May/June 2024 Mid Atlantic Events Magazine Issue

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It's Almost Summertime, Summertime, Sum-SumSummertime Outdoor Events, SMERF and sports groups are popular in destinations like The Wildwoods, NJ It's Almost Summertime, Summertime, Sum-SumSummertime

EVENTS May | June 2024
Questions? Contact Courtney Babcock, Director of Sales The Desmond Hotel Malvern, A DoubleTree by Hilton, 1 Liberty Blvd, Malvern, PA 19355
and Event planners are invited to cook and connect with representatives from the Chester County hospitality industry over a surprise food and cocktail challenge. Will your team have what it takes to be crowned the 2024 Chester County Culinary Challenge Champion?

Where team building sets sail.

Trade the city stress for coastal bliss. Feel the sea breeze energize your team. Find inspiration just steps away from one of America’s Top 10 Beaches. A quick drive from the Mid-Atlantic Region, discover over 11,000 accommodations and 250,000 sq ft of meeting space. Only in Ocean City, Maryland - Somewhere to Smile About.

Host a successful meeting or event while giving back to the environment and community. Select from a range of eco-friendly venues that prioritize sustainable practices and navigate the city with ease using green transportation options. Atlantic City lets you achieve your business goals while creating a lasting positive impact.

All the resources you need to plan a meaningful meeting. CSR Team-building Activities Comprehensive Support Local Partnerships

8 May z June 2024 Outdoor Events, SMERF and sports groups are popular in destinations like The Wildwoods, NJ PAGE 10 PAGE 10 - Dining in the Beer Garden at Longwood Gardens, featuring Victory Brewing Company, in Kennett Square, PA; photo courtesy: EVENTS May | June 2024 It's Almost Summertime, Summertime, Sum-SumSummertime Outdoor Events, SMERF and sports groups are popular in destinations like The Wildwoods, NJ It's Almost Summertime, Summertime, Summertime CONTENTS FEATURES 10 Outdoor Events & Team Building Places that inspire, rejuvenate, excite, and energize 24 Enticing Destinations Attractive locales with a lot to offer 36 SMERF & Sports-Related Groups Specializing in meeting the needs of these markets 46 Stadiums & Arenas for Events Large scale venues for a one-of-a-kind experience 56 Better Air, Better Meetings? Improving air quality to help make meetings better EVENTS EXTRAS 54 A COHNversation with Terry Glebocki, Delaware Park 58 Location Report: Northeast Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains, Lehigh Valley, Reading & Berks County 68 Location Report: Central & Western Pennsylvania Lancaster County, Hershey & Harrisburg, York County, Gettysburg, Happy Valley, Altoona & Blair County, Pittsburgh 84 Around The Region 90 EventMakers May z June 2024
PAGE 46 - Private event at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, PA PAGE 36 - The Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood, NJ is a popular destination venue for sports-related tournaments and competitions throughout the year

Mid-Atlantic E vents Staf f


Jim Cohn





EVENTS DIRECTOR Jennifer Johnson

CONTROLLER Robert Conrad

CONTENT CONTRIBUTIONS BY Hotel Bethlehem, Pure Wellness, Scholar Hotels




1800 Byberry Rd Ste 901, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006 215-947-8600

Opinions expressed in editorial submissions contributed to Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine are those of the individual authors exclusively and do not represent the opinions of Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine, its staff, its advertisers, or its readership. Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine and Tri-State Events Magazine, Inc. assume no liability or responsibility for independently contributed editorial submissions or any typographical errors, mistakes, misprints, or missing information within advertising copy.

- Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau

- Discover Lancaster - Green Meetings Industry Council

- Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International – Greater Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware

- International Live Events Association – Greater Philadelphia, North Jersey & Washington DC

- Meeting Professionals International – Middle Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Philadelphia & Potomac

- Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives

- National Association of Catering Executives –Greater Philadelphia/South Jersey

- Ocean City, MD Convention and Visitors Bureau

- Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association

- Pennsylvania Society of Association Executives


- Pocono Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau

- Professional Convention Management AssociationGreater Philadelphia

- Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board

- Visit Bucks County - Visit Delco, PA

Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine is the bi-monthly, Mid-Atlantic publication, bringing information about the Hospitality and Meeting Industry to Meeting, Seminar, Trade Show, Overnight Accommodation, Special Event, Conference, Convention, for Association, Corporate, Group and Individual Planners along with Hotel, Resort, Conference Center, Attraction, Banquet Facility General Managers, Directors of Sales, Catering and Conference Services.

Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine (ISSN 0896-3967), is published bi-monthly by Tri-State Events Magazine, Inc. Copyright 2024 by Tri-State Events Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine 1800 Byberry Road, STE 901 Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006 215-947-8600

Mid-Atlantic EVENTS Magazine 9
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Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College in Delaware County, PA;

photo courtesy: Visit Delco

Outdoo Team

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or Events & m Building Activities

This time of year, getting outside for team building, events, and activities sounds like a great idea to planners and attendees alike. Many are looking for ways to get their groups outdoors, whether for golf outings, sporting events, connecting with nature, beach and water activities, tours of parks and historical sites, or visiting gardens and wide-open spaces that can inspire, rejuvenate, excite, energize, and provide an escape from the everyday.

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“On June 6th, we will partner with The Desmond to host Chester County Culinary Challenge. Planners are invited for a fun, interactive challenge while creating valuable business connections. Each year, the theme is a surprise and attendees do not know what they are cooking until they arrive.”
- Courtney Babcock, director of sales, Chester County Tourism

Offering an easily accessible respite from city life, Woodloch Resort in the Pocono Mountains presents a welcome opportunity to experience the great outdoors without the need for extensive travel.

“Here at Woodloch, we are fortunate to have access to a diverse range of outdoor spaces and options tailored to accommodate groups of all sizes and interests. Whether your team seeks adventure, relaxation, or team bonding, there is something for everyone to enjoy amidst the natural beauty of Woodloch's outdoor amenities,” assures Erica Bloch, associate director of communications, Woodloch Resort in Hawley, PA.

Picturesque Lake Teedyuskung is the centerpiece of Woodloch Resort’s natural beauty. Groups can rent boats for leisurely cruises or engage in team building activities out on the water like canoe races or paddle boarding challenges. In addition, with over 1,000-acres of property, groups can embark on guided nature walks, scavenger hunts, or outdoor yoga sessions amid the resort’s tranquil forest setting.

Woodloch also features spacious sports areas suitable for activities such as soccer, volleyball, tennis, pickle ball, and softball, whether for friendly competitions or exercises focused on teamwork and communication. Challenging ropes courses and obstacle courses are available here, too, which promote and foster trust, collaboration, camaraderie, and problem-solving skills among attendees.

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Campfire areas are great for team bonding (and marshmallow roasting) in a setting where attendees can unwind and connect outdoors. Numerous picnic areas and pavilions are scattered throughout the resort, providing opportunities for outdoor catered meals, group meetings, or casual gatherings.

For groups interested in golf, the championship 18-hole golf course at Woodloch Springs has been recognized by Golf Magazine as “one of the finest courses in the country.” Golf outings can be customized to suit a group's preferences and skill levels.

“Beyond structured activities, guests also can enjoy outdoor pursuits such as hiking, biking, boating, fishing, snowshoeing, snow tubing, and ice skating,” notes Bloch. To enrich the experience, specialized classes and expert-led activities like guided tours can be arranged. “It is a chance to learn from local naturalists and survivalists, adding a unique touch to your outdoor experience.”

“Being surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of nature, your team gets to bond, collaborate, and just soak in the fresh air,” Bloch adds. “It is like hitting the refresh button on your mind and body. Outdoors, there is this magical blend of adventure and relaxation.

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The Chester Springs Creamery in Chester Springs, PA; photo courtesy:

You will find yourselves tackling challenges together, whether it is conquering obstacle courses or embarking on a nature hike. And let’s not forget the physical benefits - with plenty of space to roam, you can engage in activities that get your blood pumping and your spirits high.”

Another benefit - the great outdoors can spark creativity. Imagine brainstorming sessions under a canopy of trees or workshops with a backdrop of serene landscapes - the perfect setting for letting creative juices flow.

“Outdoor adventures create memories that last a lifetime,” declares Bloch. “Whether sharing stories around a campfire or cheering each other on during a friendly sports tournament, you are building bonds that go beyond the office walls.”

Whether indoors or outside, Woodloch offers customizable event packages and professional event planning

services from logistics to accommodations. “We are renowned for our award-winning service and attention to detail,” says Bloch. “From the moment you arrive, you'll be treated to warm hospitality and top-notch service that ensures a memorable experience.”

Hyatt Place Dewey Beach is another ideal location for a conference looking to host an outdoor team building or team bonding activity. The hotel is situated directly on the Rehoboth Bay and the Bay Beach in Delaware, which showcases spectacular sunsets. Its large outdoor patio overlooks the water and is available to host a range of events from morning yoga sessions to evening cocktail receptions.

“The Bay Beach is a perfect location to wind down the evening with a beachside bonfire for quality team bonding experiences,” says Ashlee Martinelli, regional director of sales and marketing, Hyatt Place Dewey Beach. “The beach also can host water activities, including paddle boarding, kayaking and more for team


Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 15
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building. In addition, you can get your team together for a game of beach volleyball and some friendly competition among colleagues.”

Wellbeing is a top priority in the culture at the Hyatt Place Dewey Beach, explains Martinelli, and the staff strives to provide related experiences when it comes to events and meetings held at the property. “Having an outdoor component incorporated into a conference will further support that wellbeing and offer a different twist on a traditional indoor meeting. Being able to incorporate both indoor and outdoor opportunities will enhance your attendees’ overall experience and allow them to grow closer with colleagues while having a little fun!”

Rocky Gap Casino Resort has maintained a AAA Four-Diamond rating for 23 consecutive years. Located in Rocky Gap State Park in Flintstone, Maryland, the property boasts numerous options for outdoor recreation that can fit the needs of virtually any size group, including putting contests, boat rentals, and hiking trails. Additionally, the resort works closely with the state park to offer myriad additional activities, as well.

“We have a large amount space to handle a wide variety of team building activities,” explains Wanda Holtschneider, director of marketing, Rocky Gap Casino Resort. “In the past, we have had groups build model boats to race on the lake, held scavenger hunts, or who participated in the famous ‘human knot.’”

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The property literally has something for everyone, Holtschneider assures, from the action-packed casino with slots and table games to The Spa at Rocky Gap for those seeking tranquility, to a challenging round of golf at the on-site course.

“We have multiple dining options to please the palate from the most experienced diners to those who are looking for traditional ‘pub grub,’” adds Holtschneider. “Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and surrounded by the 243-acre manmade Lake Habeeb, the view in the spring and summer is beyond beautiful when everything is in full bloom, but the fall foliage is truly breathtaking [set against the mountain backdrop]. Just imagine sitting by the lake with your favorite beverage and watching a bald eagle flying overhead. Sounds amazing, right?”

“Our uniqueness is what makes us most attractive,” Holtschneider explains. “We can customize any event

and tailor it to fit the needs of any group, large or small.”

TeamBonding is ready to celebrate the 2024 Summer Olympic games with two new high energy programs: Quickfire Olympics and Outrageous Games.

“Full of trivia, photo, and video challenges that test your mental and physical prowess, Quickfire Olympics brings out a group’s true team spirit by giving everyone the chance to shine,” declares Shannon DuPont, director of program development, TeamBonding. “For those looking to get a bit more physical, Outrageous Games will have your participants laughing all the way to the finish line with some seriously silly games and activities.”

In addition to these themed events, TeamBonding also offers a broad range of programs that take full advantage of the great outdoors. For those looking to the

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beach for a good time, TeamBonding offers Sand Sculpting to highlight each person’s artistic talents, or Build-A-Boat to show off team ingenuity and construction skills. Summer Camp Throwback is a blast from the past that brings out the kid in everyone. And for those looking to make a positive impact on their environment, TeamBonding can arrange a Do Good Bus that takes the team out for local gardening, building, or clean-up projects.

“Any opportunity to bring your team out into the fresh air is a good one, and a little bit of sunshine goes a long way,” declares DuPont. “Beyond these obvious benefits, being outside provides a refreshing change of scenery and a break from routine, which in and of itself can boost morale and motivation among team members. Exposure to new surroundings can inspire fresh perspectives and ideas, stimulating creativity and leading to more innovative problem-solving and brainstorming sessions.”

A change of environment also can create a sense of shared wonder and purpose within a team, equalizing elements that enable individuals to work together outside of their usual roles and hierarchies. It is a great

way to explore one’s surroundings, too, says DuPont, which fits perfectly with TeamBonding’s custom written, city-specific Mad Dash Scavenger Hunts.

Offering a diverse range of activities tailored to fit different group sizes, budgets, and interests, TeamBonding’s flexibility allows them to further customize their programs to align with a company's culture, objectives, and desired outcomes, explains DuPont. “While prioritizing fun and engagement in all our activities, we also place a strong emphasis on team development and learning outcomes by incorporating elements of communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and leadership. This enables teams to build essential skills as they simultaneously enjoy a memorable experience.”

“Whether it be adventure challenges, scavenger hunts, sports competitions, or nature-based explorations, our team of experienced event professionals are industry leaders in creating engaging and effective team building experiences,” DuPont adds.

Chester County, Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley provides a convenient, countryside setting just 35-minutes from Center City Philadelphia. Easily accessible, scenic,

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Set up for a Bonfire on the Beach at Hyatt Place Dewey Beach in Dewey Beach, DE

and welcoming, it is an ideal destination for meetings, events, and team building with vast spaces to provide an outdoor landscape like no other.

