Editor’s Note: It’s Finally Back

February is here and, really, how can anyone think about anything but Carnival?

You can’t. So, let’s just go with it.

When Editor-in-Chief Errol Laborde and I sit down to talk about this issue, it can be kind of a challenge. In just five years in print, Biz has covered a lot about the business side of Southeast Louisiana’s favorite time of year. In 2015, Biz profiled Staci Rosenberg, the founder and captain of Muses, along with Orpheus Captain Sonny Borey and looked at the business of throws.

In year two, we had a chat with Endymion Captain Ed Muniz and looked specifically at the business of the ever-popular plush throw, followed by an April cover feature on Kern Studios and its new float building robot. In 2017, we looked at the rich history of gay krewes and how they have embraced a new economic model.

Over the past two years, however, the January and February issues have been taken over by our announcements of CEO and Executives of the Year, along with our annual Best Lawyers list.

But this year, I’m happy to say we’ve returned to Carnival with a wonderful feature by Jennifer Larino that looks at the biggest player you’ve probably never heard of: Royal Artists. After 45 years in business, this float builder surprised everyone by signing a five-year contract with Rex, King of Carnival. Who is this company? How and why have they flown under the radar for so long? What made them so appealing to Rex? We’re happy to share these answers.

Of course, being Carnival, this is a HUGE time for hotels, who have been battling the rise of sites like Home Away and Airbnb. How can they gain much-needed revenue? According to iSeatz Founder and CEO Kenneth Purcell, the same way airlines did a dozen years ago — through ancillaries.

Finally, if you happen to attend the Krewe of Freret parade this year, you may recognize one of the NOLA Chorus Girls sassing her way down the street for the first time in full ‘20s gear. All I can say is here’s to a year of new adventures!

Happy Carnival!


Kimberley Singletary, Managing Editor