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June 2013

APP of the

MONTH Page 18

DELIVERED TO BUSINESS LEADERS THROUGHOUT SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER


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Biz. Magazine • June 2013


The First Word

Welcome to BIZ.

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Business Monthly is more than just a New and Improved product he term, “New and Improved” has been so overused in marketing that its effectiveness has eroded. However, there is no other term that can accurately describe the exciting transformation of NWLA Business Monthly. For the past three years, our publication has been the heartbeat of business in the Shreveport-Bossier market. We have told stories of thriving industries and offered practical information to help all businesses.

As Business Monthly continued to grow in size and influence, there was a desire to make it more than just “another publication” in the market. We wanted to give leaders a greater tool to grow their businesses. There are so many wonderful tools and resources in our area, many of which are unknown to the business community at large. After many meetings and discussions, we are proud to roll out a New and Improved product. New. Now known as “BIZ,” Business Monthly sports an updated look, more pages and even more relevant content — all packaged for busy leaders who need their information “to the point.”

Scan to Sign Up For BIZ Daily Report

A new “Daily Report” provides business news straight to email inboxes Monday through Friday mornings. Readers can sign up for the Daily Report via our website at www.nwlabusiness.com or simply scan the QR code in this column. Improved.

Biz’s distribution now includes Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce members. Add that to the Bossier Chamber of  Commerce members and you have the very best targeted b2b list anywhere. Print and Online The printed copy of BIZ is THE Reference for business leaders. Its pages are full of helpful information that can be implemented immediately. It is our aim to make each issue so valuable that it becomes a staple on desks throughout the marketplace. Online, BIZ is the source for up-to-date Business news from Shreveport-Bossier and beyond, all with a focus on local market impact. In addition, BIZ will take full advantage of social media to ensure timely information is available wherever readers might need it.

David Specht Jr. President of Specht Newspapers, Inc. Read his blog about leadership at www.DavidASpecht.com

So welcome to BIZ. We are so glad you are a part of the great things to come in ShreveportBossier.

He may be reached via email at dspecht@bossierpress.com.

June 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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Contents 20

Welcome Parrotheads

Opening of Margaritaville this month brings host of sights, sounds and experiences to Shreveport-Bossier

On the Cover Economic Development in NWLA takes cooperation from many entities, working toward a unified goal. Read Page 17.

Regulars

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From the Ground Up... How to build a STEM workforce in northwest Louisiana

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The Power of One

Entrepreneurism revolutionizes Economic Development

Volume 4, Number 3 | ©Copyright 2013 by Specht Newspapers, Inc. All rights reserved. BIZ. is published each month by Specht Newspapers, Inc. at 4250 Viking Drive, Bossier City, LA 71111. Telephone (318) 747-7900. Information in this publication is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed.

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Biz. Magazine • June 2013

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Welcome to BIZ.

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Winning the Room

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Don’t Waste My Time (Or Yours)

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Where Is Your Online Fan Club?

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What Are We Reading?

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Wing It For Lunch

Business Monthly is more than just a New and Improved product

Going from wallflower to connector can be accomplished

There is no sense in pursuing unqualified prospects

Knowing where your clients and customers can be reached is half of the online marketing battle

Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership is a multiple bestseller and a must-read.

Popular Monroe sports bar opens second location on Old Minden Road


Win-Win Powertools

Tools You Can Use When it comes to winning in Business, it helps to have the right “tools” for the job.

Winning the Room

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Going from wallflower to connector can be accomplished

Jerry Frentress Speaker & Coach, Win-Win Power(ful) Tools for Sales, Service and Employee Interviewing. Website: www.WinWinPowerTools.com. Business Facebook: www.Facebook.com/WinWinPowerTools . 453-6080 / Bossier City

regularly speak to salespeople (that’s everybody) about selling themselves to the potential clients they can find in a meeting room. Prospecting and networking is the “life-blood” of business. I believe we’re all in sales and selling all of the time. Our #1 product is us! If you buy that we’re all in sales, you’ll agree that it seems logical to take that which we sell out into the market place. Despite the logic, the fear of entering a room filled with strangers is often stronger than any persuasion. I too, was reluctant to work the room and spent many a meeting (when ordered to go) plastered against the wall or at a table with friends and co-workers. I got the food and drink and little else out of my investment of time and energy. It all changed when I listened to my own words (novel move)…. “What’s the plan?” Better yet, “What’s the plan for WINNING the

room?” Like learning to ride a bike or drive a car, if you learn and practice all of the steps, it becomes easier and more effective each time you do it. Winning the Room became one of my most popular seminars. Here are a few of the key elements: Believe that it works Arrive early Keep Moving Be ready with your 30-sec commercial Realize most everyone else is a little nervous too Mange your name-tag or bring your own Be prepared to take notes Listen Smile Have your business cards easily accessible Ask for business cards Give your cards when asked Keep moving

[It’s] like learning to ride a bike or drive a car, if you learn and practice all of the steps, it becomes easier and more effective each time you do it.

Resist huddling with your friends and co-workers Take a break to eat and drink Present a friendly and firm handshake…ladies too Maintain eye contact Don’t sit down Keep moving Make the first move…they will be glad you did Follow up the next day with the people you want to meet again Here’s the bottom line for growing your business regardless of the product or service. Prospecting and networking is critical and must be a consistent part of your business growth. Plan, prepare and practice getting known in your market. “It’s not who you know that counts… .it’s who knows you.”

June 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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Marketing B-S (Bossier-Shreveport)

Don’t Waste My Time (Or Yours)

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There is no sense in pursuing unqualified prospects

n recent editions, we have discussed Building Your Sales Team. More specifically, we have explored and asking questions (and hopefully answered questions) regarding the reasons that lead to sales representative failure. Previous columns have explored the Top Five industry agreed upon reasons for sales representative failure. In no specific order, the reasons are: 1.) Inadequate Training, 2.) Pursuing Unqualified Prospects, 3.) Pursuing Only the “Big Elephant” Accounts, 4.) Lack of Time Management and 5.) Poor Attitude. So far, we have discussed four of the Top Five reasons for sales representative failure. This month, we will take a look at the fifth and final reason, Pursuing Unqualified Prospects.

Randy Brown

Advertising/Marketing Guru He is the Advertising Sirector for Bossier Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc., publishers of the Bossier Press-Tribune and BIZ. Magazine Randy may be reached at rbrown@bossierpress.com

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Biz. Magazine • June 2013

So, ok, we all know the routine, sales lead after sales lead pouring in, all of this information at your disposal, so much so that you feel completely overwhelmed and you try to accomplish everything all at once. How will you ever get to it all? You get in a rush and do not spend the proper amount of time researching and qualifying your prospective customers. First of all, slow down, ask yourself, are these

sales leads qualified? Secondly, do these potential customers have a need for my products and/or services? Furthermore and most importantly, will these customers benefit from my products or services? In short, can I help these businesses with my products or services? Absolutely, no salesperson should waste precious sales time in any shape, form or fashion. Essentially, the pursuit of unqualified prospects is nothing but a complete waste of time. We have already addressed time management and its role in sales representative failure. Thus, as a sales representative, nothing is a bigger waste of time than the pursuit of unqualified prospects! If you spend the majority or even a moderate amount of your sales time pursuing prospects that are not even qualified to be customers for your products or services, how can you expect to succeed? Don’t waste your time and spend day after day merely hoping or wishing that a virtual stranger (aka: unqualified prospect) will give you a call. In order to be successful, you must

Don’t waste your time and spend day after day merely hoping or wishing that a virtual stranger will give you a call. qualify your potential customers. So often these days, we hear the following phrase used in terms of political candidates “the candidate has been properly and thoroughly vetted.” As such, we must also think in these same terms in relation to our potential customers. Basically, our potential customers must thoroughly and properly “vetted.” By spending the time and effort necessary to better qualify your prospective customers, you will quickly see which prospects to keep on your call list(s) and which prospects to drop. Most all of the top performing sales people have made this activity a daily habit. Channel the time that you save as a result of not spending your time on unqualified prospects toward your initial (thoroughly vetted) prospecting. Then, follow up with cold calls on these qualified prospects. This is a key step toward insuring your future and long term success as a sales representative!


