New Orleans as a Retirement Destination
Everyone seems to agree that the city’s economy is in need of some serious restructuring if we ever want to enjoy a decent quality of life, and most people seem to think they have the answer. I think just about everyone agrees that tourism is not sustainable as the main industry. I’ve heard lots of people say we need to be a technology ( i.e. computers) leader, although we probably missed the boat on that one. Lots of people are already working on building up our biotech industry, which I think is a good idea but probably another ten years down the road before we see a real return on that investment. Anyway, I was thinking about it and it seems like the city is missing out on a pretty obvious way to beef up our economy; out of town retirees. After you quit laughing, bear with me for a second.
The baby boomers are just starting to turn sixty. This is a huge segment of the population that will be retiring over the next decade or so, and they have a lot of fucking money. And lots of them are not content to move to some gated condominium complex in Florida. That’s what their parents did, and nobody likes to follow in the lame ass footsteps of their parents, right? This is the generation of rock ‘n roll and free love. Not all of them, but at least some of them are probably looking to retire someplace that’s a little more in-tune with the flamboyant excesses that characterize their generation. Do you see what I’m getting at here? The beach bum types we’re not going to attract, but people who like art, food, music, Mardi Gras and all that other shit we’re famous for, well they’re not going to find that in Florida or Phoenix or wherever else people go to die now. We’ve got warm weather, a casino, museums, theater, nightlife… fuck, I’d retire here!
Now obviously with the crime where it is we’re probably not going to be attracting many regular folks, let alone elderly ones. But say that were to change and we somehow convinced Marriott to bulldoze the Iberville housing projects and turn it into a retirement community or something, would that not be a good idea? While it might not be something to base our economy on, it would at least be a shot in the arm and another way to revitalize and bring investment downtown. It might not bring high paying jobs but it’d still bring jobs and outside money into New Orleans. I don’t know, it just seems like a silly market to ignore, especially considering some people might really enjoy retiring here.