Photograph by Skip Bolen/WireImage/Getty Images
While most Mardi Gras visitors aren't concerned with getting a good night's sleep, you still need shut-eye now and then. Mardi Gras visitors paid more than $53.4 million on hotel rooms in 2011 and nearly $5 million in hotel tax, says Weiss. A room at the Hotel Richelieu on Charles Street in the French Quarter could recently be reserved for $280 per night. A less expensive option: La Quinta in Metairie or Gretna -- under 15 minutes by taxi from the French Quarter -- for about $170 per night.