Cajun RVera opening delayed, again

The Cajun RVera, behind the SugArena in New Iberia, will be opening up in mid-December, eight months later than originally projected.

“We've had about 127 rain days…Satisfying DHH [Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals] requirements and getting approvals; it's really a slow process,” says Karl Vincent, chairman of the Acadiana Fairgrounds Commission.

Vincent says, come December 12th, every attraction at the Cajun RVera will be open, except for the pool and lazy river.

“We're going to have the rally pavilion open for reunions…We're going to have the clubhouse open…We hope to have the beach volleyball courts up, if not, then real soon after that,” says Vincent.

Vincent says by its grand opening, the nearly $6 million RVera Project will have gone more than $1.045 million over its budget.

“You can't cost a job out two and a half years and expect it to hold the same…Contracting prices went up…The pool, DHH, LAWCO, CLECO and all the up charges to meet compliance regulations [were all factors],” says Vincent.

Vincent says the $1.045 million came in the form of loans from the parish, but Parish Councilman Marty Trahan was saying at the council meeting, on Wednesday, the project is well worth the money.

“I think New Iberia needs something to come to, to have tourism come to New Iberia…I think we started on this project we need to finish it…And I think they need to get it open, so we can get some revenue coming in,” says Trahan.

Vincent says, in 2007, an economic impact study found the SugArena was pumping $12.3 million into the local economy, so based upon that he estimates both the SugArena and Cajun RVera together should bring in about $20 million.

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