Greentrepreneur: Royal Carriages

Royal Carriages was started in 1941 by my grandparents, Clem and Violet Lauga, with one horse and carriage. My parents, Jim and Carolynn Lauga, continued this family run New Orleans tradition for over 35 years. Through these many years, our company has grown steadily into a full-service carriage company employing 45 people and stabling a like number of young draft mules.

Through all these years of ownership, the company has remained in our family -- one that has a legacy of over 75 years experience in the New Orleans sightseeing industry. The fact that Royal Carriages is a family-run business is one reason why we are the oldest sightseeing carriage company in America.

I would also like you to know that all our mules receive at least 3-6 months of vacation per year on one of our two lovely farms, one in Covington, Louisiana and the other in Poplarville, Mississippi countryside. We usually stable about 34 mules here in the city and the balance are kept on pasture.

Royal Carriages prides itself on providing our guests with that personal touch. I would like to extend a warm welcome to you on your visit to New Orleans. We invite you to visit us on your next visit to New Orleans, and hope your stay in New Orleans is a pleasant one! James C. Lauga, Jr

Third Generation Business Operator General Manager What are some of Royal Carriages' proudest moments? We've been around now for 75 years, and we were so proud to open up our stables on October 26th, 2016 for the first time to the public. The community was able to learn about the mules and enjoyed free carriage tours. We were also proud to work with local businesses to make this happen. As we grow we're looking forward to more events to let the community enjoy the stable and affordable carriage rides.

How does your organization go about improving your social and environmental impacts?

Over the past few years, we hired a full-time person to clean the manure from the streets of the French Quarter so the residents and business owners can have a cleaner environment. The employee rides a battery operated golf cart around the quarter and sweeps and scrubs cleaning up after the mules. We also provide complimentary deodorizers to local businesses that would like them. This is important for us because we do not want the French Quarter to be a dirty place. We try to be a good neighbor.

What partnerships have you formed in order to leverage sustainable impact as an organization?

We are involved with the French Quarter Business Association and enjoy connecting with other business owners there and participating in their graffiti removal process. In addition, we are a part of the N.O. Convention and Visitor's Bureau, New Orleans Travel Promotion Association and LifeCity. All of these organizations promote tourism in New Orleans. Together we can make tourism greener! We hope that all of our small and large efforts can inspire other businesses in tourism to follow.     What advice would you give to other businesses who are trying to improve their internal practices to benefit their city and state? Do what is right and don't give up on your values, no matter how hard the obstacle may seem! We have big goals over the next few years that may seem like mountains but we're going to keep working towards accomplishing them because it will us be a better place for our employees to work and help to make the French Quarter better.

Anything else you would like to tell our community of Green Card members and Green Businesses such as upcoming events or promotions they should look out for?

We recently worked with Marica Mackenroth Brewster with Tomahawk Tourism of New Zealand, which is the number one ecotourism destination in the world, to renovate our website (NewOrleansCarriages.com). It will go live on Monday and will feature tickets for tours of the stable where people will have an opportunity to meet the mules and learn how we care for them. Tours also include a complimentary fun-themed 2-hour wagon ride which talk about the importance of preserving the culture of new orleans.   - Nancy Landry Customer Experience Manager Royal Carriages

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