Solid financial strength allowed the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority (“the Authority”) to maintain its AA+ bond rating from Fitch Ratings on the following special tax bonds:
–$28.9 million special tax refunding bonds, series 2012;
–$41.3 million special tax refunding bonds, series 2014.
Fitch also has removed the bonds from Rating Watch Negative. The Rating Outlook is Negative. According to Fitch, “the Negative Outlook reflects uncertainty regarding the timing and strength of the rebound of the tourism industry in New Orleans and the corresponding recovery in pledged tourism-related taxes. The ‘AA+’ rating reflects expected strong post-pandemic pledged revenue growth and sound resilience through future economic cycles. Management reports sufficient available reserves to weather the current sharp decline in HOT and other pledged revenues.”
The Fitch Group is a global leader in financial information services including credit ratings that provide valuable insights for investors in long-term debt. Fitch’s AA+ bond rating is one of the highest that can be achieved.
“We are pleased and encouraged that Fitch has chosen to maintain a rating of AA+ for our outstanding bonds, and to hold its opinion of our credit rating. Our July 15 debt payment has been reserved and is held by a trustee; therefore, it will be paid per schedule from taxes collected. It is important to note that the Authority is in compliance with all of its bond covenants, and given these very uncertain times, this rating is a tribute to how well the Authority has managed its funds. Regarding the “negative outlook” rating, we remain concerned about the state of the local tourism economy and will continue to monitor the trending effects on our tax collections,” said Michael J. Sawaya, Executive Vice President of the Authority and President of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
About the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
With 1.1 million square feet of prime exhibit space, in an entirely contiguous hall, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center provides the largest single exhibit space in the country, features an award winning staff, first class amenities, and is the sixth largest convention center in the nation. A leading contributor to the city’s robust tourism economy, the Convention Center’s event activity has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.7 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments.
About the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority
The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority’s (Authority) exclusive mission is to finance, construct and operate facilities in order to attract and conduct conventions, trade shows and other events that support and expand the economy of both the State of Louisiana and New Orleans Region. The Authority is composed of a 13-member board of commissioners, ten appointed by the Governor of Louisiana, and three appointed by the Mayor of New Orleans. Since 1985, event activity at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.7 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments.