With Fat Tuesday just around the corner, New Orleans is entering one of its busiest times of the year in terms of tourism. In a few days, thousands of visitors will descend upon the city to take part in a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration.
This year, however, some residents are speaking out about a growing problem that has plagued the city in recent years: illegal boarding. With each passing year, more and more properties not officially registered with City Hall turn up in tourist guide books, travel magazines, and unlicensed websites advertising nightly room rates.
During carnival season, the number of illegal rooms can balloon out of control. Critics of these illegal “hotels” argue that they take away tourism dollars from the city and in some instances can be down-right dangerous.
In response to the complaints, the city of New Orleans said it will begin cracking down on illegal boarders starting this week, focusing on repeat offenders who advertise their services as a legitimate business.