Vue Orleans | Newell Normand Interviews David Rand Live at VUE Orleans

Newell Normand Interviews David Rand Live at VUE Orleans

Newell Normand (01:31):
Joining us right now is a very interesting guy, uh, comes to us, from Las Vegas, actually has been here through the beginning of this project. David Rand, who's General Manager of Vue Orleans. David, welcome to the show.

David Rand (01:46):
Oh, thank you, sir. Good Morning.

Newell Normand (01:47):
So, David, it was great to meet you this morning for the first time. Talk a little bit about your history and let's start there, quite frankly. Okay. Um, obviously these types of events, these specialty, uh, presentations, this is your forte.

David Rand (02:02):
Uh, I've been blessed to have an amazing career in, in Vegas and here in New Orleans as well. I've, uh, I've worked as, uh, multiple properties in Las Vegas as entertainment director and, uh, vice president of some various properties. And so I've spent, uh, quite a bit of time running attractions and entertainment, and I'm blessed to be able to be in the city of New Orleans doing this

Newell Normand (02:20):
Too. And you have a lot of expertise with height because you manage one of the scariest venues in Vegas called The Stratosphere.

David Rand (02:29):
That's right. Yeah. I was, uh, I spent a year, uh, working in the Stratosphere Tower as the vice president of Tower Operations, where I was able to, uh, run the observation deck and the rides where you were literally jumping off the side of the tower. Uh, so it was quite an experience.

Newell Normand (02:44):
I did it. I'll never do it again.

David Rand (02:46):
I don't doubt it. There's some, there's, we have a lot. We used to give out a lot of what we used to call chicken vouchers there, where people would back out when they got up and saw the jump that they had to do.

Newell Normand (02:55):
So now that we, uh, dragged you down south here, uh, how's it going?

David Rand (03:00):
Uh, it's been, it's been a fabulous experience. New Orleans is such an amazing city, uh, such a friendly city. Um, I never thought I'd ever find a better food city than Vegas, but boy, new Orleans has got beat. Let me tell you. Um, the, the most beef Po Boys with the debris gravy, oh, you gotta, you can't complain at all. So it's been a wonderful experience.

Newell Normand (03:18):
How many pounds have you gained?

David Rand (03:20):
Luckily, I haven't gained any. I've been blessed to have not gained any, maybe one or two, but not too bad.

Newell Normand (03:25):
You're, you're one of the few that, uh, that says they haven't

David Rand (03:28):
Not too bad. I still fit in the same pants I'm doing. Okay. There

Newell Normand (03:32):
You go. Congratulations on that one. Um, this was my first time. I mean, there's a lot of history, obviously, to this building and a lot of history in particular to the 33rd floor mm-hmm. , and I'm sure, uh, that as y'all have opened up here, that you hear a lot of stories about that.

David Rand (03:48):
Oh, I hear story. Everybody has a story about this building. Some people don't want to tell their stories about the building , but there's so many people that have so many incredible stories of when this was, uh, Plimsoul Club, the Club 360 top of the Mart. Um, so much history to this building that everybody loves sharing. And that's one of the exciting things when people come up to the observation deck, you often hear these, oh, I remember this, and look at that. Remember when we did this? It's so fun to see the community embrace it.

Newell Normand (04:14):
No, absolutely. I was struck, and it brought back a lot of fond memories as a young adult having come up, uh, here, uh, to the top of the mart with the rotating, uh, floor. And, uh, you know, and I, and I'm old enough to say that I was old enough to be able to do that, uh, back in the back in the day. Uh, but you know, this, uh, is a Hallmark building, iconic building. Um, one of the largest buildings closed. It's the largest building as close as it is to the river, right? Mm-hmm. , I don't think there are any others. Uh, end of views are just absolutely stunning.

David Rand (04:51):
One of a kind. Here we have the only 360 degree observation deck, indoor and outdoor in the city. You can't get a better view with the city than here. Yeah.

