Northeast Meetings + Events Spring/Summer 2022

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GAMING DESTINATIONS ATLANTIC CITY & BEYOND

MEETINGSMAGS.COM

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SPRING

SUMMER

GREATER HARTFORD

BRIMMING WITH AMENITIES

2022

Historic, Dynamic, Immersive

BOSTON TECH TRENDS :

SATISFYING THE NEW TRAVELER

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CaesarsMeansBusiness.com 855-633-8238

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Contents In Every Issue //

4 President’s Note

S PRIN G / SUMME R 2 02 2

Feature //

18 Jackpot!

BY IRENE LEVY BAKER

Want to feel like a winner? Hold your next meeting at a casino.

7 Meeting Notes

Places, products, and inspiring ideas to take your next meeting from drab to fab.

14 Destination

Boston can compete with any city in the world when it comes to attracting conference attendees.

26 Industry Update Meetings + Events infographic and Northeast news

32 People Profile

Doreen Guerin, a self-described “New Yorker through and through,” leads eventrelated operations at the Javits Center.

Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City

GAMING DESTINATIONS ATLANTIC CITY & BEYOND

MEETINGSMAGS.COM

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SPRING

SUMMER

GREATER HARTFORD

BRIMMING WITH AMENITIES

2022

Historic, Dynamic, Immersive

BOSTON TECH TRENDS :

SATISFYING THE NEW TRAVELER

On the Cover

Meetings in historic Boston are convenient, with numerous attractions nearby. PHOTO BY ESKY STUDIO

P H O T O S : O C E A N C A S I N O R E S O R T ; N I KO L A S KO E N I G

The Newbury Boston

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P H O T O S : O C E A N C A S I N O R E S O R T ; N I KO L A S KO E N I G

ne.meetingsmags.com

PRESIDENT TAMMY GALVIN

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER – NATIONAL SALES LAURIE BURGER 586.416.4195 | LBURGER@GREENSPRING.COM

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR ALESHA TAYLOR GROUP EDITOR KATELYN BLOOMQUIST SENIOR EDITOR TODD R. BERGER EDITOR SHELLEY LEVITT ASSOCIATE EDITOR AMANDA CHRISTENSEN DIGITAL CONTENT SPECIALIST AUDREY PICKERING

CREATIVE DIRECTOR TONYA SUTFIN ART DIRECTORS MICAH EDEL, TRACI ZELLMANN

MEETINGS WITH A SIDE OF VITAMIN SEA

SENIOR ART DIRECTOR TED ROSSITER

PRODUCTION MANAGER LY NGUYEN DIGITAL PRODUCTION DIRECTOR DEIDRA ANDERSON ADVERTISING COORDINATOR MIKAYLA SNYDER SALES & MARKETING SPECIALIST MADELINE BRAVERMAN

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER + DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, EVENTS & PARTNERSHIPS ARTHUR MORRISSEY EVENT OPERATIONS MANAGER RICK KRUEGER

From corporate retreats to big time concerts to antique car shows, and everything in between, it’s no wonder year after year meeting and event planners choose the Wildwoods Convention Center! • 75K square foot exhibit arena, a 12K square foot Ballroom and 10-Meeting Rooms

COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST TEGHAN MURPHY

• 380 – 10’ x 10’ exhibit booth space or seating for up to 7,500

MARKETING + EVENTS COORDINATOR RACHEL TAYLOR

• Modern amenities / State-of-the-art communication systems

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS KATHIE GORECKI ACCOUNTING ASSOCIATE NATASHA BAJJU

REPRINTS For high-quality reprints of 500 or more, call 612.371.5882 or email Lnguyen@greenspring.com. For address changes, ordering single copies, cancellations, or general questions about your subscription please contact customer service at 866.660.6247.

• Full in-house Catering/Concession services • Adjacent to the world-famous Wildwoods Boardwalk and 5 miles of FREE white sand beaches • On-site parking for over 700 vehicles • 30K square feet of pre-function space • Free Wi-Fi for attendees

9401 James Ave. S., Suite 152, Bloomington, MN 55431 Phone 612.371.5800 Fax 612.371.5801 HOUR MEDIA CEO Stefan Wanczyk President John Balardo

The pages between the covers of this magazine (except for any inserted material) are made from wood fiber that was procured from forests that are sustainably managed to remain healthy, productive, and biologically diverse. Northeast Meetings + Events is published quarterly © 2022 Greenspring Media. All rights reserved.

To schedule your next meeting or event,

800-992-9732 | WildwoodsCC.com

PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

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P RES I DENT ’ S NOT E

The Journey Ahead

ne.meetingsmags.com nemeetingsmags

“A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but its persistence.” —JIM WATKINS

» IF YOU ARE READING THIS, you know a thing or two about perseverance. In fact, you likely personify it. While myriad industries were affected by COVID-19, perhaps none came to a screeching halt quite like meetings and events. As the pandemic raged on, many industries endured fits and starts to their ability to reopen, while meeting planners and destination marketing organizations remained fully immersed in a nightmarish Zoomland waiting for employees to return, travel to resume, and hotel occupancy rates to rise. And yet here we are… cautiously emerging from behind our masks wanting to believe that this time it’s for real. That we’ve made it—stronger, wiser, forever changed as individuals and organizations. At Greenspring Media, we genuinely couldn’t be more thrilled to navigate this “new norm” with you. Just before the pandemic’s onslaught, our parent company Hour Media was in negotiations to purchase the Meetings + Events and Custom Publishing divisions of Tiger Oak Media. Although the pandemic grossly stretched our desired timeline, the wait was worth it. And now we are in a unique position to help this industry forge a solid path to recovery. How will we do it? By expanding the audience reach to new highs, reinvigorating content by listening and engaging with meetings and events professionals, and sharing best practices through these pages and across our digital platforms. We will do this all with one goal in mind: to help you navigate this post-pandemic world and to drive business for both your organization as well as our loyal advertising partners across the country. Thankfully, the amazing editorial, sales, and production team that has been devoted to these publications for decades is on board and will play instrumental roles in achieving that goal, as well as bringing back—in person—our Best Of programs. Greenspring Media has worked closely with the hospitality, meetings, and events industries along with their suppliers and partners throughout our 55-year history. We understand the challenges you have faced, we see the bright opportunities on the horizon, and we look forward to the journey to get there, together.

President tgalvin@greenspring.com

P H OTO : DA R I N K A M N E T Z

TAMMY GALVIN

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A FRESH TAKE ON MEETINGS

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P H OTO : DA R I N K A M N E T Z

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M E E TI NG NOTE S Products, Places & Inspiration

NS S

SS

Gin Mare Mediterranean Gin elevated its multisensory presentation using fresh citrus fruits and fragrant herbs.

k

SIGHT You can bring nature indoors

anywhere by incorporating green walls, water, herbal centerpieces, and natural, textured materials like wood and stone. New York City-based florist Julia Testa instills natural elements like flowers, oranges, and succulents into branding events and product launches—imbuing creativity and cheerfulness in attendees.

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Succulents add texture on a branded tablescape at a Vans shoes event.