For example, many of its charming wineries and vineyards offer unique spaces for groups. “Wayvine Winery and Vineyard hosts special events on their beautiful farm and tasting room in Nottingham,” says Courtney Babcock, director of sales, Chester County Tourism. “A seasonal tent with capacity of up to 100 people and flexible catering options including food trucks are highlights of this expansive vineyard. A selection of 50 local beers is available in the tasting room, as well.”

The Stave at Paradocx Winery in Landenberg offers a tasting room and so much more. Unique spaces both indoors and out can be found throughout the vineyard. A large tasting room is complemented by The Patio outdoor space, combining to offer an ideal indoor-outdoor option. Alice’s Nook is a cozy semi-private area within The Patio for smaller, more intimate groups. Fi-

nally, The Meadow is a large outdoor space that is customizable for events and includes a stage for music, performances, and presentations. The space works well for food truck events, fundraisers, and celebrations.

Al fresco experiences await at places like The General Warren, a unique historic property blending old world charm, excellent cuisine, overnight accommodations, and an elegant event setting. Its Spring House Terrace is a year-round heated space available for cocktail receptions, lunch or dinner meetings, or dining outdoors during the warm weather months.

Duportail House in Chesterbrook is a circa-1740 farmhouse and barn steeped in history. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the property features a variety of site plans utilizing the home, barn and an outdoor patio that is tented from April through December.

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The Desmond Hotel Malvern, A Doubletree by Hilton, is well known for their state-of-the-art conference center, ballroom space, and excellent food and beverage experience. They now offer a tented space on their deck for private parties, weddings, and other special occasions with covered seating for up to 160 guests. Additionally, the Desmond offers unique culinary team building challenges.

“On June 6, we will partner with the Desmond to host Chester County Culinary Challenge,” proclaims Babcock. “Planners are invited to team with area hospitality partners for a fun, interactive challenge while creating valuable business connections. Each year, the theme is a surprise; attendees do not know what they are cooking until they arrive and meet their team. The evening starts with a Cocktail Challenge featuring a specific liquor. Past surprise cooking themes have included Chicken Chili, Dumplings, and Breakfast in Bed! Planners are assigned to teams and are partnered with members of the Chester County hospitality community where valuable networking - and much fun - ensues.”

Additional team building activities take place throughout the area both indoors and seasonally under Brandywine Vallely’s bright skies. A brand new “cool” activity can be found at Hangry Bear Creamery, where a group can break into teams to create and name their own ice cream flavor. “Our team at Chester County Tourism checked it out - in the name of research,” recalls Babcock. “It is a fun, engaging and tasty experience - and certainly out of the ordinary.”

“Outdoor team building activities provide a natural canvas to inspire new perspectives that can be nurtured when ‘off road.’ In Chester County’s Brandywine Valley, activities include those in the sky, up a tree, or on the water. Book your team a hot air balloon experience with the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team. Engage the full team in setting up the balloon, Q&A in the air, and packing up. A birds-eye-view of the beautiful Brandywine Valley will provide a bright new outlook for your team. Balloon rides also make fantastic employee and client appreciation experiences,” proclaims Babcock.

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Activities on the lake at Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone, MD; photo courtesy: Golden Entertainment, Inc.

Treehouse World helps to break down barriers and eliminate distractions while encouraging lots of fun. A series of adventures is available here include Archery Tag and Tomahawk Throwing that helps to assess a group’s effectiveness in communicating, trust, and teamwork.

“Finally, have your team float through the countryside at Northbrook Canoe Co. Groups can book canoe, kayak, or tubing packages, which can include meals at the end of the ride along the lovely Brandywine River. Twilight dinner trips are a special treat for couples - during set datesand can be scheduled for groups privately. A bonfire after your trip, with s’mores, of course, is the perfect ending to a perfect day on the water,” assures Babcock.

"Serving as COO for an organization, I have participated in numerous team-building exercises over my career. Recently I had the pleasure to participate in a team-building event lead by Today is a Good Day. I was immediately impressed with their organization and facilitation skills. Their approach is authentic, motivating, and focused. They have the uncanny ability to ensure inclusion of all participants resulting in an inspirational, transformative experience for all. The best I ever attended."

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Yoga at Woodloch Resort in the Pocono Mountains, PA

“Did you know that Chester County’s Brandywine Valley is in the heart of America’s Garden Capital? The region has the highest concentration of public gardens and arboretums on the continent,” Babcock notes. “These gardens entice leisure, business, and group travelers from around the globe. The Brandywine Valley is home to horticultural treasures such as Longwood Gardens, Winterthur, Nemours, Hagley, Brandywine Museum of Art, Tyler Arboretum, and more. Many have stunning event spaces, including new dining and event venues at Longwood Gardens. Longwood is currently accepting bookings for events beginning in March 2025.”