Newell Normand (04:59):
You know, we, you and I had a, uh, an opportunity. Let's, first, let's work from the top down. Okay. We went up to the observation deck this morning. Little chilly, little

David Rand (05:08):
Cold. Yeah. Little cold

Newell Normand (05:09):
Up there this morning, and you were in short sleeve, so you were a real trooper. Yeah. Um, up there. But it, it, it occurred to me, um, there's no other place in the city that do this. This is it. This is the only one, the only one where you can actually walk completely around and look in absolute every direction. And you and I were able to, uh, bear the, the little bit of the wind this morning. And, uh, I was pointing out some landmarks to you in history, and you were so kind of to indulge me and listen to me.

David Rand (05:39):
I love the history, the history's,

Newell Normand (05:41):
But, it's just, I think I could spend the entire day up there, quite frankly.

David Rand (05:46):
You, you very easily can. Um, most of our, uh, guests that come visit us, spend about an hour and a half to see the entire attraction. But you could spend so many hours upstairs taking pictures, just going down memory lane, looking at changes that happened in the city over the years. So many people that come up here, they tell me they've, they, they've never seen the city like this before. They've lived here all their lives, but they've never seen the river snake like this or, right. See the city from this point of view.

Newell Normand (06:13):
So let's talk, uh, let's, let's start North. You, you made the observation and I saw it. You can actually see the north

David Rand (06:22):
Shore. You can on a, on a clear day, like we can today. We can see all the way to the North Shore. We can see, um, we can see sailboats in, in, in the lake from times. That's how far and how clear you can see from up here.

Newell Normand (06:33):
Yeah. And it's really more northeast than, as you look north, you see, uh, you know, going to, uh, Jefferson Parish and then, you know, west as far as the eye can see mm-hmm. , uh, it, it's absolutely, absolutely amazing. You, you have a view to English turn mm-hmm. , uh, with so much history, uh, there, that's a story in it in unto itself.

David Rand (06:54):
Absolutely. And, and watching the ships navigate Algis Point and go around there, the big cargo ships and the, uh, the cruise ships. It, it's just exciting to watch there, no matter which direction you're facing, there's something new to see, something different to see. And it changes every few minutes. It's, it's quickly becoming the Instagram capital of, of, of New Orleans.

Newell Normand (07:14):
Yeah. And, um, what I like too, it's, it's all glass, so it's not obstructed at

David Rand (07:20):
All, no obstruction whatsoever. You can see perfectly clear. Uh, like I said, on a clear day, you can see perfectly clear in any direction, um, from the river to the, to the West Bank, uh, no matter how far we've seen whole storms coming and then passing us at one point in time, just watching the weather change. And the sunsets from up here, spectacular.

Newell Normand (07:40):
They gotta be second to none.

David Rand (07:41):

Newell Normand (07:42):
Yeah. I will be back for sure. Uh, just because it's, it's so interesting and, and so many, uh, new landmarks, like for example, we're sitting here right now and we see the canopy of freedom, unobstructed, actually. We have a view of the canopy that probably most, I don't think anybody else has. We're on the top of it looking down.

David Rand (08:02):
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. It's, it's an opportunity up here to see things, like I said, from a different view, that you never would've had a chance. If you want to be able to see an entire parade at one point in time, in one glance, you can see an entire parade coming down, uh, canal Street or another street, and you, when would you ever have a chance to see that? If you wanna watch the, the new, um, the new show that they have there, you in the World War ii, you can see it from our angle from a whole different angle. It's just a, a different view to

Newell Normand (08:29):
Everything. And a and another little interesting tidbit about the 34th floor as well, up top. There's actually a cafe there, so you can eat there, there drinks there, uh, there's a place to sit down and eat inside as well.

David Rand (08:43):
Absolutely. Yeah. We have, uh, we have a full experience here at Vue Orleans. You, you can have a, up in our little cafe, you can get a sandwich, a salad, a a king cake, uh, and it is New Orleans. So alcohol after all, um, you know, uh, have everything from the Bloody Mary's to everything else.