P H O T O S : J U L I A T E S TA F L O W E R S

THE GREAT INDOORS Activate the senses through infusion with the natural world. » EVENT PLANNERS often schedule meetings and events

in natural places near wilderness areas, at waterfront resorts, and at mountain event spaces. But there are many ways to bring nature into your events by making use of the architectural concept of biophilic design, which can be defined as seeking to engage most people’s innate desires to affiliate with nature in the modern built environment. If you think of yourself as an “event architect,” you can use nature to stimulate the senses.

SOUND Amplifying natural sounds of a flowing stream, breaking waves, or fluttering bird song into your event can be relaxing. All you need are some strategically placed Bluetooth speakers and a free app like myNoise, which has numerous natural white noise options, including walking in the woods, the Irish coast, and distant thunder. SMELL Try infusing your event space

with essential oils, such as lemon, which stimulates energy and improves mood, and peppermint, which supports memory and concentration. The Canadian Corporate Meetings Network, which serves corporate meeting planners, uses “scent branding” to positively influence event goers. —Todd R. Berger

COMPILED BY SHELLEY LEVITT

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M EETI N G N OT E S Products, Places & Inspiration

Clockwise: An Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club clambake on the beach; an Ocean Edge kayaking trip on Blueberry Pond; touring the oyster beds at Brewster Flats

» SET ALONG the Massachusetts coast on the Lower Cape of Cape Cod, Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club offers a dazzling variety of amenities and attractions for groups. For starters, the 429-acre property has two distinctive sides: The upscale Mansion, originally built in 1912, offers 121 premium guest units, ranging in size and style from a 480-square-foot guest room to multilevel two- and threebedroom villas. Meanwhile, The Villages Villas, with 216 guest rooms, including 1,400-square-foot villas, puts guests in the heart of the sprawling property. The grounds provide a sophisticated playground. There’s both a 700-foot stretch of private beach and easy access to Blueberry Pond; an 18-hole Nicklaus Design golf course; 26 miles of scenic trails; nine tennis courts spread over two tennis compounds; six pickleball courts; five pools, including two indoor pools; a spa with five treatment rooms; and multiple restaurants, bars, and snack cabanas, from the elegant Ocean Terrace on the Mansion side to the Shark Bah—a playful nod to Boston accents—on the Villages Villas side. Groups are generally drawn to the Brewster, Massachusetts, resort from Boston

and New York City, says Leon Bolivar, the property’s marketing director, and include attendees from biotech, consumer packaged goods, finance, entertainment, and consulting industries. Unlike most Cape resorts, Ocean Edge is open year-round. “Most groups come during what we consider ‘the second summer,’ or September to November,” Bolivar says. “The weather is still beautiful; it’s a perfect time to go leaf peeping, and the summer crowds have left, so groups can have the property pretty much to themselves.” Planners can take advantage of 21,000 square feet of meeting space, including the 4,528-square-foot Ma nsion Ballroom, the largest on Cape Cod. The property can accommodate both intimate retreats and conferences with up to 400 attendees. Groups typically stay three to five days, Bolivar says, with an afternoon or evening spent off-site on a whalewatching excursion, on a sunset boat tour, or exploring the art galleries and boutiques of Brewster. Ocean’s Edge has a robust menu of on-site activities, including clambakes on the beach, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding on the bay; sand-sculpting

and boat-building workshops; mixology classes; and evenings enjoying s’mores around a fire pit. Some new team-building activities include: CLAM “CHOWDAH” COOK- OFF: A chef demonstrates how to make a traditional chowder before the group pairs off to create their own best version of the New England classic. After a tasting, the chef picks a winner, who is given bragging rights and a credit to spend at their choice of on-property eateries. MURDER MYSTERY DINNERS: Who can crack the case? Attendees are invited to channel their inner detective. “It’s the board game Clue brought to life,” Bolivar says. “Did Mr. Mustard do it with a candlestick in the library?” OYSTER BED TOURS: During low tide, groups can go out to the Brewster Flats— one of several sandbar and tide pool areas along the Cape Cod coast—with a guide to learn about aquaculture and the importance the tide plays in the farming of oysters. For example, did you know that a single oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day? oceanedgemeetings.com

P H OTO S : O C E A N E D G E R E S O R T & G O L F C LU B ; (O P P O S I T E ) T H E O P U S W E STC H E ST E R ; LU DW I G P H OTO G R A P H Y

Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club

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P H OTO S : O C E A N E D G E R E S O R T & G O L F C LU B ; (O P P O S I T E ) T H E O P U S W E STC H E ST E R ; LU DW I G P H OTO G R A P H Y

SUMMER’S PALOMA

The Opus Westchester, a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotels, made its debut in late spring 2021, offering 10,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space. Anyone attending a meeting there this summer will want to try this cocktail, a sophisticated warm-weather elixir that’s served exclusively in the Lobby Lounge. “The beautiful and complex notes of grapefruit and blood orange pair nicely with notes of dried fruits and spicy oak from the tequila,” says Bajha Delfico, mixologist and food and beverage outlets manager at The Opus. “The addition of lime juice adds a deeper layer of freshness and acidity to complement the tequila. The Tajín Clásico rim takes it even a step further, creating a savory quality for a smooth, all-day drinking cocktail.” » » » » »

1.5 ounces Casamigos Reposado tequila 0.5 ounce lime juice 1 ounce blood orange juice 2 ounces grapefruit juice Blood orange soda to top

Put all ingredients into shaker, add ice to fill shaker three-quarters full, cover, and shake for 10 seconds. Coat the top of a tumbler with Tajín Clásico seasoning, and fill glass with ice. Strain contents of shaker into glass. Top with blood orange soda. Garnish » 1 blood orange wheel to garnish in drink » 1 candied blood orange wheel to garnish on rim of glass (cut wheel, coat both sides with sugar, and torch to candy) theopuswestchester.com

A Luxury Rhode Island Inn Debuts Its Meeting Space Rhode Island’s Weekapaug Inn, a Relais & Châteaux property, has opened MeetingHouse, a 1,650-squarefoot indoor-outdoor convertible space that overlooks Quonochontaug Pond and can accommodate groups of up to 75. The open-air New England-style space features retractable glass walls that can be removed to give the impression, a prepared statement says, “that you’re floating above the calming pond and marshland.” Expansive porches cover two full sides of the venue, and inside, groups will find a dramatic stone fireplace, handcrafted by a local artisan, and vaulted cathedral ceilings made of natural wood beams. The inn, which dates to 1899, employs an on-site naturalist/director of recreation, Teddy Beahm, who works with meeting planners to arrange group breakout activities, which can include guided hikes, birdwatching, stargazing, seal watching, lighthouse tours, visits to the local oyster farm, and more. weekapauginn.com

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The Travelers Tower, built in 1919, is the second tallest building in downtown Hartford.

Get to Know Greater Hartford

Both affordable and accessible, Hartford is historic, compact, and friendly—with a wide variety of conference, convention, and event spaces. BY SHELLEY LEVITT Population: 120,752 Transportation: Bradley International Airport, the second largest airport in New England, is 13 miles from downtown Hartford, while the 30-Bradley Flyer route provides bus service to the Connecticut Convention Center and Union Station for a one-way fare of $1.75. “Our accessibility is a major selling point for planners and promoters of meetings, conventions, trade shows, and sports events,” says Robert Murdock, president and director of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. Vibe: “Hartford is culturally diverse with historic architecture and attractions, many of which double as off-site meeting venues,” Murdock says. “We’re a very walkable city, and there’s a free downtown shuttle as well. Hartford sits on the majestic Connecticut River with walking paths on both sides and parks all along the way. Having that connection to the outdoors is part of what makes us such a vibrant and friendly community. Plus, our hotels, venues, and convention services are quite affordable compared to New York City and Boston. As a result, many events report record-breaking attendance.”