Uncommon Sense Marketing

Where Is Your Online Fan Club?

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You need to be where your clients and potential clients are. It’s just like in the “real” world – location, location, location!

Knowing where your clients and customers can be reached is half of the online marketing battle

ne of the questions I am asked the most is, “Do I need to be on Facebook for my business?” The answer is this: you need to be where your clients and potential clients are. It’s just like in the “real” world – location, location, location! Of course, social media is just one marketing tool. And Facebook is just one social media option. With over 1 Billion users on Facebook, that often means you do need to be on Facebook. However, other social media networks might be better for your business. Maybe you need a combination of networks. Find out where your clients are already hanging out and meet them there. How do you find out? Ask them. You could use an online survey tool like SurveyMonkey.com. There is a free version, and it’s very simple to setup and use. You can create a survey in just a few minutes and can ask a variety of questions including short answer, multiple choice, and fill in the blank. A link to your survey is automatically created and you simply email the link to your contacts. They click on the link and are taken right to your questions. What do you ask? Ask questions that let you know WHERE they are online. Find out in which social networks they are spending their time. They may be checking several social networks, but where are they spending most of their time. Another thing you need to know about your contacts and fans is WHEN they are online. Once you know which social networks they use, you need to know when to communicate with them. If they are on Facebook or Twitter, for instance, do they go there before work or school, over lunch, after work, in the evenings, or on the weekend? Facebook pages have the Insights analytics tool which can give you some feedback on this, too.

Amy Kinnaird

Social Media Evangelist She trains business owners and entrepreneurs how to use the latest marketing tools and techniques to attract and keep clients.

By knowing where and when your contacts are online, you can target your message to them and have a better chance of reaching them. There is no reason to spend time, effort or money in the wrong social networks. If you are going to have a social media presence, do your homework, and let it be in the right place, at the right time.

View Amy’s website at www.uncommonsensemarketing.com.

June 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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Biz Tools

Do Something The speed of business is ever increasing. The successful business leader stays on top of the tools and information to help his company grow.

Books

What are we reading? Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership is a multiple bestseller and a must-read for anyone in a decision making capacity of a business. This book not only chronicles the steps Ramsey’s company took to become one of the nation’s top companies, but also give practical steps to achieve success in any economic climate. Readers will find themselves referring back to the pages ot EntreLeadership long after they have read it through.

Order the book here.

What are they reading?

Million Dollar Web Presence, Chad Barr & Alan Weiss Amy Kinnaird

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey Jerry Frentress

Thou Shall Prosper, Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Platform, Michael Hyatt

David Specht Jr.

Sean Green

App of the Month If you aren’t using Evernote, you are missing out on one of the greatest tools for organizanizing pretty much everything. Evernote stores everything from scanned documents, to emails and web clippings. Evernote is acesssible through multiple devices, so your “stuff” is awlays available to you. A paper-free office is possible, even with the free edition of this App. Evernote is available for Apple, PC, iPhone Android and a host of other platforms.