Newell Normand (08:58):
It makes sense to toast the sunsets, right?

David Rand (09:00):
Absolutely. Absolutely. So yeah, you can have yourself an adult beverage or just a snack and, and continue your experience and just, just make it a full day. It's just a fabulous way to celebrate the day. And on that 34th floor, just as a little note, when you're up there on that 34th floor, that was actually the roof of the building. Yeah. We've made that into that floor. So if you come up and visit us, you'd be standing on a place where a year and a half ago no one could stand.

Newell Normand (09:23):
Right? No, absolutely. And it very, very interesting in so many, uh, different ways, but truly, uh, when you want to get a in context, the French Quarter, uh, that was striking to me as well. Uh, cuz you can, you, you can see very clearly the delineation of the French Quarter as to the surrounding neighborhoods, uh, right away. I mean, it just like jumps off a sheet of paper at you.

David Rand (09:53):
It, it's amazing to see when you go from the taller buildings to that French Quarter architecture and you can see it all in one, one section. We could actually hear the music from the French Quarter Fest all the way up on the 34th floor when that was happening. It was just a spectacular point of view for it. Um, so now seeing the architecture,

Newell Normand (10:09):
See, we're giving away some secrets here because this may be the best venue to see the French Quarter

David Rand (10:14):

Newell Normand (10:15):
People into music and everything

David Rand (10:17):
Else. It's a great spot to see it. Absolutely. We could, like I said, we could hear the music all the way up here.

Newell Normand (10:21):
Yeah, absolutely. No doubt. Um, so let's just make a little quick comparison cuz it's a similar experience in Stratosphere in Vegas, cuz I've been up there. You get to see

David Rand (10:31):
The full 360, the

Newell Normand (10:33):
Full 360, uh, there as well. Um, any similarities in the reaction to people?

David Rand (10:41):
It's the wow factor. You, you definitely have that the first wow reaction. And, and, and I think that it, it's even a more spectacular piece here from a wow factor than over the stratosphere from a standpoint of, um, the, the history of the folks that are from here and the locals that have seen the city change that wow. Of wow, look at that. That's different from what I've seen before and how that building wasn't there before. But it's similar from that wow factor. We have a lot more technology here than in the Stratosphere that makes an interactive experience, which I think is a lot more fun for the guests that come visit us here at Vue.

Newell Normand (11:16):
Absolutely. So we're gonna pivot to that right after the break. We are broadcasting live from the most spectacular view of New Orleans. The Vue Orleans the top, the Four Seasons Hotel will be right back. We're visiting with David Rand, general manager of VUE Orleans folks, 5 0 4 2 6 0 1 8 7 on the Oakland Heart Jewelers talk and text line. Stay with us. This is new on w l That's right folks. Swirly 407 feet up in the air. Mm-hmm. looking around at, uh, this incredible city of New Orleans, the place that we call home. Right,

David Rand (11:52):

Newell Normand (11:53):
So David, let's pivot, uh, to everything else that y'all have to offer, uh, in this experience here. And why don't we start right at the entrance and we'll work our way on up to the, to the 33rd floor so that we can give our listening audience a benefit. We just talked about the 34th that did not exist before the renovation, uh, of this, uh, beautiful facility. And now that's, um, the, uh, the top at the 34th floor. And so as we walk in off of, uh, which street?

David Rand (12:24):
Canal Street?

Newell Normand (12:24):
Canal Street, mm-hmm. , and number two Canal Street, if my memory serves me correct mm-hmm. , um, just to the left of the main entrance of the hotel is the entrance to Vue Orleans.

David Rand (12:34):
Correct. Right Between the entrance of Four Seasons and the aquarium. You'll see our big beautiful signs that face right down Canal Street. You can see all the way down. You can see our beautiful display screen. You can get tickets, uh, at our box office or [email protected], um, and pass right by the box office for direct entry. And so a guest would come in through our entrance there and enter into our second floor and start their journey through the history of New Orleans at our Confluence of Cultures section.