Major Venues: The Connecticut Convention Center in downtown Hartford offers 540,000 square feet of event space, including 140,000 square feet of exhibition space and a 40,000-square-foot ballroom. XL Center, Connecticut’s premier sports venue, has an arena that can seat up to 15,000 and just under 56,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space. Xfinity Theatre is one of the largest amphitheaters in the country, seating up to 24,200 people (6,000 indoor seating and the remainder on the lawn). For meetings and events, an indoor lobby, VIP Club (capacity 300), and outdoor plaza space are also available. The spacious lobby, exhibit areas, 3D theater, and rooftop garden at the Connecticut Science Center are available after-hours for receptions and special events. Dunkin’ Donuts Park, a fan-favorite Double-A ballpark with stadium seating for 6,121, offers its enclosed 7,000-square-foot Premium TG Club and 18 premium suites for private events. On-field options are also available. Hotels: Greater Hartford has 11,300 overnight rooms. The largest property is Marriott Hartford Downtown, which is attached to the Connecticut Convention Center and has 409 guest rooms and 13,500 square feet of meeting space. The Goodwin Hotel, across the street from the XL Center, is a historic 124-room property with 3,000 square feet of meeting space. Smaller hotels, like Residence Inn by Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and Holiday Inn, can also be found in downtown Hartford and nearby. Restaurants: There are dozens of restaurants in downtown Hartford, with scores more across the city and throughout Greater Hartford. Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ, located right across the street from the convention center, offers authentic Kansas City-style wood-smoked barbecue. Private rooms seat up to 40. Less than a mile away, in a 100-year-old downtown building with pressed tin walls, Southern

P H OTO S : CO N N E C T I C U T CO N V E N T I O N & S P O R T S B U R E AU ; (O P P O S I T E ) T H E G O O DW I N H OT E L

M EETI N G N OT E S Products, Places & Inspiration

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P H OTO S : CO N N E C T I C U T CO N V E N T I O N & S P O R T S B U R E AU ; (O P P O S I T E ) T H E G O O DW I N H OT E L

folk art, and blues memorabilia, Black Eyed Sally’s Southern Kitchen & Bar dishes out Southern fare and live music, and there, private rooms can accommodate up to 80. Across from the XL Center, the award-winning Max Downtown has been offering “elevated chophouse classics” for 25 years, and its large private room can accommodate 50 diners. City Steam Brewery, housed in an 1877 building on Hartford’s Main Street, offers crowd pleasers like wings, nachos, burgers, and locally made hot dogs and kielbasa; live music and comedy; a billiards and game room; and an event space that can accommodate groups from 20 to 300. CHECK OUT THE NEIGHBORHOODS Pratt Street in downtown Hartford is a cobblestoned block lined with small shops and eateries between Main Street and the XL Center. The street closes to traffic for a variety of special events, including the Pratt Street Salsa Socials. Attendees strolling the street between meetings might also find pop-up outdoor markets and free yoga/workout classes. Parkville, a lively and diverse residential and business community in the west end of Hartford, features a variety of restaurants, bars, and coffeehouses with global cuisines that include Portuguese, Spanish, Brazilian, Puerto Rican, Asian, Italian, and more. Parkville Market, Connecticut’s first-ever food hall, opened two years ago in the former Capitol City Lumber Co. building. It features 20 restaurant vendors, three bars, pop-up shops,

live entertainment, private event space, and indoor and outdoor dining for 400-plus patrons. A $6 million expansion is underway to include a rooftop deck, event spaces, and a larger location for the popular Hog River Brewing Co. Just blocks away are Real Art Ways, a nonprofit art space that exhibits visual art, houses an independent cinema, and presents live music, theater, and literary and community events, and Hartford Flavor Co. Housed in a historic manufacturing building where the first pay phones were made, the distillery crafts small-batch all-natural spirits, specializing in botanically infused liqueurs. Diana’s Lair, the tasting room, can be reserved for private events, including seated dinners for up to 55 guests. HOW THE CONNECTICUT CONVENTION & SPORTS BUREAU HELPS The sales and convention services staff at the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau helps planners research, plan, and book meeting venues, accommodations, restaurants, off-site space, attractions, and activities across the state. The bureau is Connecticut’s only statewide meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization, and its team can introduce planners to local Hartford hospitality and business partners, as well as to resources that maximize attendees’ experiences. ctmeetings.org

The sophisticated Goodwin Hotel, built in 1881, has a distinctive terra cotta facade and an interior rich with stone and mahogany architectural details.

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M EETI N G N OT E S Products, Places & Inspiration

The lush, comfortable Secret Garden at W Hotel Philadelphia

W PHILADELPHIA’S PLAYFUL MEETING SPACE » THERE’S A MAJOR NEW MEETINGS VENUE IN PHILLY. Last summer, the

295-room W Philadelphia, located in a 51-story skyscraper in the heart of downtown, opened its doors. “Philadelphia is the quintessential city for a W hotel—rebellious, unexpected, and original,” says Tom Jarrold, global brand leader of W Hotels Worldwide. “Its diverse neighborhoods and rich history attract travelers from around the country and the world, and we are excited to put our unique stamp on its luxury hotel scene.” With 36 event rooms and more than 45,000 square feet of event space, W Philadelphia offers a variety of meeting space. Here’s an overview: Pre-Function Space: The event space is spread across three floors, with prefunction space for receptions and networking on floors four and five. The floors are connected by a grand staircase lit by a floating chandelier made of 10,000 gold coins as a nod to the city’s banking history. Meeting Rooms: W Philadelphia’s meeting rooms have an industrial quality to their design. Hidden behind amber glass doors, they’re designed to evoke the feeling of private recording studios or a soundstage. WET Deck and Secret Garden: Located atop the seventh floor, the WET Deck features striking views of the city and includes a heated, year-round pool with intricate green and blue custom tile work. Topiary runs alongside the balcony wall, shielding the pool from the cityscape and creating an intimate environment. Around the corner, guests will discover a lush greenspace known as the Secret Garden. Landscaped with topiaries and myrtle trees, it features illuminated

busts of Benjamin Franklin and Marie Antoinette—they spent time together in Versailles when Franklin was the first foreign ambassador of the United States— tucked amid the greenery for a modern twist on traditional garden design.