The opportunities for planning outdoor meetings, events, team building, and other group activities are practically endless in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Offering nature and tranquility just minutes from Center City Philadelphia and the Philadelphia International Airport, most Delaware County venues with outdoor opportunities are near to at least one of several major interstate highways.

In addition to these outdoor excursions, Delaware County offers world-class dining and modern accommodations for overnight travelers, as well. “No community offers the ease of access to the outdoors coupled with nearby modern amenities like Delaware County,” proclaims Robert MacPherson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Visit Delco.

Tyler Arboretum offers seasonally changing gardens, stands of towering trees (several of which are state champions), 17-miles of hiking trails, and a selection of historic buildings dating back to the 18th century. From brainstorming and strategic planning sessions to association meetings and business networking and mixer events, Tyler Arboretum offers flexible spaces and places for group outings.

A former family residence located on the hillside where Villanova meets Radnor, Willow Park Preserve is a Level I Arboretum. For outdoor events, the preserve offers function spaces like the Garden Room and Porch, the Wishing Well Circle, the Fountain Wall Courtyard, the Whispering Terrace, and the Rose Garland Garden.

In spring, summer, and fall, the outdoor terrace and the landscaped gardens and grounds at the Inn at Villanova are the ideal backdrop for meetings, networking, and socializing.

The grounds and vineyards at Penns Woods Winery in Chadds Ford serve as a great space for hosting a corporate outing. They provide package options for a wide range of events and budgets with an experienced team to assist in the planning and execution.

Subaru Park in Chester, PA, home stadium of the Philadelphia Union, offers a vibrant atmosphere and state-of-the-art facilities to provide a unique setting for fostering camaraderie among colleagues. Whether holding a private event or enjoying a soccer match, employees can bond, collaborate, and recharge.

Additionally, the venue's convenient location and various hospitality options make it a seamless choice for hosting a memorable corporate outing that combines fun, teamwork, and networking. Coming this spring is Union Yards. “Union fans can look forward to a renovated Union Yards with the construction of an amazing indoor and outdoor brew hall and garden,” notes MacPherson.

“The Inn at Grace Winery is situated on 50-acres in the historic Brandywine Valley, offering the ideal backdrop for memorable events and team building activities like wine tours, wine tastings, meet the animals on the farm, bonfires, and dinner in the wine cellar or manor house,” MacPherson adds.

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum offers a variety of recreational and educational activities. Team building opportunities on-site might include: hiking, biking, boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, birding, painting, drawing, photography, archery, and picnicking.

Newlin Grist Mill and the surrounding 160-acre park is a place for exploration of both history and the environment. It features a working grist mill with over eightmiles of nature trails. Team building opportunities here

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could include: a tour of the grist mill; meadow and forest habitat exploration; seasonal nature walks; a habitat hike; hearth cooking; candle-making; archaeology digs; a Millwright’s apprentice demonstration; a colonial cooking demonstration; and nature experiences that focus on bird watching, habitats, the prehistoric Newlin Walk, stream study, and trees.

“Creating opportunities for individuals and teams to connect in nature can be a powerful antidote to prolonged workplace-related stress,” explains MacPherson. “Many companies report that participants come back from retreats feeling rejuvenated, both individually and as a group, and report that their sense of connection, cohesion, and performance continued when they returned to the office.”

“They also say that they feel a greater sense of clarity and expanded perspective,” MacPherson continues. “Research shows that spending time in nature can improve cognitive functioning, boost connections, and be a catalyst for personal and team growth.”

Such growth is a big part of what these outdoor excursions are all about. Creating enjoyable experiences in a variety of settings can help bring groups together in many ways. Forging bonds through collaboration amid fresh air is a great way to spark creativity and cultivate lasting memories while having an impact that will be felt long after the event has ended.

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The Build-A-Boat activity, one of many outdoor team building experiences offered by TeamBonding


What makes a venue or destination attractive to planners of meetings and events? Destinations throughout the region present new opportunities along with familiar favorites that include recreation, leisure, unique qualities, and an array of offerings that allow each of them to standout.

Each of the following places and spaces feature a wide range of offerings that appeal to diverse audiences. With so much to see and do, they remain enticing all throughout the year.

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“Atlantic City, NJ is a seaside destination that continues to evolve and reinvest. We pride ourselves on our natural elements, while supporting our local community to make a positive impact beyond the meeting room.”

Gary Musich - Vice President of Sales Visit Atlantic City Atlantic City, NJ

“Steps from the Chase Center, the Wilmington Riverfront offers a delightful blend of attractions, outdoor activities, and restaurants, making it a must-visit destination for event planners and travelers alike.”