Newell Normand (13:03):
Yeah. So let's talk about that.

David Rand (13:05):
Oh, that's, it's been, it's fantastic. It's, I like to say it's my favorite part, but every part of this building is my favorite part. But the confluence of cultures is, is a fully interactive wall and breakout screens that highlights through interactivity, meaning you just point at a screen, um, at the screen and it pops up in English, Spanish or French. We do all of our attractions in all three languages. Um, and so in English, Spanish or French, it pops up, um, what you're looking at and you're able to learn about the people, the places in the city. We partnered with Professor Larry Powell from Tulane University, who wrote The Accidental City and several other experts in their fields to make sure we're telling the true and accurate history of New Orleans. And not just the, the folklore that you might hear, um, in our breakout screens.

We have characters from history such as Bienville and Marie Laveau and, um, tell you their stories of how, what, how they contributed to the city, how it was made up from an educational standpoint. Um, we have a lot of schools that come in and where can anybody of any age learn and interact with the characters from history that made up this beautiful city right here with us. Uh, and you're able to do that, like I said, in all three languages to be able to, um, uh, to have that no language barrier from that area. Uh, so it's an interactive, fun way to learn about the people and the, and the places that made up the city. And that's just the first stop.

Newell Normand (14:25):
Yeah. I mean, it, it, what's incredible to me, and I guess the mantra around here is, is it's all into details.

David Rand (14:32):
Yeah, absolutely. And, and, and so much focus was on detail. So many people that come through tell me, boy, the attention to detail that we played was so important. And, and they, they, they can see that and they can feel that, especially people that have lived here for a long time. They tell us that, that, oh, I remember that. And I see that.

Newell Normand (14:51):
And there's, um, so as we move from that mm-hmm.

David Rand (14:55):
Our next exhibit would be our dress for the Fest. As you move over to our dress for the Fest, this is where a a guest has an opportunity to, to virtually try on and design their own festival costume. You're able to, um, take a, a stand in front of our screens and put on a, uh, uh, virtually put on a head piece, a chess piece, and a, and a leg piece to create your own costume. And then we're able to take a photo of that costume for you and our photography partner, photo FX will have that photo ready for you in a hard copy or a digital copy to be able to share with your friends and, and show them your virtual costume you tried on for a parade.

Newell Normand (15:31):
You know, and I just wanna make this observation, and, and I think, David, you would agree, uh, a great opportunity to bring kids because there's so many interactive opportunities here. There's no

David Rand (15:43):
Downtown. Oh, no. And, and, and one of the great feedback we get from our guests is that children of all ages love this, uh, attraction as much as the adults because it is a fully interactive and immersive experience where you're able to, uh, touch, uh, interact and, and, and be part of the experience.

Newell Normand (16:04):
So let's move to the next attraction on that

David Rand (16:08):
Floor. Our story cafe. A story cafe is where, of course, new Orleans is known for the food. And so we are a, we are blessed to have partnered with, um, poppy Tucker and Kevin Belton to be able to, you sit at our virtual cafe and you sit down and you order a dish, and it could be the Poe Boy or the Jambalaya or any one of a number of dishes that New Orleans has, has made Famous and Poppy and Kevin tell you about the history of it, how it was made, how it's created. You're able to learn about it, and then virtually that dish will appear on your plate in front of you. Uh, you can't eat it, unfortunately, but we tease you on that one to try to drive you. One of the things that we want to be able to do is to be a partner of the city. So if you, if you've been never been here before and you, you see that Po Boy, and how can we help you to get to a place to try one, we wanna be a great partner and drive to the city.

