBE certified and the resources that the LADOTD can provide for business owners looking to get certified. Jo Ann Lawrence, Deputy District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration closed out the workshop with her presentation, “Support for Small Business in Louisiana,” in which she identified numerous bond assistance, insurance, and general business advice programs which the SBA provides in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and throughout the state of Louisiana.

a8ae9d5a-2b49-4f3f-ae6e-b205406f0e32TMG Consulting started the DBE program with the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport in 2001 and has successfully assisted in planning and hosting the workshop since its first year in 2005. The event has continued to grow over the years with increased numbers of attendees and local participation.

 

TMG Promotes Opportunities for Small Businesses in Baton Rouge

Last week, TMG Consulting assisted the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport in hosting its 10th Annual Small Business Opportunities Workshop at L’Auberge Casino. More than 150 participants attended to learn about upcoming projects at the Airport, meet with other City Agencies, and resource agencies available to assist small businesses.

logoBtr02Airport staff from every department was available to discuss future opportunities for a variety of business types, from printers and promotional materials, to IT support and supply, and

Participants learned the ins and outs of the Airport’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program for minority and woman owned businesses as well as the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program for all small businesses. Through these two programs, the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport works to expand access to small businesses by unbundling large contracts into smaller scopes so that small businesses can bid as the general contractor, or setting disadvantaged business participation goals on projects to encourage prime firms to utilize the services of local, DBE firms.

DBEThe event is a great networking tool for DBE’s to meet with Airport staff, understand the needs of the airport and brainstorm how their business can serve these needs, but it also puts DBE firms face-to-face with the Prime firms that are interested in bidding on the larger contracts bid by the Airport. The Airport’s DBE Consultant, Bonnie Garrigan of TMG Consulting, encourages DBE’s to make relationships with prime firms before the bids are out. “You have to make it easy for prime firms. Introduce yourself, let them know what you can offer them, and when the opportunity exists, they will remember you because they already know you.” Ms. Garrigan offered several strategies to DBE firms to be ready to partner with prime contractors on Airport work, “Attend pre-bid conferences. Understand the project and if possible, prepare a mini quote before the pre-bid to provide to all the prime firms in attendance. Show them you are ready.”

Comments were very positive from the participants, many of whom have attended the event year after year and learn something new each time. Business Opportunities at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport are advertised on the City Purchasing webpage and in the Advocate.

Is the Decline in Oil Prices Really a Threat to the Hybrid Car Industry?

Coinciding with the dramatic decrease in oil prices in the later part of 2014, various media reports have revisited the consumer’s economic benefit from owning a hybrid automobile versus a fuel dependent one.

save-moneyA recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek compared the price of driving three cars that are comparable in size—a hybrid car (Toyota Prius), a gasoline-powered car (Chevy Cruze), and an electric car (Nissan Leaf). The comparison shows that over time (a period of 30 years) the total expense to operate and drive the hybrid and gasoline powered vehicles were basically the same. According to the article, the electric car was far more cost efficient to own and operate than either the hybrid or gasoline automobiles.

The article admits its own shortcomings in comparing the cost-savings of these three vehicles. These include assuming oil prices remain stable and as low as they currently are over a thirty-year period, and the failure to include the initial cost of a residential charging station an electric vehicle owner may incur. But a primary issue with this article is its reluctance to address the non-monetary value consumers place on reducing their environmental impact by purchasing electric cars.

The recent Detroit auto show, as reported in a Reuters article, gave the industry a platform to discuss the implications of falling gas prices on consumer vehicle preferences. Low gas prices have driven increases in demand for less fuel-efficient vehicles such as heavy trucks, SUVs, and luxury cars of the high-performance variant. Rather than rejoicing a return of interest to gas-hungry cars, the industry is focused on developing and selling electric and hybrid cars. This is due to the U.S.’s requirement that all vehicles sold in 2025 average 54.5 miles per gallon or greater (potentially subject to adjustment based on real-time shifts in the data models). The future policy regulations require automakers to increase research and development spending on vehicles with increased fuel efficiency, while the current marketplace suggests that a waning in consumer interest in fuel-inefficient vehicles is unlikely to occur anytime soon.

obama-cafe-standards-0711-deBoth consumers and manufacturers should continue to assess the non-monetary benefits that electric and fuel-efficient cars bring. Beyond oil-independence and a reduced impact on the environment, the prevalence of these vehicles in the marketplace may induce other benefits such as an increasingly more accessible price for consumers.

Submitted by:

Nicholas Farrae
Senior Analyst, Economics and Gaming

 

The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

Construction Begins on New Orleans Rampart Streetcar Expansion

On the heels of the St. Charles streetcar line being named a national historic landmark, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) here in New Orleans has begun construction on a new Rampart streetcar line. The line will travel in shared lanes (similar to the Carrollton line) from Canal Street to Elysian Fields along Rampart Street and St. Claude Avenue. Tracks will be laid in the leftmost lane in each direction. TMG is excited to see this portion of the streetcar expansion come to fruition.