The charming lakeside village of Aurora in the Finger Lakes region of New York offers a collection of pristinely restored historic homes that make up the Inns of Aurora, a luxury lakeside boutique resort and the town’s main accommodations. Last fall, the resort opened the doors to Taylor House Conference Center, the resort’s capstone restoration of a 20-year commitment to preserving the village’s historic buildings. This two-story 1838 Greek Revival-inspired building offers meeting space that’s a mix of original architecture and modern technology. The 2,000-square-foot first floor features three grand parlors with original fireplaces; a dining room with barrelvaulted ceilings and original 1871 woodwork; and an outdoor patio with a fire pit that accommodates up to 50 guests. The top floor includes 1,500 square feet of meeting space with seven 65-inch monitors and magnetic walls. innsofaurora.com

P H OTO S : W P H I L A D E L P H I A ; I N N S O F AU R O R A

A COZY NEW CONFERENCE CENTER

Stevens’ Prophecy: Concealed behind a two-way mirror, Stevens’ Prophecy is a secret salon with artwork celebrating Philadelphia native, Grace Kelly. The name is a reference to a yearbook prediction by her classmates at the Stevens School in Germantown that she would become “a famous star of stage and screen.” Great Room: The sun-drenched Great Room ballroom features floor-to-ceiling windows and abstract floral carpeting with exaggerated, digitized references to 1940s needlepoint artwork on display at Philadelphia’s Fabric Workshop and Museum. Capacity: 550 for a reception, 410 for a seated banquet. w-hotels.marriott.com

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MAKE YOUR NEXT EVENT SHINE A LITTLE BRIGHTER. Mohegan Sun Pocono is excited to welcome you and has ample space and resources to make your next event a huge success! With property-wide safety and wellness initiatives, customizable menus, and physical-distancing floorplans, your guests will enjoy a first-class, in-person experience like never before. Book your event today at mohegansunpocono.com or call 1-855-MEET-MSP. CONVENTION CENTER | HOTEL | GREAT LOCATION

P H OTO S : W P H I L A D E L P H I A ; I N N S O F AU R O R A

GAMBLING PROBLEM? CALL 1.800.GAMBLER.

Room to meet. Room to play. With 1,600 restaurants, golf courses, a casino and more, Valley Forge works for everyone–even after the workday ends. Find room on your schedule to visit.

Room for meetings. Room for more.

room Play

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DE ST I NAT ION Boston

The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center boasts the Northeast’s largest exhibition space.

Boston for the Win

» IN 2019, MARTHA J. SHERIDAN stepped into the role of president and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. Like any CVB head, she’s bullish on her destination. “In my mind, it’s an unparalleled city for meetings,” she says. “We have great access. We have diverse products offering first-class meeting facilities. And Boston is a world leader in many important sectors, including the medical and higher-ed communities. [It’s all] at your doorstep when you book a meeting in Boston.” What’s more, says Nate Little, director of communications and external affairs for the Boston Convention Marketing Center, the ease of getting to this harbor city can boost attendance. “Boston offers the largest and most valuable attendee base,” he says. “And it’s an ideal gateway for both national and international access with nonstop airport service to or from more than 100 worldwide destinations.” Planners will find little need to arrange transportation for attendees who are eager to explore Boston on their own; the city is a cinch to navigate. “Boston combines centuries of culture and history with today’s innovation economy, and the city is accessible on foot or public transportation once a guest arrives,” says Little. Let’s start the tour.

A CHOICE OF CONVENTION CENTERS Boston offers two world-class convention venues—the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), in South Boston’s Seaport District, and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston’s historic Back Bay neighborhood. Located just eight minutes from Boston Logan International Airport, the BCEC has the fastest airport-to-convention center time in the country and, according to its claims, the fastest and most reliable Wi-Fi connections in the convention industry, with bandwidth for more than 35,000 devices to be connected simultaneously. The 2.1-million-square-foot BCEC—it’s as long as the Empire State Building is tall—offers 516,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space, 84 configurable meeting rooms with a total 160,000 square feet of space, and a 40,020-square-foot ballroom that overlooks Boston Harbor. The John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, known as the Hynes to Bostonians, offers a compact convention experience in the heart of a charming neighborhood that’s less than 5 miles from the airport. With 176,480 square feet of exhibit space, the convention center has four exhibit halls that can be used in any

P H OTO S : B O S TO N CO N V E N T I O N A N D E X H I B I T I O N C E N T E R ; ( O P P O S I T E ) N I KO L A S KO E N I G

This compact harbor city offers hard-to-beat accessibility, convention amenities, and unique historical attractions. BY KEITH LORIA

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combination; 38 meeting rooms that are within a two-minute walk; a multipurpose auditorium that seats 4,000; and a 24,544-squarefoot column-free ballroom with vaulted ceilings and lots of natural light. The Hynes is connected to three hotels—Sheraton Boston Hotel, The Westin Copley Place Boston, and Boston Marriott Copley Place—with a total of over 3,100 guest rooms and nearly 200,000 square feet of meeting space. Amy Goldberg, director of sales and senior event manager for Boston-based AI Events, produces some 80 events a year. In fact, she hosts events at both convention centers and believes each has its advantages. “The Hynes is close to the great stores and restaurants on Newbury Street with several connected hotels,” she says. “That means attendees don’t ever need to leave [the convention center area], which a lot of groups like. BCEC has obstruction-free space with very high ceilings and natural light—and it’s on the waterfront. With the growth that has occurred in the Seaport, it makes this an in-demand Boston destination.” ENDLESS HOTEL OPTIONS Greater Boston is home to more than 35,000 hotel rooms. The major hotel f lags—Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt—are wellrepresented with multiple properties. There are also boutique brands—Kimpton, Fairmont, and Langham, among them—and luxury accommodations for C-suite attendees at the Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons, and The Ritz-Carlton. One of Goldberg’s favorite hotels is the Royal Sonesta Boston, which offers 28,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event space, including a Grand Ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a stunning view of the Charles River. Blake Herring, the

Dramatic and elegant event spaces abound at The Newbury Boston.

property’s director of sales and marketing, suggests the Riverside Terrace for an outdoor event. “It offers 3,800 square feet of space where planners can host a casual cocktail reception or traditional New England clambake,” he says. Planners who want to hold their event at a hotel might consider Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport. Home to the largest hotel ballroom in the Seaport neighborhood, it offers 32 flexible indoor/outdoor event spaces—boasting a total of 100,000 square feet. Another option is The Newbury Boston, with 16,000

P H OTO S : B O S TO N CO N V E N T I O N A N D E X H I B I T I O N C E N T E R ; ( O P P O S I T E ) N I KO L A S KO E N I G

Floor-to-ceiling windows at the Royal Sonesta Boston reveal the majestic Charles River.

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DE ST I NAT ION Boston

Designed by artist Thomas Ball in 1859, the equestrian statue of George Washington towers over Boston Public Garden.

square feet of meeting and event space. The Assembly Room, the hotel’s largest space, spans 3,835 square feet with the capacity to accommodate up to 400 guests. Lush green curtains and an ornate carpet design mimic the f lora of Boston’s Public Garden, while the silverleaf ceilings are an opulent homage to the building’s extravagant galas of the past. “Following a dramatic renovation and restoration, the hotel has been completely transformed into the premier luxury destination in the city, which we’re very proud of,” says Carolyn Tiley, The Newbury’s director of sales and marketing. “From our dramatic event space to our rooftop restaurant, Contessa, the hotel offers tremendous excitement and interest to travelers and locals alike.” RICH IN HISTORY As the birthplace of the American Revolution, Greater Boston has over 350 historical and cultural sites, many offering outstanding facilities for off-site events. From presidential libraries and art museums to world-renowned performing arts venues

and America’s oldest ballpark, Fenway Park, Boston offers many sports and entertainment destinations in an area replete with a living history lesson at every turn. “Those meeting in Boston cannot help but become immersed in our history,” Herring says. “They can walk a cobblestone street, pass a historic landmark, and find themselves surrounded by new restaurants and modern art galleries.” With the nickname “America’s Walking City,” Boston is easy to traverse by foot. The iconic 2.5-mile Freedom Trail leads to 16 nationally significant historic sites, including the Bunker Hill Monument, the Paul Revere House, and the USS Constitution. But visitors don’t have to hoof it to experience Boston’s notable attractions. “Heading out on a land-and-water Boston Duck Tour or Boston Trolley Tour is always a popular option to see as [many] of the sights [in] Boston and Cambridge as possible during a brief visit,” Herring says. “Meeting planners can book private tours for their groups, which will pick up right at hotels.”