Newell Normand (16:58):
Yep. Um, just as in total, just so you get a, a feel for this and, and context to everything David's talking about 4D experiences, 3D experiences, 360 degree panoramic views, seven interactive exhibits, and the list goes on

David Rand (17:15):
And on. Yeah. It, it, it doesn't seem to stop until you get through everything from, from the story cafe. You would muse to, you would move to our music experiences where you, uh, are able to stand under, I'll call them trumpet heads that hang from the ceiling mm-hmm. and interact with these devices that where you can learn about the history of the music that New Orleans made famous, um, everything from Louis Armstrong all the way up to modern music like Big Frida. Um, and you're able to interact with that and play the, some of the tunes. We have people making TikTok videos and things under those. It's just a really fun, interactive way to learn about

Newell Normand (17:47):
The music. What I really love too is the local connection with every one of these interactive, uh, opportunities as well as static displays and everything else.

David Rand (17:56):
Absolutely. We, we tied greatly into the local community to be able to be able to accomplish all of this. The actors that you see portrayed that portray the characters from history are all local actors. We have incredible art, art, art around the facility that's designed by lo the local artists, Elaine Cummings, io Scott, and Richard Thomas that designed these directly for us. This beautiful, gorgeous artwork that ties into our retail, our involvement with the local community on this and our, our vendors and our partners is very, very strong. Yep.

Newell Normand (18:28):
Uh, the video, uh, that I viewed down on, on the first floor, uh, as well, narrated by Irma, Thomas, and Music by Jay Weigel.

David Rand (18:36):
Mm-hmm, absolutely. It's a five minute or five to seven minute presentation that tells the history of New Orleans in and what I like to call living art. It's just an incredible way that it's done. It's a fully immersive three walled experience, and it takes you through a journey through time, uh, that tells you that brief story in the history of New Orleans, and it kind of ties that second floor together before you make your way in our elevator ride. And, I mean, right. I'm making air quotes right now. Ride upstairs.

Newell Normand (19:03):
Yeah. I mean, you know, and again, back to this mantra of of it's all in the details. You won't be in here two, three minutes before you recognize that right away.

David Rand (19:14):
Oh. It, it becomes very, very clear from the minute you walk in the door and see that confluence wall and read the facts and see the artifacts that we hear that we have here. You'll, you'll be able to see the detail that we put in.

Newell Normand (19:26):
And what I like about it is how robust each and every one of them are. Uh, and they're not like super, super long, but you get the feel, the flavor and a really good understanding, you know, in answering the question, why New Orleans and why here?

David Rand (19:50):
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. We, we've been able to put that together into a presentation where if, especially if you're a first time visitor to New Orleans, you can't see all of New Orleans in three days. It's impossible. That's your average day. And if you wanna start your

Newell Normand (20:03):
Experience, not if you want to eat a Pole, boy, that's an

David Rand (20:05):
Event. That's an event in itself. You know, when, when, especially those row beast ones with the debris gravy on top. Oh my goodness gracious. Um, you, uh, it's a great place for a new visitor to start their New Orleans experience, to learn the lay of the land and how we can guide you from there. And then for a local, how you can see your city like you've never seen it before, and learn some things you might not have ever learned about your city before.

Newell Normand (20:27):
Oh, absolutely. All right, folks, we are broadcasting live from the most spectacular view of New Orleans. And, and that is not an exaggeration. It is the absolute truth. And you'll see it as soon as you visit here. And you must, uh, if you really want to get the greatest view ever, right here at top, the Four Seasons Hotel at Vue Orleans, we'll be right back with David Rand, general manager of Vue Orleans. Stay with us folks. Welcome back. Folks who are visiting with David Rand, general manager of Vue Orleans. A little bit of the listening audience is picking on you a little bit, David. They're saying most people that moved to New Orleans don't talk about roast beef. Poor boys ask him if he's had the boiled crawfish yet.