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Just as with the increased economic development after the announcement of the Loyola Streetcar Line, the Rampart/St. Claude line could invigorate investment along the corridor even before the line’s completion in 2017. The corridor currently hosts an eclectic commercial offering of bars, galleries, music venues, and food co-ops.  Advocacy and buy-in from the area’s residents was a major factor in implementing the RTA’s vision, and the entire city stands to benefit.

The Rampart/St. Claude streetcar corridor is bounded by 7 neighborhoods: the Central Business District, the French Quarter, Iberville, Treme, Marigny, and the 7th and 8th Wards. During the planning phase, the RTA actively engaged each of these neighborhoods as well as more than a dozen neighborhood and community organizations representing the surrounding area.

TMG is proud to have played a part in the planning, oversight, and execution of this major capital program.

The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport On Track to Exceed DBE Goals

Airport Reports Significant Increase in DBE Commitments

DBETMG Consulting assists the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BRMA) in drafting and administering its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) programs.  The Airport’s DBE Program is mandated by the federal government under FAA grant assurances and aims to ensure that government grant funds are distributed equitably.

TMG is proud to report that projects awarded in FFY 2014 have a combined commitment of 17.11% to DBE firms.  A total of six (6) DBE subcontracts were awarded on four (4) projects during FFY 2014, for a value of $973,865 to DBE firms. During FFY 2013, BRMA committed 8.7% to DBE firms. BRMA’s overall DBE goal for FFYs 2013-2015 is 7.1%, so BRMA is on track to greatly exceed their original target.

logoBtr02TMG Consulting provides assistance to BRMA by setting DBE project goals, conducting compliance reviews of bids, monitoring ongoing DBE participation on projects, assisting interested Prime Contractors in finding qualified DBE’s and providing assistance to DBE’s interested in contracting at BRMA. TMG looks forward to working with these contractors to ensure maximum participation and realization of project benchmarks.

For more information on TMG’s DBE program management services, please visit our products page here.

If you have any questions, please call:

(504) 569-9239

Rachael Bauer ext. 24 or Bonnie Garrigan ext. 29

Contributed by:

Rachael C. Bauer, MURP
Associate, TMG Consulting

Japanese Legislators Reconvene to Discuss Casino Bill

Today marks the convocation of the special autumn session of Japan’s parliament (the National Diet). During the previous session which ended last June, a bill was introduced by a cross-party coalition of lawmakers representing both the ruling LDP party as well as opposition parties. Passing this preliminary “enabling bill” is seen as the first step toward the establishment of casinos in Japan, and it would lay the legislative groundwork on a conceptual level. Once passed, a second piece of legislation would be required, outlining the specifics of casino implementation, administration, and regulation in Japan.

Toru Mihara, an Osaka professor who advises pro-casino lawmakers, has said that he sees the bill’s passage as likely occurring by November, barring the introduction of pressing legislation that would distract the Diet from the casino bill. Similarly rosy forecasts of swift action by the Diet have been made many times in the past. The clock is ticking as Tokyo commences preparation for hosting the 2020 Olympics, and many are beginning to wonder whether or not Japanese IRs will be able to open in time for this major international tourism event.

A coalition of LDP and opposition party legislators is working to legalize Japanese casino development.

How Big is the Market?

The consensus among bullish analysts has been that with one integrated resort (IR) in Tokyo and another in Osaka, plus up to ten smaller casinos in other Japanese localities, gross gaming revenue could reach $40 billion annually. This would place the Japanese gaming market far ahead of both Las Vegas and Singapore, and it would approach the size of the world’s largest gaming market, Macau, where revenue was $45.2 billion in 2013. By contrast, a Morgan Stanley report published earlier this year has suggested that Japan might not be as profitable a market as many are expecting. Their analysis has projected Japanese annual GGR to be about one half of the consensus’ estimate, amounting to $21-$22 billion.

Locations Under Consideration for a Japanese IR

More than 20 locations in Japan are vying to be chosen as locations for IRs. There are campaigns underway to attract casinos as far north as Hokkaido and Akita, further south in Tokyo’s neighboring Chiba and Kanagawa Prefectures, in Osaka to the west, as far south as Nagasaki and Miyazaki, and in the southernmost islands of Okinawa. One of the frontrunner sites for an IR is a partially man-made island in Osaka Bay known as Yumeshima. As of this month, seven developers have held meetings with the Osaka prefectural governor, who is recommending this location. Although Tokyo’s governor has been notably lukewarm to the idea of an IR in the nation’s capital, many see Tokyo’s waterfront location of Odaiba as a leading candidate for a casino resort. Another Tokyo location under consideration by developers is the current site of the Tsukiji Fish Market which will relocate nearby in 2016. Tsukiji is one of the largest contiguous parcels of land ever offered for redevelopment in Tokyo, and its prime location is ideal for an IR.