DOWNTIME ACTIVITIES Between meetings, or before and after, attendees will find plenty to do in Boston. The hardest part? Deciding which attractions to check out. Dubbed the “Cradle of Liberty,” Faneuil Hall is just as alive today as it was in 1742 when it hosted America’s first town meeting. It’s home to dozens of retailers and restaurants, plus Quincy Market Food Colonnade, where visitors can feast on Boston baked beans, Indian pudding, clam chowder, lobster rolls, and other New England favorites. Faneuil Hall is famous for its street performers, including celebrated magicians, acrobats, and jugglers. A 3-mile trail along the Charles River offers a scenic route for walking, running, and biking. (Bluebikes, a bike-sharing system, provides more than 1,500 bikes to rent at 155 stations throughout Greater Boston.) Want to get on the water? Canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals are available. If schedules permit, attending a show at Symphony Hall, Citizens Bank Opera House, or Orpheum Theatre is a highly rewarding way to spend a free evening or a leisurely afternoon. “Boston combines the most appealing qualities of our competitor destinations into one place,” Little says. “That’s a major advantage for an event planner and one that can lead to record-breaking attendance.” bostonusa.com/meetings signatureboston.com

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Other popular venues include the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Central Library in Copley Square, and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It’s also worth making time for a walk through Boston Common, America’s oldest public park, which was established in 1634.

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P H O T O : A D O B E S T O C K / S E A N PAV O N E P H O T O


JACK JACK POT! POT! When you hold a meeting at a casino, the odds are in your favor. BY IRENE LEVY BAKER

*Source: American Gaming ASsociation

Last year was the highest grossing ever for the United States commercial gaming industry.* Meeting planners who hold gatherings at casinos may just feel like they’ve hit the jackpot, too. Casino-based events provide one-stop convenience—the amenities of convention centers and bountiful hotel rooms, plus activities, dining, and nightlife.

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“There’s so much to do at casinos, day and night, that people stay on the property and spend time together,” says Anna Galioto, partner, firm administration, for Citrin Cooperman Advisors LLC. To facilitate team bonding, she suggests requesting a private craps or blackjack table. The partners in her firm always have a blast playing together, “especially,” she says, “when they’re winning.”

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The atrium in the sprawling Atlantic City Convention Center connects to exhibit halls and meeting rooms on the floors above.

ATL ANTIC CIT Y is the gaming and gambling capital of the East Coast with nine major casinos offering everything from poker and penny slots to sports betting. And the oceanside resort city, which is within driving distance of one-third of the U.S. population, has a lot to offer planners beyond games of chance: 2.2 million total square feet of meeting space and 17,500 hotel rooms. The Atlantic City Convention Center is one of the largest on the East Coast, spa nning nea rly 31 acres. It has f ive exhibit venues, 500,000 square feet of space, and 45 meeting rooms.

Jeff Hirschfeld, owner and president of CHAMPS Trade Shows, has been holding his annual business-to-business trade show in Atlantic City since 2011, most recently in May 2022. “Ease of travel and accessibility to the entire East Coast are of prime importance to us, plus Atlantic City provides many hotel price point[s],” he says, explaining why he keeps returning to the destination. The attractions that attendees can enjoy after-hours are a big draw, too. “Our show closes at 6 p.m., and Atlantic City takes over!” he adds. “You can play in the casinos and walk the boardwalk or beach, and the night buzzes with shows and entertainment. Then,

[there are] the wonderful smiles [from Atlantic City residents] and hospitality of the local businesses that welcome us with open arms.” More than ever, there are compelling reasons to roll your dice on Atlantic City, starting with renovations at almost all the major casinos and massive upgrades taking place throughout the city. A portion of the boardwalk destroyed by Hurricane Sandy has been rebuilt; an area known as the Orange Loop will soon have new hotels, restaurants, and an entertainment venue; and Kentucky Avenue, which was once the hub of Black culture, is being reenergized with hotels,

P H O T O : AT L A N T I C C I T Y C O N V E N T I O N C E N T E R

Atlantic City

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One of Atlantic City’s largest casinos, Bally’s has 87,000 square feet of event space all on one level. The 33 meeting rooms include one that can accommodate up to 2,000 people. Bally’s 1,200 guest rooms and suites are divided across four towers, and if a group needs additional rooms, the hotel partners with The Claridge, a Radisson Hotel that is connected to the property. Dining options abound: Bally’s is home to nearly a dozen restaurants, ranging from a high-end steakhouse to a burger joint. ballys.com/atlantic-city

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

a satellite location of the city ’s A frican American Heritage Museum, and a recording studio. Plus, there’s talk of creating an entertainment area at Bader Field, a waterfront property that was formerly the city’s municipal airstrip. “While people think of Atlantic City as just a gaming destination, we are so much more,” says Larry Sieg, president and CEO, Meet AC. “With state-of-the-art meeting venues, a growing cu lina r y scene, headline entertainment, the pristine beaches, and the world-famous boardwa lk, the ex periences a re endless. Located in the heart of the Northeast and surrounded by many major cities, it’s the perfect destination to hold your next meeting or convention.” meetac.com

Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino

Th is sum mer, Ba l ly ’s w i l l unvei l its sweeping $100-million renovation. The hotel has upgraded its rooms, lobby, and bar, and added The Yard, a 10,000-squarefoot indoor-outdoor beer garden-style entertainment venue.

Borgata, a stylish 2,800-room casinohotel located on Renaissance Point, offers 100,000 square feet of meeting space in its Water Club, Central Conference Center, and Event Center. Five years ago, the Central Conference Center was created out of space that was formerly a nightclub, and its striking architectural details loan a sophisticated feel. That hip vibe doesn’t mean the latest tech features have been sacrificed—on the contrary, the conference center boasts high-definition digital projection and customizable lighting experiences. The Event Center has a ballroom that can accommodate 3,200 guests theaterstyle and a massive theater that seats up to 3,500 under 30-foot ceilings. The Water

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Clockwise from left: Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino can accommodate events for up to 2,000 attendees; Tropicana Atlantic City is home to numerous restaurants and shops; Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City has many meeting spaces, from informal and intimate to opulent and extravagant; Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has indoor and outdoor pools.