David Rand (21:08):
Oh, I certainly have. Uh, well, we have some crawfish. I've tried the char boiled oysters. We've, uh, we've tried the king cakes, you name it. We've, I've,

Newell Normand (21:16):
I you're all

David Rand (21:17):
In. Right? And trust me, if there's one thing you don't have to make me do, that's eat

Newell Normand (21:20):
No doubt about it. Let's talk about, I mean, we're coming upon the holiday season, right? Kids are off a lot of different things. You guys are extending hours and doing all kinds of things. Let's talk about that real

David Rand (21:31):
Quickly. Yeah. We have some great things coming up in the next, uh, 30 to 60 days, um, actually starting tonight and tomorrow. And then again next Friday and next Saturday, right after the Thanksgiving holiday, we're having some extended hours. We're staying open until eight o'clock at night. So you can gr catch those beautiful sunsets up here. So some, uh, an opportunity where normally we close at six, staying open a little later, so, so some folks can get that nighttime viewing. So take advantage of that. Now while we have it. Uh, we're gonna test that out and see what the reaction is. I'm sure it's gonna be very, very strong. And then in addition to that, where I'm gonna be having one of the most incredible New Year's Eve fireworks viewing parties, you want to talk about the best place to see the fireworks that, that get launched right off the river from our observation deck up here on the, on the 33rd and 34th floors.

Newell Normand (22:17):
And it doesn't matter what the weather's like either. Oh, no. Because, you know, we're sitting here in the comfort glass all around us and, you know, unobstructed views, so

David Rand (22:26):
Indoors and outdoors. So if you don't wanna breathe the cold on New Year's Eve, that's okay. You can watch those fireworks from the 33rd floor.

Newell Normand (22:32):
Absolutely. You know, and let's talk a little bit about this mantra. It's all into details. Um, you guys brought in folks, uh, from so many different areas that impacted this facility that are like award-winning.

David Rand (22:49):
Yeah. We partnered with some, some incredible partners to, to make this, uh, you know, we couldn't do it all by ourselves. And so we partnered with, uh, 1220, um, which is a company outta Nashville that, uh, created the hardware for all these incredible exhibits that we have. They're a national company and international company actually that does work throughout the country and throughout other countries and, and do incredible exhibits like the World War II and the Aquarium and, and some other places, as many other places as well. In addition, we partnered with Cortina Productions that, that did all the content. So you see all the content that was developed in the incredible technology there was done by Cortina Productions. So two incredible partners.

Newell Normand (23:27):
Cortina has done, uh, projects like the National Geographic Museum. Mm-hmm.

David Rand (23:34):

Newell Normand (23:34):
That's serious.

David Rand (23:35):
They've done

Newell Normand (23:36):
Some big ones. They did beyond King Tut. They did the National Museum of African American History and Culture in dc, the Jackie Robinson Museum and the Ann Frank exhibit in the Museum of Tolerance in la. So they have, uh, quite the repertoire.

David Rand (23:50):
Yeah. And, and you can see that in, in, when you see our attractions, you see that quality and you see that, um, that experience that they brought to us.

Newell Normand (23:59):
So, again, not to belabor the point, the attention, it's all into details. Uh, you step on the elevator and, um, this is not just the regular elevator

David Rand (24:08):
On No. This, this is an experience up and an experience coming down. Two different experiences, actually. You get on the elevators and, and we're gonna, we're gonna load you into the elevator and we're gonna make sure you actually face the back of the elevator, which is not normal. Normally, you face the doors because, uh, there are nine, um, screens in our elevators that show you a film, a journey on the way up, and a journey on the way down. When you take the, the minute ride, it's only in a minute, a minute ride up and a minute ride down. Um, as you go up, you take a journey through time on the Mississippi River and on the way down, you take a, a journey back down through, uh, through storms and through the history of the city, all in a minute, up and a minute down.

Newell Normand (24:45):
Yeah. I I thought it was, I thought it was a really nice touch.

David Rand (24:49):
It, it's actually one of the, what our guest feedback is, is that's one of the most popular pieces of the elevator ride up and down.