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Biz. Magazine • June 2013


Workforce

From the Ground Up... How to build a STEM workforce in northwest Louisiana

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f you find yourself driving down I-20 in Bossier City, LA, you may notice a unique building with tall spires and architectural designs that cause it to stand out from the rest. That building is the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), which is the cornerstone of the National Cyber Research Park. In 2008, the CIC set out on several missions, one of which was to build a sustainable, knowledge-based workforce dedicated to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) that could support the growing needs of government, industry, and academia. This mission has become increasingly more important as the U.S. continues to fall short of meeting the STEM-workforce demand. Elaborating on this need, Vice President of the Cyber Innovation Center, G.B. Cazes, shared, “Nationwide, more than 300,000 STEM-related jobs are currently left unfilled because employers can’t find enough skilled STEM professionals. By 2018, analysts are estimating that Louisiana alone will experience an alarming 69,000 job vacancies. It’s critical that we build a capable STEM workforce and that we do so from the ground up; such an approach involves us working collaboratively with K-12 teachers and college faculty to engage more students in STEM.”

GB Cazes

Assistant Director/Vice President, Cyber Innovation Center

To meet this workforce demand, the CIC created the National Integrated Cyber Education

Research Center (NICERC). NICERC utilizes a multi-faceted approach by providing professional development for K-12 teachers while engaging students in project-driven STEM programs and curricula. NICERC’s immersive professional development empowers teachers to connect with and prepare their students to become the leaders of tomorrow. This July, NICERC will host the inaugural Education Discovery Forum, a professional development conference for leading K-12 teachers in STEM education. While NICERC focuses on teacher professional development, it also offers opportunities for internships. Through NICERC, undergraduate students from Louisiana Tech University were able to intern in the Cyber Research and Development program. Additionally, NICERC coordinated meetings between universities in the region and a Department of Defense (DOD) agency. From those meetings, local students are interning with the DOD agency in Washington, D.C., this summer. NICERC has also brought in undergraduate and graduates students from across the U.S. to work as engineering education interns this summer. 2 G.B. Cazes said, “These internships and other opportunities will collectively help to reverse the brain-drain, where we no longer lose our students to higher education and career opportunities elsewhere but instead, keep them

here in Louisiana.” Many of NICERC’s local programs have seen an overwhelming growth in participation among students and educators. In the 2012-2013 Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC), over 825 elementary, middle, and high school students from 48 schools in the region competed in a series of STEM and liberal arts challenges. This represents an overwhelming increase of 41% in participation from last year! The response has been so favorable that other regions in Louisiana have asked NICERC to bring RARC and its other programs into their communities. Looking ahead, this will establish multiple regional sites across Louisiana where all regional grand champions could come together for a statewide competition. Ultimately, the goal of NICERC’s programs and curricula is to help students develop a curiosity and passion for learning, which will encourage a greater number of students to pursue careers in the STEM fields. Whether they are studying NICERC’s curricula, experiencing internships, attending summer programs, or preparing for a RARC competition, NICERC encourages students to think innovatively and, most importantly, to know what opportunities are available for them in STEM. To learn more about NICERC’s educational initiatives, visit www.NICERC.org. June 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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Cover Story Bossier City Does Its Part for Growth Bossier City put its money where its mouth was to make way for Margaritaville. Roadwork for the newest entertainment attraction included the widening and redesign of the East Texas/Traffic Street intersection at the Louisiana Boardwalk. This included building a quarter-mile-long road off of East Texas Street to lead to the new casino, additional turn lanes at the corner of East Texas and Traffic streets, and widening River Colony Drive to include two single-lane roundabouts to connect to Bass Pro Drive. “We provided almost $7 million worth of infrastructure improvements to facilitate the Margaritaville development, but the improvements we made will help access to the entire Boardwalk,” said Mark Hudson, Bossier City engineer. That change at East Texas and Traffic Streets is a small part of the proposed improvements along Highway 80 from all the way up Traffic Street up to Old Benton Road. Hudson said this rehab would make it more attractive to any business looking to locate there with “significant drainage improvements,” sidewalks, vintage style streetlights, and improved landscaping. “It will be more functional, but it will be also be prettier.” Other roadwork that is designed to improve ease of access for business development include the long awaited widening of Shed Road between Benton Road and Airline Drive, a project that had been on the books for around 15 years. Hudson hopes to put the project out to bid before the end of the year and start construction after the Holidays. The widening of Swan Lake Road started in 2011 and is ongoing. Divided into two projects — expansion from Shed Road to Interstate 220 and Shed Road to I20 — the total cost of the project is $20 million. Estimated time of completion is late spring/early summer 2014.