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P H O T O S : B A L LY ’ S AT L A N T I C C I T Y H O T E L & C A S I N O ; S T E V E F R E I H O N ; ( O P P O S I T E ) T O M B R I G L I A / P H O T O G R A P H I C S

“You can play in the casinos and walk the boardwalk or beach, and the night buzzes with shows and entertainment.” —Jeff Hirschfeld, CHAMPS Trade Shows

Club offers 18,000 square feet of contemporary event space, 800 guest rooms, and a two-story spa. Between meetings, attendees can enjoy Borgata’s 161,000 square feet of gaming space, 14 food and beverage locations, and indoor and outdoor pools. For after-dark gatherings, the two-story Premier Nightclub has a capacity of 1,400. borgata.mgmresorts.com

Caesars Entertainment Casinos

Caesars Entertainment committed to investing $400 million in its three Atlantic City resorts—Caesars Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, and Tropicana Atlantic City—by 2023. The first phase, a $170-million upgrade of 600 rooms and suites at Caesars’ Centurion and Ocean towers and Harrah’s Atrium Tower, was completed in 2021. The second phase, to be completed in 2023, will include the Nobu Hotel Atlantic City within Caesars. “Caesars Entertainment is reinvesting in Atlantic City and will continue to make upgrades to remodeled rooms at Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Atlantic City, and Tropicana Atlantic City, as well as new dining concepts with celebrity chefs and other exciting additions, within the next two years,” says Jim Ziereis, vice president of hotel sales, Atlantic City region, at Caesars Entertainment. Each of the Caesars properties has ample meeting space and a slightly different vibe. Caesars Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, an iconic casino with a Roman theme, has 28,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 17,000-square-foot ballroom.

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Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City Waterfront Conference Center can claim the largest ballroom between Baltimore and Boston, one that’s attached to more than 2,600 guest rooms. Overlooking Absecon Inlet and the Marina District, Harrah’s offers a variety of venues, including a pool oasis that sits under a 90-foot-high glass dome, and is ideal for a closing reception for up to 2,000 guests. Tropicana Atlantic City boasts The Quarter, filled with retail, dining, entertainment, a spa, and an IMAX theater. For events, a Broadway-style theater seats nearly 2,000 people. caesars.com/meetings

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

The arena at this rock ’n’ roll-themed venue can accommodate up to 7,000 attendees for a general session or a trade show with 300-plus booths. In all, Hard Rock has 150,000 square feet of exhibit space, including an indoor pool area with a capacity of 200. Originally opened in 1990, Hard Rock has invested $500 million in renovations and recently announced another $20 million in capital improvements to its suites, gaming areas, dining, and beach amenities. “There are endless opportunities at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino … for work and play,” says Donna Ward, vice president of sales at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. “Attendees are able to enjoy a wide array of activities from live entertainment to relaxing spa treatments, as well as a variety of culinary experiences.” hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com

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Clockwise from left: The Hard Rock Café Atlantic City, one of four restaurants in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino; Golden Nugget Atlantic City Hotel, Resort & Marina’s outdoor event space; the beachfront Ocean Casino Resort has large indoor and outdoor meeting areas.

Ocean Casino Resort

Like many of the casino resorts in Atlantic City, Ocean Casino Resort is upgrading its property. This oceanfront destination will complete a $75-million reinvestment this year, bringing 12 floors of new hotel rooms and suites on board. In addition, Ocean will debut a $5-million sports and entertainment venue this summer, complementing its recent $25-million casino floor transformation. “This new venue will enhance the guest experience by providing an unbeatable atmosphere right in the heart of the casino floor,” says Bill Callahan, general manager of Ocean Casino Resort. Ocean Casino Resort, which spans 20 beachfront acres on the boardwalk, has 160,000 square feet of f lexible meeting space, including 90,000 square feet of outdoor space with views of the Atlantic Ocean. The guest room count is 1,399, while the gaming space spans 135,000 square feet. theoceanac.com

Resorts Casino Hotel

Golden Nugget Atlantic City Hotel, Resort & Marina

Golden Nugget is the only Atlantic City casino that sits on the marina with striking views of the Atlantic City skyline. The property has 95,000 square feet of meeting space, including an outdoor event space adjacent to its H 2 0 Pool deck and private event space in the Chart House restaurant overlooking the marina. For planners wanting a more intimate space (by casino standards), the Golden Nugget might be a good match. “Being a smaller property in the city provides us with the ability to offer one-of-a-kind service to each of our clients, which is something we take great pride in,” says Bernie Sefcik, Golden Nugget’s director of sales. goldennugget.com

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Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City’s first resort, sits on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Many of the 942 guest rooms and more than half of the meeting rooms have ocean views. In total, the property has 64,000 square feet of meeting space, including its Conference Center. The guest rooms in the Rendezvous Tower, at 525 square feet on average, are some of the largest on the boardwalk.

Integra Realty Resources, a national real estate research firm, chose Resorts Casino Hotel for its first in-person meeting in more than two years. “We were drawn to the property for its uniqueness and historic significance,” says Antoine Charvet, corporate communications director. “Resorts has all the amenities we needed to satisfy our attendees and is perfectly situated on the boardwalk, surrounded by great attractions and entertainment options, all the while with pricing that didn’t break our budget.” resortsac.com

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All bets are not off if you book your meeting outside Atlantic City—as luck would have it, there is a smattering of casinos throughout the Northeast.

Pennsylvania

Live! Casino & Hotel in Philadelphia, which opened in early 2021, has 208 hotel rooms

with the services and amenities of a luxury hotel. The 15,500-square-foot Event Center accommodates up to 1,000 people, while outdoor space offers views of the city skyline and the Stadium District. For team building, Live! can organize a dine-around experience, classes in table games, chef tastings, or an art walk. Another appealing option is a sporting event or stadium tour; the casino is within walking distance of four major league sports arenas. “In addition to the flexible meeting spaces available in the Live! Event Center, guests hosting an event will have access to the many amenities that make Live! Casino & Hotel [in] Philadelphia a truly all-inclusive and versatile meeting destination,” says Kelley Maddox, vice president of sales at Live!. philadelphia.livecasinohotel.com

Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, with 100,000 square feet of meeting space, is the largest full-service hotel and gaming resort in suburban Philadelphia. “Beyond the meeting, guests can entertain themselves on our gaming floor, place a bet via our sportsbook partner, FanDuel, and indulge in our on-site dining options,” says Sybil V. Davis, director of sales at Valley Forge Casino Resort. “And in the warmer months, guests can enjoy Valley Beach, our spectacular outdoor pool and bar area.” vfcasino.com

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Beyond Atlantic City

Outside the Philly area, Wind Creek Bethlehem casino is poised to double its event space and room count in 2022. The sprawling property features a rejuvenating spa, and an all-new hotel tower, which will bolster Wind Creek’s room count to over 500 hotel rooms. windcreek.com/bethlehem Still farther north, the Pocono Mountains region is home to the Mohegan Sun Pocono and the Mount Airy Casino Resort . Mohegan Sun in Wilkes-Barre has more than 20,000 square feet of convention center meeting space that can accommodate groups of 10 to 1,600. Mohegan Sun has multiple strikingly designed meeting rooms and the Keystone Grand Ballroom. Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono has the Grand Ballroom, which can be reconfigured into as many as six event spaces, and a total of over 20,000 square feet of event space. Mount Airy’s upscale hotel offers for-fee in-room amenities ranging from macaroons to long-stem roses. mohegansunpocono.com; mountairycasino.com

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Left to right: The four-star Live! Casino & Hotel has multiple boardrooms and breakout rooms, as well as the 15,500-square-foot Event Center; Valley Forge Casino Resort has many event venues ranging from elegant to corporate in style.