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The waterfront Odaiba development in Tokyo is one of the leading sites where a Japanese IR might be located.

Contenders for Japanese Licenses

MGM Resorts International has already unveiled images of its plans for an MGM Osaka casino resort, and it has been rumored that they have also been scouting out the Tsukiji site in Tokyo. MGM has held discussions with Universal Studios Japan, and they have pledged to invest $5-$10 billion in the Japanese market, with a 51% requirement for their stake in a Japanese partnership. Las Vegas Sands is said to be eyeing a Tokyo location, and Sheldon Adelson has stated that he would spend “whatever it takes” to gain a foothold in Japan, citing numbers between $7 and $10 billion. Melco Crown is reported to have met with Osaka authorities this past July, while Wynn Resorts is thought to be exploring sites in Tokyo. Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman has stated that his company would have no problem financing an investment in Japan of at least $5 billion. Another potential foreign IR developer is Genting of Malaysia, while domestic bidders for licenses include pachinko companies Dynam and Konami, Keikyu Railways, and a joint venture of Fuji Media, Kajima Construction, and Mitsui Real Estate.

Contributed by:

Anthony Mumphrey III
Principal, TMG Consulting
anthony@tmgconsulting.net
(504) 569-9239, Ex.22

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Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

TMG Increases Engagement for DBEs and SBEs at Airport Event

On July 30th, 2014, TMG Consulting organized the 9th Annual Business Opportunities Workshop for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. This year featured a small business trade show, where small and disadvantaged businesses, along with resources agencies, tabled to showcase their talents. Attendance at this event topped over 120 small and disadvantaged business, prime contractors, resource agencies, and airport staff! The purpose of the Business Opportunities Workshop is multi-faceted:

  • to educate firms about the Airport’s Disadvantaged Enterprise (DBE) program and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program;
  • to inform attendees about upcoming work opportunities at the Airport;
  • to facilitate networking among prime and potential subcontractor firms in order to create connections now, learn what businesses have to offer and prepare a qualified team when the next Baton Rouge Airport bid is released.
  • and to provide resources to help small businesses grow.

Small businesses are an integral aspect of the Baton Rouge Airport’s long-term vision and the airport has a history of actively engaging the DBE and small business communities on Airport contracts. The Airport DBE Program is mandated by the federal government under FAA grant assurances and aims to ensure that government grant funds are distributed equitably.

TMG Consulting has assisted the Baton Rouge Airport to draft and administer both DBE and SBE programs and regularly sets DBE project goals, conducts compliance reviews of bid, and monitors ongoing DBE participation on projects. Events such as these are hosted to help communicate the wide range of opportunities at an Airport for businesses and to demystify the DBE program for all contractors.

 

Contributed by:

Bonnie Garrigan
Manager of Economic Analysis
bonniegarrigan@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239 ext.29

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

 

 

March of Dimes Honors TMG Associate Eric Melancon

Amanda Vonderhaar, Nicole Rios, Eric Melancon and Robin Johnson (Left to Right) were among the 29 honorees presented at the 28th March of Dimes "Spotlight on Success" Gala at the Generations Hall in New Orleans on Friday, June 13, 2014. (Photo credit by Peter G. Forest) (Times-Picayune)

Amanda Vonderhaar, Nicole Rios, Eric Melancon and Robin Johnson (Left to Right) were among the 29 honorees presented at the 28th March of Dimes “Spotlight on Success” Gala at the Generations Hall in New Orleans on Friday, June 13, 2014. (Photo credit by Peter G. Forest) (Times-Picayune)

Each year, the New Orleans chapter of the March of Dimes honors between 20 and 30 young professionals and civic activists in the Greater New Orleans Area. Eric Melancon, an Associate at TMG Consulting, was among this year’s honorees.

This Spotlight on Success Gala is an annual fundraising event, silent auction, and awareness campaign for the March of Dimes whose mission is to reduce the rate of premature births, birth defects, and other significant health issues faced by newborn babies.

Honorees and the Local Chapter’s March of Dimes Board Members work together to solicit sponsorships and auction item donations from businesses and organizations in the local area. TMG Consulting was among the many proud sponsors of this year’s event.

This year’s Gala, held on June 13, 2014, raised a record-breaking $170,000 for the March of Dimes, and hosted over 1,000 attendees, the most the annual event has ever brought in. Photos of the many attendees and auction items for this year’s event can be found on the March of Dimes NOLA Facebook Page.