TMG Hosts Career Day with Middle-School Scholars

TMG Consulting recently hosted a team of 8th-grade students from our Mid-City neighbor John Dibert Community School.  Like many of us at their age, the students did not have a clear idea of what they wanted to do when they grow up. Some expressed interest in becoming athletes, musicians, or theatrical performers, seemingly influenced by what they see in the media.

We spent the morning exploring how the fields of engineering and urban planning were woven into the fabric of their daily life activities – from electrical engineers designing cellular phone communication towers to urban planners creating new streetcar routes.

Students learning about the fields of engineering, urban planning, architecture and construction.

Students learning about the fields of engineering, urban planning, architecture and construction.

Students learning about the fields of engineering, urban planning, architecture and construction.

Students learning about the fields of engineering, urban planning, architecture and construction.

With basic tools like a map of New Orleans, colored pencils, and markers, the students programmed their own streetcar routes based on their own points of interests.

One student living on the West Bank proposed creating a streetcar route from his house to school in Mid-City.  The proposed concept required a new trans-Mississippi bridge and significant track infrastructure.  This allowed for a discussion of planning priorities and the challenge of deploying needed services when faced with limited resources, like funding. The team considered how this new route would significantly benefit the larger community.

The students then collectively created a streetcar route to service 30 miles – approximately $600 million of investment in the New Orleans built environment. This then pushed our young urban planners to leverage existing routes to make the most of their allocated miles. They presented their proposed routes to their “client,” our own Mr. Chapman, with flying colors!

The next generation of urban planners designs new streetcar routes.

The next generation of urban planners designs new streetcar routes.

The next generation of urban planners designs new streetcar routes.

The next generation of urban planners designs new streetcar routes.

TMG enjoyed sharing our passion for engineering and urban planning with these students to create a more vibrant city. We had great fun working with these young scholars and shaping the career aspirations of the next generation.

Contributed by:

Mimi Tsai

Feasibility Analyst

mimitsai@tmg-consulting.net  

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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.

Upcoming Conferences

TMG Staff are active in their respective fields, regularly participating in industry conferences and continuing education programs.  Over the next few months, TMG staff will be coordinating, sponsoring, presenting at, or attending:

  • Louisiana Chapter of the American Planning Association 2012 State Conference: January 25-27, Lake Charles, LA
  • iGaming North America: March 4-6; Las Vegas, NV
  • Regional Modeling for Improving Public and Private Policy: March 12, Baton Rouge, LA
  • PARKING!  Can We Do Better for our Communities and Our Businesses?, presented by ULI Louisiana and TMG Consulting: March 13, New Orleans, LA
  • American Council of Engineering Companies Annual Conference and Legislative Summit: April 15-18, Washington, DC
  • Southern Gaming Summit:  May 8-10, Biloxi, MS
  • Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) Diversity Conference: June 9-12, St. Louis, MO
  • ACEC/L Technical Visit and Study Tour: June 19-23, Panama Canal, Panama

At What Point Is the Casino Gaming Market Saturated?

As states such as Massachusetts, Florida, New York, New Hampshire, and Maryland enter or expand their presence in the casino gaming market, we have to ask ourselves the question: at what point will the market be saturated?

State by state, casino gaming has been legalized in the U.S.  In years where state and personal budgets are tight, the pace of legalization accelerates as lawmakers search for sources of jobs and for revenues to fund state services and programs.  With each state that has entered the fray, gaming revenues have risen.  The growing American population and the growing acceptance of gaming have fueled the casinos nationwide.  However, established gaming centers such as Atlantic City have suffered, as the majority of the nation’s population is now within a drive or short flight of a casino.

Over the past 8 years or so, I have been analyzing gaming markets across the U.S.  Most recently, I’ve been assessing the potential for expanded gaming in Florida and the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic/New England markets.  What I’m seeing and forecasting is this:  the marketplace can absorb the casinos that are currently proposed, but too much additional supply above and beyond these proposals could saturate the market.  The additions of proposed supply will certainly make competition tougher and will likely have a negative impact on existing gaming operators that don’t step up to the plate.  This competition will be great for gamers – they’ll have more options, and will be able to pick and choose where to spend their gaming dollars.