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Cover Story STORY BY Sean Green

PHOTOS BY Amanda Crane

Government & Business

WORKING TOGETHER W

Economic Development in NWLA takes cooperation from many entities, working toward a unified goal of bringing and expanding business here hen driving through downtown Shreveport or Old Bossier, one can’t help but notice the latest monument to the area’s growing economy. Jutting up into the skyline is a new tower, white, symbolically the color of freshness, a startling sight to anyone who has grown accustomed to the same few buildings that populated the urban forest of the area along either side of the Red River. The tower for the new Margaritaville Resort Casino is sure to be not only a money generator for the area —attracting out of town Parrotheads (the name for rabid fans of Margaritaville brand owner Jimmy Buffet) and bringing in locals who haven’t been to a casino in a while, or ever — but will bring some visible excitement locally when it opens this month. “The casino industry has been in our market for about 18 years. They were a real shot in the arm in 1995 when they came in. They were able

My return on every investment is a new job opportunity for Bossier City and Bossier Parish.

David “Rocky” Rockett says the Margaritaville Resort Casino is an example of business-government cooperation.

to bring in new job opportunities. From that, you are able to base new investments and the community earned a lot of money from that. With the new boat, they raised the bar,” said David “Rocky” Rockett, Executive Director/President of the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation. It’s some startling numbers: a $195 million construction project, 1,200 to 1,500 positions created in the facility and another 700 construction jobs. Developers say Bossier City will collect $4.26 to $4.8 million due to growth and $2.2 million in hotel occupancy taxes. The parish can expect to collect $12.5 million the first year the casino is open. Perhaps it was acutely appropriate that it was in the shadow of this visible end of economic development means that Rocky, a man who fights daily to bring new business to the area, spoke about its role in what has been a great year for development. “This year is doing well. We have had some slow couple of years, but this year we are doing better. We have some opportunities to put some manufacturers into our industrial park. We have some opportunities to grow things

along the riverfront, with the new Margaritaville opportunity,” he said with a hint of enthusiasm belying his matter-of-factness. He also cited the new Benteler Steel/Tube training facility being built at Bossier Parish Community College, the new Sam’s Club set to begin building later this year, and the $200 million-plus Bossier Parish School Board construction and renovation that will start this fall as reasons to be encouraged. “This shows all the new investment opportunities that are growing this year,” Rocky explained. For the GBEDF, going out and recruiting opportunities for business growth, this year has seen a big, what Rocky calls, “return on investment.” “My return on every investment is a new job opportunity for Bossier City and Bossier Parish. We are the organization that the city and parish have entrusted those opportunities to take that mantra and move out and open up the doors and make our plans where everybody can see what this community is capable of.”

June 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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On the Economic Development Front

The Power of One Entrepreneurism revolutionizes Economic Development

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Moonbot Studios in Shreveport.

uring our recent North Louisiana Economic Partnership Annual Meeting presented by CenturyLink, our keynote speaker, Rich Karlgaard, Publisher of Forbes Magazine, spoke about the “power of one” to spur economic development. A single person can make a huge economic impact on his or her community.

Scott Martinez President, NLEP He is a certified economic developer and President of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, a nonprofit regional economic development organization. Send comments to feedback@nlep.org.