Newell Normand (24:55):
All right. So we are on the 33rd floor mm-hmm. now. Yeah. And, um, so we get out of the elevator and, and, and there's a lot of different things, uh, that, that greet

David Rand (25:06):
Us. Yeah. It's, it's an incredible experience up here. It can be overwhelming at first. It's, um, it's the full 360 indoors. And again, we, the two big questions you get on observation decks are, um, what direction are we facing mm-hmm. , and then what's that? What am I looking at? Right. So we laid the floor out like a compass so you can see the direction you're facing. And then on each, about every eight feet we have what we call a million cap that explains, again, an English, Spanish, and French, what you're looking at. Right. So to help you understand, hey, what's that? What, what am I looking at there? What's that building? Um, and then we have eight we call AR stations. And these are the modern day version. When I used to go to an observation deck with my dad when I was a kid, we'd put quarters in the binoculars and look through the binoculars.

Mm-hmm. , the modern day version of these is these, we call 'em AR stations. And they are a large screen that you were able to pivot left and right. And it pops up what you're looking at, the famous landmarks and the history of it. And you can explore through these touch devices to learn more about what you're looking at. And again, in English, Spanish, and French. So you, that you can understand more of that. And these beautiful devices, even if it's a rainy, cloudy day in New Orleans, it's always beautiful and sunny here in Vue Orleans. Cuz those devices are always perfectly clear

Newell Normand (26:15):
For us. Right. No, absolutely. I mean, the tech, the technology just absolutely incredible.

David Rand (26:21):
Top notch. Um, and then when you, as you move around the floor, our photography partner, photo FX has some incredible souvenir photos with unique backgrounds, opportunities to take photos you could never get with your own camera or your own phone. Some incredible pieces. You're able to, um, pilot, uh, attempt to pilot a ship around Alges Point and dock it on the wharf.

Newell Normand (26:42):
I did it. Yeah. That was a lot of fun. I know, I know it's for the kids, but I did it twice,

David Rand (26:47):
. Oh, it's, it's, it's for all ages, but we have so many people that do it as a competition. You can't sink the ship, so you gotta be real careful. There's your pilot again.

Newell Normand (26:54):
The river pilot was yelling at me, man. Yeah. Hard left. Hard

David Rand (26:57):
Left. Yeah. One of our owners, Lee Jackson, a retired RBO pilot, um, it helped us design that exhibit and it's just a fun, interactive way to learn about the shipping and the various pieces and how New Orleans exists with the river. Um, but then have that fun, almost like a game to try to pilot it around. And people play two or three, four times before they, they don't wanna leave until they do it. Right. So it's

Newell Normand (27:19):
A lot of fun. Yeah. How you got the, you got the current that they describe coming around Algiers Point cuz the river pilot's telling you what your challenges are, right? Mm-hmm. , you have oncoming traffic, river traffic, you have

David Rand (27:31):
Storms, storms that comes out.

Newell Normand (27:33):
You've got traffic going in in front of you. You have to navigate to get under the bridge and to the safe to the end, A safe landing zone. So, um, actually at the next break, I may try it again,

David Rand (27:46):
But Sounds great. . I'll race you. We'll see who gets around first.

Newell Normand (27:49):
Yeah. But just a great, great experience. And then, um, I'm, I, um, well I'll let you

David Rand (27:56):
Take it. Oh yeah, no. As you continue your circle around the 33rd floor, you, you come over to, um, after seeing the incredible views of Algers Point, you come to, um, our rising up exhibit done by Professor Gates from Harvard University. Yeah. Um, does Henry Lewis,

Henry Lewis Gates from Harvard University. An incredible piece, an incredibly powerful piece. Like I mentioned, we are blessed to have some incredible partners that worked with us on this, um, on this, on this facility. He tells, uh, the story that New Orleans plays in the role of equal rights and civil rights throughout history. And it's an incredibly powerful piece. So many people watch that piece. And I often say this, just sit quietly for a few minutes afterwards and contemplate it. It's just an, an incredible experience. Um, and then from there you're able to come around to our city at risk exhibit where it, it highlights the, the river, the flood control, the tributaries, all the pieces, and how New Orleans coexist with the river. Um, and, and it highlights and, and touches the control, the flood controls and how New Orleans coexist