All of this makes the jobs of those in the gaming industry harder, but potentially more rewarding.  The vast potential for gaming in the United States has not been tapped completely, and smart players in the game will benefit.  In addition to building and operating facilities that gamers will like, gaming firms must consider location.  Capturing gaming dollars will largely be a function of finding the right location – build too far from the population or too close to competition, and revenues could suffer; build in an inaccessible location or one that the community is not in favor of, and no one will come; ignore the potential for synergy with other entertainment options (including other casinos!) and you might be turning away revenues.  Thorough analysis, site evaluation, and thoughtful site selection can help make the difference between building a casino that performs on-par with the market, or one that not only is a market leader, but has the ability to grow the market.

So, the answer to the question of saturation isn’t that simple.  Are we at saturation?  No.  Are we getting close?  Mabye?  Will smart gaming operators be able to grow the market?  We’ve seen it before, why not again?

Contributed by:

Suzanne P. Leckert

Director of Gaming, Feasibility & Land Use Analysis

suzanneleckert@tmg-consulting.net  or (504)569-9239 x 33

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.

Closing Time

By requiring closing times for bars, Fat City’s redevelopment plan charted new waters – new for the New Orleans area, anyway.  Twenty-four hour bar service is not easy to find once you head west on I-12.    But even for New Orleanians, there is no constitutional right to belly up to an open bar all night long.

“Fat City” – whose heyday as a popular entertainment district has long passed – is a mixed use area that was developed in the 60s as the suburb’s answer to the French Quarter.   A redevelopment plan seeking to revitalize this area includes new zoning regulations that tackle signs, give strip clubs two years to shut their doors, and guides a main street type development for new projects.  And most controversially, bars must close by midnight except for Friday and Saturday, when they must close by 1 a.m.

Proponents and opponents alike were shocked by the introduction of such a measure.  Drastic change, no matter what kind, may be difficult for a community to accept, even when the rest of the country is following different rules.  Bar owners filed suit in federal court and argued, among other issues, that the ordinance was an unconstitutional taking of their property.

Courts have upheld ordinances that create some adverse economic effect that promote the general welfare.   As for Fat City, the United States 5th Circuit found that the ordinance aimed to promote the health, safety, welfare of the community by shutting down bars during the hours most closely associated with dangerously high amounts of intoxication, drunk driving, and violent crimes.   The Court was willing to accept any adverse economic effect on the bar owners and noted that they were still able to operate bars and other businesses.

Contributed by:

Tiffany Peperone Pitre

tiffanypeperone@tmg-consuting.net  or  504.569.9239 x 30

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.

Shreveport Common and the Revitalization of Shreveport, LA

The headquarters of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) was destroyed by fire in 2009, and the subsequent rebuilding project has set off a flurry of activity in Shreveport, LA. The recipient of a coveted grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, SRAC has commenced a far-reaching planning process for what is being termed “Shreveport Common”, a 9-block historic area adjacent to Shreveport’s Downtown. The planning process has included a thorough neighborhood inventory, outreach to nearly 70 stakeholder groups, countless “listening sessions”, designs for infill buildings, a community-based design charrette, and even a neighborhood cleanup day. A national Artist Call for Public Artwork and Interpretive Signage is to be issued later this year.

Interest in this revitalization project has been robust – from the arts community, local developers, area land-owners, and area businesses considering re-locating to what will likely become a textbook case for urban revitalization. TMG Consulting is working with the SRAC team, performing a “planning audit”, and guiding the team from conceptual planning to actual implementation. Such a project is an exciting one for TMG, bringing together our experience in urban planning and historic preservation, and joining with our strong professional focus on feasibility, sustainability, and the realization of our client’s goals.

To learn more about the Shreveport Common, or to discuss your own planning project, please contact Suzanne Perilloux Leckert at (504)569-9239 Ex. 33 or suzanneleckert@tmg-consulting.net.

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.