Prevue July-August 2017 - 64
New, renovated & expanded venues give planners plenty of choices
[ON LOCATION] LAUREL HERMAN
or a city with ocean, dining, golf and other attractions
for meetings and conventions, it's a surprising notion to
think that a resort renaissance could also be happening in
Atlantic City. And yet, it is.
Harrah's Resort Atlantic City is one planners should make
special note of as it offers an adjacent waterfront conference center.
The resort just completed a $30 million renovation this past May that
upgraded 455 guest rooms in the Bay Tower, part of the 2,500-room
property. We stayed in one of these spacious rooms during Global
Meetings Industry Day and loved the neutral colors, seated vanity
and large bathroom with separate Jacuzzi tub and shower.
The pool, an area that is covered by an atrium and used day
and night, rain or shine for events and sports, also got a face-lift
that includes a new stage, lighting and sound system. The property
also just opened a state-of-the-art fitness center and Starbucks,
and at the conference center, the new Sea Isle boardroom, which
will host up to 30 for meetings with video conference capabilities.
Steve Van Der Molen, VP of meeting operations for Caesars
Entertainment's Atlantic City region, says the Harrah's Atlantic
City Waterfront Conference Center, with two 50,000-sf
ballrooms, which can be divided into 30 individual sections, has
already had a very positive effect on the growth of meetings to
Atlantic City. He added that is backed by Caesars Entertainment's
resources so that they can address the special needs and requests
meeting planners need to make to accommodate their groups. For
example, if a planner needs an additional 40,000 sf, Harrah's will
64 | prevuemeetings.com
have a tent added on to accommodate a group. Van Der Molen
says that their sweet spot is two to three conferences in house at
one time. He also says that Harrah's works closely with Meet AC
for great meeting and convention success when convention groups
come to town.
"Atlantic City plays host to a variety of corporate meetings in
terms of size," says Jim Wood, president and CEO of Meet AC.
"Atlantic City is a resort destination so when you hold your meeting
in a world-class resort, planners are getting our fabulous beaches
and world-class boardwalk as added value. There are also new and
unique gaming and non-gaming venues to enjoy." Wood adds that
group size can range anywhere from 20 to 5,000.
SERVICE WITH PASSION
Karie Hall, general manager at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City is
known for service with passion. She explains that they have a
robust hospitality service program, and that the resort is very
customer-centric with a motto of "service with a passion, from
management on down." While Hall believes the resort facilities
are great, she also says group members come back for the
relationships they have with the staff.
Besides the aforementioned renovations, Hall is also excited
about new food venues at Harrah's-from AC Burger and
Veracruz, the latter offering a blend of Mexican and Spanish with
a focus on smaller plates, to their new Coastal Craft Kitchen
that just opened in May, with seafood, local items and craft beers.