Ed O’Boyle - General Manager Chase Center on the Riverfront Wilmington, DE

“With its attractions and nightlife, Amish countryside surrounding hip Lancaster City, numerous food and drink options, easy access, and modern event space, Lancaster County is perfect for groups and meetings.”

Chris Ackerman - Director of Sales Discover Lancaster Lancaster, PA

“As the meeting point of natural beauty, family-friendly attractions, year-round outdoor recreation, and historic small towns, the Pocono Mountains region is a great destination for diverse and memorable experiences.”

Leigh Velez - Regional Sales Manager Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau Stroudsburg, PA

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“Lancaster is just a short drive or Amtrak ride from many major Mid-Atlantic cities and offers a mix of small-town charm and big city amenities. Enjoy farmers' markets, elevated dining, breweries, galleries, and more.”

Hans SchreiberDirector of Sales & Marketing Lancaster County Convention Center & Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square Lancaster, PA

“The Wildwoods have everything you could ever want in a family vacation destination, all right here on one five-mile island with five-miles of free beautiful white sand beaches with plenty of room to spread out, a world-famous boardwalk with 38-blocks of fun and excitement, three action-packed amusement piers, three beachfront waterparks, shopping, great dining, watersports, and more. Plus, with over 8,000 hotel-motel rooms and 3,000 vacation rentals to fit any budget, why go anywhere else? So, ‘Lose Yourself In The Memories… Get Lost In The Wildwoods’.”

Ben Rose - Director of Marketing and Public Relations Greater Wildwoods Tourism Authority Wildwood, NJ

“Chester County provides a beautiful countryside setting with all-important convenience, located 40-minutes from Philadelphia. The area is home to an abundance of unique venues - many historic - and team-building options, from winery tastings to canoeing down the Brandywine.”

Courtney Babcock - Director of Sales Chester County Tourism Kennett Square, PA

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“Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is home to America’s most hallowed battlegrounds. Today, meeting attendees will find abundant ways to immerse themselves into the region’s rich history, especially through Gettysburg’s wide assortment of leadership development programs.”

Lindsay Methlie - Director of Sales Destination Gettysburg Gettysburg, PA

“Atlantic City's waterfront location captivates meeting planners. With Caesars Entertainment's stellar service, celebrity chef restaurants, and the newly debuted show "The Hook," plus Harrah's Atlantic City - the largest hotel conference complex from Baltimore to Boston - it's the premier choice for unforgettable conferences and events.”

Gina Harrigan - Director of Sales Caesars Entertainment National Meetings & Events Atlantic City, NJ

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wants you to...


“From scenic vineyards to traditional conference spaces, our meeting venues offer convenience and diversity, ensuring every event is surrounded by inspiration and tailored to planners’ needs.”

Katie Paschall - Director of Sales and Partnerships Visit Delco, PA Media, PA

“Scenic beauty; a welcoming vibe; great choice of accommodations and meeting venues; delectable Culinary Coast™ dining; indoor and outdoor activities; tax-free dining, entertainment, and shopping; an enthusiastic, collaborative DMO - we have so much to offer year-round.”

Tina Coleman - Communications Manager Southern Delaware Tourism Georgetown, DE

“Planners are looking for destinations that are easy to access, have plenty of amenities, and offer quality properties to make their program a success. Valley Forge absolutely checks off all those boxes.”

Scott Higgins - Director of Sales Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board King of Prussia, PA

“The Princeton-Mercer County area boasts Princeton University, known for its beautiful historic campus and Palmer Square for shopping. With the sesquicentennial 250th anniversary of our country, the Princeton/Trenton area can’t be beat as the Crossroads of the American Revolution.”

English – President & CEO Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce Princeton, NJ

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“Woodloch truly is a one-stop-shop when it comes to meetings, from space to activities to dining, all fortified by genuine hospitality making for a comfortingly smooth and easy experience. But what really makes Woodloch enticing is the natural beauty surrounding us… you feel like you are totally getting away.”

Woodloch Resort Hawley, PA

“Ocean City, Maryland entices planners with its coastal charm, vibrant entertainment, and endless activities. It is the perfect blend, offering space to balance days of meetings with plenty to experience in their free time.”

Many group attendees mention the immediate sense of calm that they feel when they arrive.

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“It’s Happy Valley! The first thing that pops out is the central location and easy access. No crowds, no wait lines, no traffic jams, none of the chaos that is typically found in larger cities… many group attendees mention the immediate sense of calm that they feel when they arrive. That is coupled with the natural energy of one of the finest college towns in America. It is a true learning environment that fosters innovation, creativity, and team building - no matter what the industry. It can be electric. People leave energized and inspired after a couple of days in Happy Valley.”