New York

New York, which ended 2021 with 31 casino gaming locations, is one of the top five commercial casino markets in the United States, according to the AGA. Most of the casinos in New York are Native American-owned gaming properties, and they are sprinkled throughout the state with a concentration in the central and western areas. The Oneida Indian Nation built Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona in 1993, making it the state’s first casino. Located 30 miles east of Syracuse and spread over 3,400 acres, the property, which was named the No. 1 Best Overall Gaming Resort in New York by Casino Player magazine, has a 5,000-seat event center, 125,000 square feet of gaming space, two spas, five golf courses, and five hotels with a total of 780 guest rooms. turningstone.com

T he Bi g A pple has only one casino hotel— Resorts World New York City in Queens. It con nect s to t he Hyat t Regency JFK Airport, a new eight-story hotel with 400 rooms, 5,000 square feet of state-of-theart conference and meeting spaces, and a Sugar Factory restaurant. rwnewyork.com

Connecticut

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Connecticut only has two casinos, but according to the AGA, the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino have a combined economic impact of $3.71 billion. Uncasville’s Mohegan Sun has 275,000 squa re feet of indoor meeting space, including the 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena and two convention centers. The property also has two new restaurants for group buyouts and private parties, TAO Asian Bistro & Lounge and GAME ON. mohegansun.com Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket is one of North America’s largest integrated casino-resorts with 2,230 guest rooms and 150,000 square feet of meeting space. foxwoods.com At a recent meeting that planner Anna Galioto of Citron Cooperman Advisors held at the Mohegan Sun, some attendees took a “Casino 101” class to hone their craps and blackjack skills. Others opted for a spa day, golfing, or a baking class, making desserts that were later served to the group. Everyone ended the day a winner, which sums up the experience of hosting meetings at a gaming destination.

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I ND U STRY U PDATE Infographic

FINDINGS AT A G L A N C E

THE YEAR OF THE “NEW” TRAVELER

T

he American Hotel & Lodging Association has released the 2022 State of the Hotel Industry Report produced in collaboration with Accenture. The report is based on the Travel Readiness Index, the Global Consumer Pulse Research Survey, and the Annual Holiday Shopping Survey. Accenture conducted the two surveys in August 2021, and, with the index, the company tracks various parameters since February 2020 and compares data to pre-COVID-19 levels in 2019. There were other sources informing the report, including data from Cvent and the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Only 58% of meetings and events are expected to return.

Technology will be even more critical in a property’s success.

I L L U S T R AT I O N S : A D O B E / H V O S T I K 1 6 ; ( I C O N S ) A D O B E / B OY KO . P I C T U R E S ; ( B A C KG R O U N D ) A D O B E / A R U N R O M K A E W

Occupancy rates and room revenue are projected to approach 2019 levels in 2022.

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I L L U S T R AT I O N S : A D O B E / H V O S T I K 1 6 ; ( I C O N S ) A D O B E / B OY KO . P I C T U R E S ; ( B A C KG R O U N D ) A D O B E / A R U N R O M K A E W

T E C H N O L O GY T R E N D S TO WAT C H Technology is playing an increasingly important role in making it possible for the hotel industry to respond to travelers’ changing needs and preferences.

Keeping it human with technology

Remapping the guest and staff journeys

Shifting in-house technology solutions

Expanding the use of agile PMS

The personalization of technology will take another leap forward, with hotels using digital technologies to ease workloads and further satisfy each individual guest with a new visitor experience.

Mobile, self-service devices are allowing guests to navigate much of the traditional traveling journey— from booking to checkout— without having to interact directly with staff.

More hotels will move from in-house technology tools to “off-the-shelf” offerings from industry vendors.

Hotel operators will increasingly turn to property management systems (PMS) with a network of integrated partners offering expanded capabilities.

O C C U PA N CY A N D R E V E N U E Hotel occupancy is expected to continue trending upward from the historic lows of 2020, averaging 63.4% for the year, or 1.3 billion room nights.

Room revenues are projected to reach $168 billion.

168b

$

The report predicts a 228% leap in spending in the United States by international travelers compared to 2021.

72 86.9 1

72% of surveyed meeting planners are sourcing events with an in-person component.

%

/4

want to provide great service, but with labor

228

One quarter of meetings being sourced are hybrid.

Our venues

%

markets tight, it

%

works out well that meetings are coming back at a manageable pace.

The report projects that only 58.3% of meetings and events will return in 2022, with 86.9% back in 2023.

— KIM CORCOR AN , CMP E XECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DESTINATION MICHIGAN/ MEE TINGS MICHIGAN

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Pridwin Reopens on Shelter Island

A

fter having closed its doors in November 2019 for an extensive renovation, The Pridwin Hotel & Cottages on Shelter Island, New York, is accepting reservations beginning July 15. The 49-room luxury property, which dates to 1927, will be reopening under the ownership of a collaboration between Cape Resorts, a hospitality investment and management company specializing in adaptive reuse and historical preservation of resort properties, and the Petry family, who has owned and operated the resort since 1961.

APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR “MEET IN NEW YORK” GRANTS Last November, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a comprehensive $450-million “Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs” recovery package to support New York’s hard-hit tourism sector. Part of that package is a $25-million “Meet in New York” grant program that focuses on venues and events that generate and support business-related travel. “This holistic approach to visitation recognizes the spending habits of business and convention travelers for overnight stays, food, and activities,” the governor’s press office noted. Now, applications for the grant program are open. Qualifying venues and their partnering event hotels can offer meeting organizers discounts on booking fees or on room blocks to entice business, with grants reimbursing a portion of these discounts. The program is limited to new events that were not previously scheduled. Applicants must complete the required eligibility screening, and prequalified applicants will be sent a link to apply directly. Applications are due by Dec. 31, 2022. More information, including program guidelines, can be found at esd.ny.gov/meet-new-york-grant-program.

Spanning more than 7 acres of Shelter Island’s Crescent Beach and overlooking Shelter Island Sound, The Pridwin offers amenities that include private beach and pool services, a variety of watersports, a full-service spa, a 100-seat American restaurant, bicycles for touring nearby shops and attractions, and a shuttle service to and from Cape Resorts’ Sag Harbor property, Baron’s Cove. The Pridwin will open with a variety of nostalgic seasonal programming, including campfire singalongs, croquet, drivein movies, yoga, art classes, local farm experiences and tours with Sylvester Manor Farm, picnic hikes, and more. “With a timeless look and emphasis on comfort and the joy of simple pleasures, The Pridwin offers guests and families a fun, cheery escape from daily life,” says Curtis Bashaw, managing partner of Cape Resorts. caperesorts.com/meetings

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I N D USTRY U P DAT E Regional News

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P H O T O S : T H E P R I D W I N H O T E L & C O T TA G E S ; A D O B E / D E L L ; ( O P P O S I T E ) C L I F F H O U S E M A I N E

