The place to be

Photo by Rachel Leigh, used with permission by CSD Hotel The Courtyard at Chateau Saint Denis provides a relaxing space for convention attendees to take a break between meetings while soaking in the Natchitoches atmosphere.
By Juanice Gray
Natchitoches continues to be the “it” place for all things business and recreation.
Natchitoches will host the Clerk of Courts Winter Meetings Nov. 28-30 and the La. Assessors Association Christmas party Dec. 4-5 at Chateau Saint Denis.
Clerk of Court David Stamey said there were 110 attendees and about 55 parish clerks for their meetings sponsored by the Louisiana Clerk of Court Association. “Having mid-week meetings here really helps the merchants, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs,” Stamey said.
Natchitoches Tax Assessor Dolly Mahoney said there will be 170 attending their annual Christmas party and meeting.
Their banquet will be Monday, Dec. 4 followed by a meeting Tuesday, Dec. 4. “The president of the La. Assessors Association chooses the location,” Mahoney said. “They were here two years ago and wanted to come back.”  She said at that time they stayed at the interstate and had to be bussed downtown for their events. This year, lodging and festivities will be at one convenient location. “They love the shops and the lights and 170 people will be a huge boost for the economy,” Mahoney said. “Most won’t just meet and leave, they’ll stay a day or two.”
Chateau Saint Denis general manager Chris Post is looking forward to these groups utilizing his facility.  “It is so great to have local contacts to help bring conventions to this city and for us to be located in one of the most desirable cities in the state.  These two are coming at the best time for us, the Christmas season when they can see all the lights and festivities,” Post said.  “That is our goal, to make connections and thanks to the ambassadors who live here, people can see what we have to offer, not only as a hotel or events center, but as a city.”
Post said the hotel location is one of its attractions. “Visitors can arrive, park their car and stay or meet here, then many of the attractions are within walking distance.  We hope to build on becoming a meeting and conference destination.”  Having these visitors for mid-week activities benefits the entire downtown area. Mid-week is generally the slow time for tourism and having 100-200 extra visitors is “tremendous” according to Post. “It’s great. Not only for the hotel but for vendors, tour guides, gift shops, restaurants and more. This brings in people, consumers who normally wouldn’t be here.”
Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Arlene Gould said they provided each guest with a welcome packet. “It’s a brown bag with our logo containing the Historic Natchitoches, a visitors guide, bookmark and the Christmas brochure. We want them to know we want them here,” she said.