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Karlgaard, a recognized thought leader when it comes to economics, explained that there are two current schools of thought about promoting economic development. One school of thought fostered by Richard Florida in his book “Rise of the Creative Class” expounds that the Creative Class empowers communities, organizations and people to harness their innate creativity to achieve greater prosperity and well-being. Florida defines the creative class as a new or emergent class - a demographic segment made up of knowledge workers, intellectuals and various types of artists. An opposing school of thought espoused by Joel Kotkin supports the “back to basics” economic development approach. Communities need to concentrate on their native strengths and assets as the real economic drivers, which in turn will attract the creative class.

While both of these theories hold merit, Karlgaard argues that there is a third factor, an Xfactor, which can rewrite the entire course of a community’s economic future. That factor is the impact of one entrepreneur or one company to redefine what is possible in a community. Karlgaard points to what Bill Gates and Microsoft did for the economy of Seattle. Microsoft’s success convinced other entrepreneurs, like Jeff Bezo who would later start Amazon, to set up shop in Seattle. I’ve seen this phenomenon myself with what Dell did for Round Rock, Texas. I believe it can happen here in Northwest Louisiana. I look around our region and see the entrepreneurism that exists in our communities. This entrepreneurial spirit, the X-factor if you will, is contagious. It can have a ripple effect across an entire community and region, bringing new investments and other like-minded people to settle here. For example, Moonbot Studios and Twin Engine Labs have transformed the digital media sector in Shreveport-Bossier, redefining what is possible in North Louisiana. The app for “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” developed by Moonbot Studios and Twin Engine Labs received international acclaim from the New York Times, the London

Times, and Wired magazine. Following that success, Moonbot Studios won the Academy Award for best animated short film- once again proving to the world North Louisiana’s digital media sector is a rising star. As economic developers, our job is to nurture and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit. Resources, including the Louisiana Small Business Development Centers, Louisiana Economic Gardening, Louisiana Economic Development’s (LED) Small & Emerging Business Development Program, and incubators, like CoHabitat and InterTech Science Park, support small start-up companies during their infancy and nurture their potential to grow into Fortune 500 companies. LED offers a host of small business programs, which you can learn more about on their website, www.louisianaeconomicdevelopment.com/s mall-business/programs.aspx. Ultimately, the creative spark and entrepreneurial drive rest with a single visionary, who dares to reinvent and revolutionize an industry and in turn a community. The can-do spirit which made our country great is alive and well in North Louisiana. Can we ignite it and nurture it?


From the Bossier Chamber

Growing in Bossier

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A Look at Economic Development Projects Around Bossier Parish usiness in Bossier is flourishing, and has been for some time. While the national economy struggled, Northwest Louisiana was primarily shielded from the recession and even thrived thanks to the Haynesville Shale activity and strategic efforts of local and state officials and organizations. There are many exciting developments in Bossier Parish that are producing remarkable economic development prospects.

One of these opportunities is the Benteler Steel plant at the Port of Caddo-Bossier, which will generate 675 new direct jobs paying an average annual salary of $50,000 plus benefits, along with 1,540 new support jobs, creating more than 2,200 permanent jobs for this region. The Benteler project was won with a customized incentive package created by the collaborative efforts of Louisiana Economic Development, Bossier Parish Community College, the Red River Waterway Commission, the Caddo Parish Commission, the Port of Caddo-Bossier, the City of Bossier City, the Bossier Parish Police Jury, and the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation. Many in Bossier eagerly await the opening of Margaritaville Casino and Resort. The new facility anticipates drawing gamers from Texas and Oklahoma, adding 600,000 incremental gaming visits, having an estimated $124 million impact on Bossier Parish. Margaritaville will create 1,500 new direct jobs and anticipates generating $12 million in local tax revenue annually.

Mike Boggs Boggs & Poole Contracting Group, Inc. Mike is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce.

