New Orleans briefs: Port, Mardi Gras World to develop attraction

The Port of New Orleans and Carnival float builder Mardi Gras World are negotiating to develop a Mardi Gras-themed attraction at the Robin and Orange Street wharves on the east bank of the Mississippi River. Called Mardi Gras World at the Port of New Orleans, the facility will repurpose older wharves, no longer suitable for cargo operations, as a tourist attraction.

Robin Street Wharf was the former terminal for Majestic America Line's American Queen, Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen, which now use the Erato Street and Julia Street terminals. For more on the port, visit www.portno.com.

Hurrahs at Harrah's

The 450-room Harrah's New Orleans Casino and Hotel, reopened 18 months ago after a $170 million refurbishment and addition of a 26-story tower, is performing so well it's helped boost regional profits for parent company Harrah's, officials said.

Harrah's cited "another strong performance" in 2007 at Harrah's New Orleans, which is enjoying occupancies in the high 90th percentile, for higher fourth-quarter and full-year revenue in 2007.

Regional revenue rose in the fourth quarter to $367.6 million from $365 million, a 0.7% rise, while income jumped 81.5%, to $59.3 million from $31.7 million. For the year, regional revenue rose 11.2% and regional income climbed 50.9%.

The Harrah's Louisiana/Mississippi Region also includes Horseshoe Bossier City, Louisiana Downs, Horseshoe Tunica, Grand Casino Tunica, Sheraton Tunica and Grand Casino Biloxi. Call (800) 847-5299 or visit www.harrahsneworleans.com.

World War II on film

The National World War II Museum will present the exhibition "Real to Reel: World War II in Film, Documentaries & Newsreels," April 10 to 12 as part of its Second International Conference on World War II.

The event features authors, experts and historians presenting and discussing documentaries, newsreels and Hollywood films about the war.

The closing banquet and keynote presentation, "Band of Brothers -- Translating Real Life to Film," will feature actor Michael Cudlitz of the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," screenwriter John Orloff and historian Hugh Ambrose, currently working on the sequel, "The Pacific." Tickets start at $129 for select day passes.

The museum is also undertaking a $300 million expansion to create a six-acre campus of exhibition pavilions, a "4-D" theater, a USO venue and a research and conference center in downtown New Orleans by 2014. Call (504) 527-6012 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org. For event tickets and information, call (877) 813-3329, Ext. 257 or visit www.warfilms.org.

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