Coming Together Cliffside If you want to be sure your meeting in the Northeast will strengthen team bonds, consider holding it at Cliff House Maine. Nestled on 70 acres atop Bald Head Cliff on the southern coast of Maine, the luxury property offers 226 guest rooms, including 40 suites, an adjacent 18-hole golf course, and 25,000 square feet of conference and meeting space that can accommodate up to 300 attendees. Venues include the Atlantic Ballroom, with its doubleheight panoramic windows offering endless views of the Atlantic Ocean. But attendees will be brought together by more than just the oohs and aahs they share while looking out at the ocean waves. The resort offers a robust menu of team-building activities, from on-site trivia night and boatbuilding experiences to taking to the sea for boat tours, lobstering trips, and oyster shucking. Cliff House Maine recently introduced a “Makers of Maine” program centered on Maine’s small businesses to give guests the opportunity to learn and experience crafts like glassblowing, candlemaking, and traditional sailing while providing Maine artisans a platform to share their stories. cliffhousemaine.com

GEORGE AND ODUYEBO JOIN VALLEY FORGE CASINO RESORT “I am honored to join the talented team at Valley Forge Casino Valley Forge Casino Resort welResort,” George says. “After years of wearing many different hats, comes two new hires to senior from small business owner to director and vice president positions p o sit ion s . Jef f r e y G e or ge at various large-scale casino and resort properties, I’ve learned the ( left) joins the King of Prusins and outs of the food and beverage industry.” sia, Pennsylvania, property as Oduyebo has established himself as a leader in the hospitality director of food and beverage, industry. He served as senior operations manager at Hotel ZaZa in a nd R emi Oduyebo (r i g ht) Houston, Texas, and under his leadership, the hotel achieved AAA comes on board as director of Four Diamond status. “Valley Forge Casino Resort has established hotel operations. Prior to joinitself as one of the top gaming and entertainment resorts within ing Valley Forge Casino Resort, George was owner of Too Cool the mid-Atlantic, and I’m enthusiastic to join the company and Café, an upscale restaurant in Indian Harbor Beach, Florida. He bring in my own experience,” Oduyebo says. “My goal is to ensure has also held senior food and beverage positions at Mohegan Sun that hotel operations function at the highest level possible, and I’m Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and at Sam’s Town Hotel confident that I can lead the team to continued success.” Casino in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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I N D USTRY U P DAT E Regional News

Mayor Marty Small Sr. (front row, center) and the 25 winners of the 23rd Annual Atlantic City Host Awards

Atlantic City Honors Exemplary Hospitality Employees On May 4, the 23rd Annual Atlantic City Host Awards honored 25 nonmanagerial employees in the hospitality and tourism industry who enhance the destination experience for Atlantic City visitors. In a ceremony presented by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and held in the Adrian Phillips Theater at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, the winners received

a keepsake commemorative box containing a gold lighthouse lapel pin as a symbol of their beacon of hospitality, an award certificate, and a $250 cash gift. The awards ranged from best casino host, best bartender, and best server to best bellperson, best spa personnel, and best concierge. Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. attended the gathering.

P H OTO S : M E E T AC ; C A S I N O R E I N V E S T M E N T D E V LO P M E N T AU T H O R I T Y

ATLANTIC CITY AIRSHOW RETURNS Meeting attendees in Atlantic City will want to keep their eyes on the skies, beginning at 11 a.m. on Aug. 24. The popular Atlantic City Airshow—“A Salute to Those Who Serve”— returns for its 19th annual showcase with support from Meet AC. “As Atlantic City’s destination management organization, we are thrilled to be the premier sponsor of Atlantic City’s most notable event,” says Larry Sieg, Meet AC’s president and CEO. “Visitors flock to our destination for this iconic event every year, and they look forward to cheering as the planes dip and dive over the Atlantic Ocean. We couldn’t be more honored to power the Atlantic City Airshow this year and are excited to work alongside the Greater Atlantic City Chamber to put on a fantastic show.” The Atlantic City Airshow is the world’s premier midweek beachfront airshow, drawing more than 500,000 spectators annually. Acts are comprised of multiple military and civilian high-performance aircraft and helicopters from across the country. airshow.acchamber.com

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CENTRE’D AROUND YOU. Make an impact with your next event at Boise Centre. Our versatile meeting and event spaces, modern amenities, and expert event planning team is at your service to ensure an unforgettable event experience. Located in the middle of the city’s energetic, walkable downtown Boise Centre is surrounded by local breweries, restaurants, shops, hotels and is minutes from outdoor adventures.

• Convenient downtown location • Numerous direct flights and seven minutes from the airport • Surrounded by restaurants, breweries, and nightlife • Over 1,300 hotel rooms within walking distance • Outdoor activities close by hiking, rafting, biking, and more

boisecentre.com

P H OTO S : M E E T AC ; C A S I N O R E I N V E S T M E N T D E V LO P M E N T AU T H O R I T Y

TAKE MEETINGS OFF PAUSE

Allow us to make your meeting planning easy. Omni Bedford Springs Resort has been an important meeting place for more than 225 years. Today our magnificently renovated resort continues this heritage as a unique historic venue boasting more than 20,000 sq. feet of up-to-date meeting space. Our distraction-free atmosphere makes for a memorable retreat perfect for inspiration.

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P EOPLE PROFI L E Doreen Guerin

New York, New Me

Trade show guru Doreen Guerin helps lead America’s busiest convention center. BY SHELLEY LEVITT

State T

» DOREEN GUERIN grew up an

Air Force brat, living in Texas, Louisiana, and later England and France. When she was 13, her parents moved to Queens and, Guerin says, “I’m a New Yorker through and through.” That’s apparent from her accent as well as her dedication to the Javits Center, where, as the senior vice president of sales and marketing, she oversees the booking and event-related operations for more than 170 events each year.

M+E: Why do you say it’s a hard industry not to love? Because you’re always building something, there’s all the exciting energy of a grand opening, and everybody on the team feels like they’re part of something successful. Also, you know you’re having a positive impact—on the event organizer, [on] an industry, [on] your community. At Javits, we’re very proud of what we contribute to the city through the events we host and what that means for hotel rooms, restaurants, and more. M+E: You deal with extremely complicated logistics. Can you share a challenging experience? When Hurricane Irene struck in August 2011, we were hosting a jewelry trade

show along with the World Police & Fire Games. We received the order from the governor’s office that we had to evacuate. It was our first time doing that, and it meant a lot of hard conversations with event managers, telling them, ‘You need to close your doors now before the subway system and the roads shut down.’

We got it done, and 24 hours later, thousands of police and firefighters were back, continuing their games. That turned out to be very good practice for Superstorm Sandy the next year.

javitscenter.com

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M+E: What fueled your interest in working in the conventions industry? I worked for a trade show association in the textile industry part-time while I was in college. I began working on a show called the Knitting Yarn Fair, and I got the bug. It bit me, and I stayed with it. I went on to do shows in printing and packaging, ended up at the Toy Fair for a few years, then to shows in jewelry and art. In 2006, I landed at the Javits Center. It’s a hard industry not to love.

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P H OTO : A N D R E W F R E N C H

State Theatre New Jersey

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ESCAPE TO EXCEPTIONAL MEETINGS Opening Fall 2022 Enjoy a luxurious experience with 552 lavish guest rooms and 50 suites, a rooftop indoor pool, on-site spa and more. • 60,000 square feet of flexible event space • 24,000 square-foot ballroom with 24’ ceilings • Unsurpassed convenience with everything under one roof To book your next meeting, call Rebecca Kim at 484.777.7928 or email at Rebecca.Kim@windcreek.com

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