Prevue September-October 2016 - 68

Atlantic City This historic beach town is a winner for meeting groups [ON LOCATION] BARBARA SCOFIDIO A tlantic City exudes the feeling of a quintessential Atlantic Coast summer, with its meandering Boardwalk, historic amusement park, saltwater taffy maker and open-air jitneys that transport groups from here to there-or just nowhere, for fun. We were in AC this past June to take part in Meeting Professionals International's (MPI) World Education Congress (WEC). Aside from MPI's extensive educational sessions, we were also schooled on the city's broadening appeal to meeting and incentive groups. MEET THE NEW AC Atlantic City has historically been known as a vacation and gaming destination, home to Caesars, Trump Taj Mahal, Bally's and other sprawling casinos along the waterfront. Until two years ago, that is, when Meet AC was formed to re-create the city's image into a meetings destination. "We're upping our game and reintroducing Atlantic City to the meetings world," said CEO Jim Wood during WEC. The brand-new Harrah's Waterfront Conference Center, which celebrates its first anniversary this September, has been a game-changer, with two 50,000-sf ballrooms that can be configured 200 different ways. We were struck by its ocean views and the feeling you get of being on business yet just steps away from summer once the meetings end. Though it is unquestionably big (in fact, largest hotel-conference center complex from Baltimore to Boston), there wasn't the feeling you get in many centers of an endless sprawling complex. The attached Harrah's Resort 68 | prevuemeetings.com Atlantic City has renovated 350 of its rooms and begun a remodel of its Bayview Tower. Now the hope is that another company will step up and build another facility like this to create the convention space needed to launch the city into a position as a major Northeast meeting destination. That just might be starting, with MGM Resorts' recent acquisition of Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa. The company is investing in an additional 250,000 sf of meeting space, as well as a massive renovation that will include a Roman-style pool, and restaurant by celebrity chef Michael Symon. Just a few minutes from the Boardwalk, the location of Borgata and the adjacent Water Club hotel in the Marina District lends a feeling of exclusivity. A mile-long Waterfront Sculpture Walk connects the Borgata, Golden Nugget and Harrah's. Resorts Casino Hotel, a Mohegan Sun property, finalized the first phase of a $25 million room renovation in its Ocean Tower and last year added a new convention center, with 12,000 sf of meeting space for a total of 64,000 sf. Caesars Atlantic City rolled out the complete renovation of its Forum Tower rooms in May. Both Showboat and Revel have announced reopening plans, with Revel's new owner promising 1,800 rooms, a spa, and a zip-line obstacle course, while Showboat will become a 852-room non-gaming property. For more on WEC 2016 and this FAM, visit us online. meetac.com http://www.meetac.com http://www.prevuemeetings.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue September-October 2016

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