Dave Gerdes - Vice President, Sales & Marketing

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau State College, PA

“Montgomery County, Maryland’s Cultural Capital is a welcoming destination bordering the nation’s capital with inspiring arts and entertainment, lively urban centers, culturally diverse cuisine, and exceptional venue space for any event. Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, and Gaithersburg.”

Kelly Groff - President & CEO Visit Montgomery, MD Rockville, MD

“Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania charms with its blend of picturesque landscapes, rich history, vibrant culture, and thriving economy. From scenic trails to diverse dining options, there is something for everyone to enjoy.”

Freeman - Manager, Tourism Development Discover Lehigh Valley Easton, PA

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“Aside from the logistical things like ease of parking, proximity to airport, and appropriate meeting space size, I generally base my decision on a hotel or venue primarily around the response time and ease of communication from the staff. It is so disheartening when it can take days, even up to a week or more to hear back from somebody. By the time I am contacting properties, I have already narrowed it down to viable options, so if you respond to my call or email in a timely manner, there is a very good chance you will be getting my business.”


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

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

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

• 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

To schedule your next meeting or event, 800-992-9732 |

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 31


“Over the years, we have done everything from Disney to New Orleans to more local venues like the Hershey properties. Our recent shift has been more local venues that members can reach by car. To that end, ease of accessibility is a key factor for us. Our members come from all over Pennsylvania, as well as some areas in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Delaware, and Maryland. Enticing destinations along - or not too far from - main thoroughfares are particularly appealing. Another key for us is venue or area activities. Our meetings are a mix of work and play, so having a thriving dining scene, recreational and sightseeing activities, and some level of nearby nightlife is important. Last, hotel space is the anchor. It depends on the ability to house our members, staff, guests, and speakers comfortably, while also providing a conference center with breakout space and quality audio-video and food and beverage options.”

Eric R. Elmore


Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs Philadelphia, PA

“My 5-step criteria:

1. Location: Very important as far as participants ease of getting to the designated destination.

2. Meeting Room Capacity, Space Layout: Space for networking, socializing and/or designated private, quiet space; Quality of AV and, more importantly, on-site tech support is imperative; as is flexibility of the meeting space to adapt to different layouts.

3. Sales to Service: Support with on-site days of meetings, as well as prompt response time from staff - especially upon pre-planning stages.

4. Food & Beverage: Aware of new food trends, accommodate variety of food restrictions and, of course, F&B is a key driver of attendee satisfaction.

5. Price Flexibility: Prefer not to have inclusive packages, as often pricing includes items we may not need. I need to be able to negotiate fees in order to show client/superiors I was able to lower costs.”

ONE-CALL Concierge Specialist, OCS Ewing, NJ

32 May z June 2024

“When it comes to planning a destination meeting or event, it is all about finding the perfect mix of practicality, fun, and flavor for us. Our first two factors in decision making are normally: first, the purpose of the event, and second - the budget. We try to strike a balance between being cost-effective and keeping a standard of quality, but who says you can't have a little fun while being financially friendly? Next, we tend to look at accessibility. You want your attendees to get there without feeling like they have just completed a grand expedition.”

“Additional factors are the venue itself and destination. We are looking for a spot that not only fits the bill in terms of space, technology needs, and amenities, but also has a factor of uniqueness and provides plenty of opportunities outside the meeting room. You can have an event in a hotel or museum, and then send the attendees for a phenomenal meal at an award-winning restaurant or a memorable networking opportunity such as a tour, river cruise, bowling alley, indoor putt-putt, axe throwing, or a professional sports game. The Northeastern United States will give you opportunities from beachside or mountain bonfires to urban adventures.”



Washington, DC

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 33 NEW NEW NEW ROOMS NEW NEW NEW RESTAURANTS NEW NEW NEW MEETING SPACE Contact the Sales Department at Bally’s at 609-340-2233 or THE YARD A new indoor/outdoor meeting space with a retractable roof is available all year long! Accommodates over 1400 attendees. MEETING ROOM LEVEL 80,000 square feet of meeting space including: • 53,337 square feet of exhibit space • 25,162 square feet of meeting space 33 meeting rooms available Meeting and dining space is located on one level. © 2022 Bally’s Corporation. BALLY, BALLY’S, the BALLY’S Logo, BALLY REWARDS, WELCOME TO THE BALLYVERSE, FOR FUN’S SAKE, and JUMP INTO THE THRILL are service marks and registered service marks of Twin River Management Group, Inc. and its aliates. Bally’s Atlantic City is a registered trademark of Bally’s Corporation. Must be 21 or older to gamble. Bet with your head, not over it. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.



are waiting for


Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach, Delaware

Infuse your meetings with a vibrant energy.