Newell Normand (28:55):
With the river. Right. You know, it, it's a, um, it's a depiction of, uh, the importance of the river and how we coexist with the river. Mm-hmm. and, you know, uh, we, I interviewed to Scoot yesterday that did a podcast on the, the effects The low of low of the low water. Of the low water. And you and I talked about that earlier as, as you were taking, taking me around. And, you know, if we ever get to that experience here like it is north, you, you tend to visualize it more. There's no better place right here to see it.

David Rand (29:31):
Oh, yeah, yeah. No, the, you, you can see the, the, the currents and the s from our, if you look from our, our, our observation deck down to the river, you can see the river flowing and moving. And you can see the s that that we highlight in that river, um, that river pilot experience. Yeah. And how quickly the current changes.

Newell Normand (29:50):
And I noticed, uh, there's a sandbar that's developed right there off of Algiers point too. I i,

David Rand (29:56):
It's kind of poking out a little bit there. You can see that there from a little bit of the water level dropping down,

Newell Normand (30:00):
Drop from the water level, dropping down, dropping down. So you, there, there is a a, a a, a visual there for sure. Um, so we, uh, we view the video and

David Rand (30:10):
Yeah, from, from when you finish the, uh, the city at risk exhibit, you would've completed at that point in time, a full circle around the 33rd floor. And that's when you would, uh, take our either our steps or our elevator, uh, second elevator, no show in this elevator as it just goes up one floor, but to our, uh, 34th floor where our cafe and our outdoor observation deck is

Newell Normand (30:30):
Located. Yeah. So let's talk about, uh, uh, let's, because we have a few minutes left. Public reaction so far.

David Rand (30:36):
Uh, you know, we're blessed to have, uh, had incredible reaction to, uh, to, to there, uh, the, the city is, the community is really embracing, um, what we have. We have an incredible local price, 24 95 for the, uh, for a local, with anybody with Louisiana. Id. Um, our reviews on Google and our internal feedback, our 4.6 and 4.8 stars. Yeah.

Newell Normand (30:59):
That's hard to get.

David Rand (31:00):
Yeah. People, we made such an amazing facility. The biggest, the biggest feedback, the hardest part was trying to figure out what we couldn't include, what to leave out. That was the

Newell Normand (31:10):
Hardest part. And there's, there's a lot, you know, I mean, I, I'm kind of thinking I'd want to come as an adult and then bring my children.

David Rand (31:17):
Absolutely. And there's so much to see and do that you can do, you can spend a day here, then come back with the kids and have a different point of view on it and experience it differently.

Newell Normand (31:26):
No doubt. For sure. David Rand, General Manager of Vue Orleans, first, let me say, uh, congratulations to Paul Flower, the developer of this and, uh, his entire team, cuz there are a number of investors in this facility as well. And we'll be talking to one of those, Karen Nabonne Coaxum. Thank you. Um, later. Uh, but congratulations to you. I, I can tell you you're living this. Thank you, sir. And you're loving it. And, um, folks, uh, don't beat up on any bad about the Po boys. He's, he's fully invested. He's

David Rand (31:57):
All in .I am. Trust me. Thank you. Like I said, you don't have to convince me to eat...

Newell Normand (32:03):
Uh, really enjoyed the time spent with you. Thank you so much for joining us.

David Rand (32:06):
Thank you, sir. Thank you.

Newell Normand (32:07):
All right. It's David Rand, general Manager of Vue Orleans. You want to get out here folks? And we are broadcasting live from the most spectacular view of New Orleans. A top the Four Seasons Hotel at the Vue Orleans - will be right back on WWL