Finally, the growth in Bossier Parish is truly inspiring. Population and business growth here are impressive and obvious testaments to our great schools, quality of life, ease of permitting, and flexible solutions for business needs. Bossier is experiencing growth all around, with retail development in North Bossier’s Stirling Properties, at the Louisiana Boardwalk, and, with the Arthur Ray Teague extension, South Bossier is opening up additional land for commercial and residential real estate development. Overall, the future of Bossier Parish looks prosperous, thanks to strong leadership and a healthy community. June 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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NWLA Tourism

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Welcome Parrotheads Opening of Margaritaville this month brings a host of sights, sounds and experiences to Shreveport-Bossier hen Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Resort Casino opens the doors this month, they’ll be introducing visitors to a dining and entertainment experience like none other at their signature restaurant. “We’re definitely going for more of a lifestyle angle with live bands, soloists, acoustic sets all going on several nights of the week,” Margaritaville Spokeswoman Christy Wood said. “You’re not just having dinner here. We’ve taken it to a different level.” Here are a few features to look out for:

Donecia Pea Media Relations, Shreveport Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. She is a monthly contributor to Biz. Magazine. She may be reached via email at dpea@sbctb.org.

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The volcano Said to be the largest in the Margaritaville franchise, the man-made volcano sits inside the Margaritaville restaurant. Every weekend, several times throughout the night, it will rumble and erupt with smoke and lava – all created using an LED lighting effect - and shoot out a female performer who will slide down

up to the type of system he likes to play on,” Wood said. “And we’re hoping to get a lot of random trips out of Jimmy.”

The setting

the luge into a margarita blender-like structure to kick off the entertainment. The performer will then launch into an aerial show, surrounded by stilt walkers and dancers.

The sound The restaurant will use a sound system that is a smaller, identical version of the one Buffett travels with. Why? “He likes to make random appearances at his casino resorts. So if he makes one here, everything will already be set

In keeping with the island theme, Margaritaville’s two-floor restaurant will feature a signature mural with a stage that Woods describes as an exact replica of a lighthouse buoy. “The ceilings and walls are all painted and have palm trees, and pontoon boats,” she said. In addition, there will be seating on the pool deck. Visit www.ShreveportBossierFunGuide.com for a schedule of live music performances at Margaritaville Resort Casino, as well as a complete list of things to see and do in Shreveport-Bossier.


Lunch Break

Wing It for Lunch Daq’s Wings.

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Popular Monroe sports bar opens second location on Old Minden Road in Bossier City

aq’s Wings and Grill, located at 1705 Old Minden Road, is a popular Monroe sports bar that recently opened a second location in Bossier City. With about a dozen giant televisions tuned to sports and 25 beers on tap, Daq’s is the kind of place where you’d expect to find good burgers and chicken wings, but not too many surprises. At least that’s how I’d pegged the place prior to visiting.

Chris Jay Public Relations and Social Media Manager, Shreveport Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. He is a monthly contributor to Biz. Magazine. He may be reached via email at cjay@sbctb.org.

As it turns out, I was wrong. While blue cheese dressing does flow like water at Daq’s, and the burgers and chicken wings are fine, there are also some genuinely fun, unexpected offerings here. Fried shrimp baskets ($6.99-$18.99) are tossed in hot wing sauces like citrus chipotle BBQ, lemon pepper and sweet red chili. Fried pickled okra ($5.49), surprisingly hard to find in Shreveport-Bossier, are lightly-pickled,

Fried Pickled Okra.

crunchy and juicy. Appetizers and sides that I’m looking forward to trying soon include cilantro shrimp wontons, boneless alligator wings (really?), and roasted poblano chile con queso. Daq’s promotes a grilled chicken sandwich as the house specialty, but I’d have a hard time opting for a chicken sandwich over fried pickled okra and cilantro shrimp wontons. Daq’s does have some obstacles to overcome. Located in a building that previously housed a Burger King, the restaurant’s outward appearance is a bit rough and service can be spotty. But when a place has memorable food, that makes up for an awful lot. Did I mention the fried pickled okra?  

June 2013 • Biz. Magazine

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The Biz. June 2013  

Online version of BIZ. Northwest Louisiana Business Monthly Magazine.

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