Choose an environment that engages and energizes your meeting attendees. The picturesque coastal region of Southern Delaware provides an unrivaled setting for your team-building retreat. Plus, enjoy premier accommodations and tax-free, state-of-the-art meeting facilities, Culinary Coast™ dining, and local charm that fosters connections.


“When we host meetings and events in other cities, whether in the U.S. or abroad, we seek venues that accommodate multiple event elements, which typically include a formal program with theater-style seating and pre- and post-reception spaces. Ideally, our venues will be situated near local restaurants and/or bars to host affiliate groups with engaging social opportunities. Our venues must be accessible via car or public transportation, be ADA compliant, and on-site parking always is preferred. When conducting venue research, we find it is helpful to reach out to our regional clubs or alumni for their insights about popular, unique venues, areas, or neighborhoods that will make a lasting impression on our alumni, parents, and friends and result in a successful gathering.”

of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA

Go to for our $300-for-30 group rebate and more.

34 May z June 2024
Southern Delaware

“Planners are looking for destinations that are easy to access, have plenty of amenities, and offer quality properties to make their program a success.”

“We work with our clients to create events and meetings that support the objective of the event by experience, content, and place. There are some locations, venues, etc., that stand out for the following reasons: relationships and experience. The relationships and experience our firm had with a venue or in a location offers a great value to clients. The partner history is vital in negotiating and helpful in the ease of execution.”

Carachilo - President Roberts Event Group, Inc. Philadelphia, PA

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 35 CORPORATE • SOCIAL • DROP-OFF | 215.634.3002 REBECCA BARGER PHOTOGRAPHY

Working with SMERF Groups & Sports-Related Markets

What makes a venue or destination attractive to planners of SMERF (social, military, education, religious, fraternal) markets and functions such as sports and sports-related competitions and tournaments?

SMERF and sports-related group meetings, events, tournaments, and activities have a positive impact that extends beyond the host venue to local suppliers, hoteliers, restaurants, shops, attractions, and other local businesses, benefiting the community at large.

In return, each destination and host site can provide much for event organizers and their attendees, including unique settings and an array of offerings to help them succeed.

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Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 37
NCAA Track and Field Championship at the Virginia Beach Sports Center; photo courtesy:

The following destinations from around the region have forged great relationships with planners within these markets and boast a winning combination of facilities, affordability, flexibility, and variety.


“We understand the specific needs of the SMERF meeting and events markets, and our team is committed to elevating every aspect of your gathering,” declares Ben Rose, director of marketing and public relations and marketing, Greater Wildwood Tourism Improvement and Development Authority, noting that one of the primary needs among SMERF groups is flexibility. “Whether it is a large social gala, a military reunion, an educational conference, a religious gathering, or a fraternal event, our facility offers a diverse range of spaces that can be tailored to suit your exact requirements.”

Situated on the beach and fronting the renowned Wildwoods boardwalk with views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Wildwoods Convention Center stands as a contemporary, state-of-the-art, multipurpose complex boasting exhibit halls, ballrooms, meeting room spaces, and pre-function areas totaling 260,000square feet.

“From our expansive exhibit and meeting space with panoramic views of the beach and ocean to our spacious ballroom and intimate meeting rooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology, we ensure that every event finds its perfect setting at the Wildwoods Convention Center,” says Rose. “A recently installed, upgraded, high-capacity Wi-Fi system provides attendees unlimited free Wi-Fi service for up to 10,000 visitors simultaneously; and three new high-definition video webcams on the roof of the convention center offer 180-degree views of the beach, ocean, and amusement piers.”

Equipped with cutting-edge audio-visual capabilities and high-speed Internet access, event organizers are empowered to deliver impactful presentations, inter-

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Located just outside of Philadelphia, Delaware County is easily accessible from Philadelphia International Airport, major interstates I-95, I-276 and I-476 and public transit systems such as SEPTA and Amtrak.

With more than 4,200 rooms, Delaware County offers a complete range of accommodations from full-service hotels to charming Bed & Breakfasts.

Baltimore, MD Washington, D.C. Philadelphia, PA New York, NY Atlantic City, NJ Scranton, PA Delaware County
The perfect location for meetings, events, and team activities Delaware County, PA

active workshops, and seamless networking opportunities for attendees at the Wildwoods Convention Center.

Accessibility is another important requirement for SMERF groups, Rose observes. “We understand the importance of ensuring that all attendees can fully participate in and enjoy the event. That is why our venue is designed with accessibility features, such as ramps and designated seating areas, and ADA-compliant restroom facilities, ensuring that every guest feels welcome and accommodated.”

The center offers ocean views from its outside deck, as well as from its main exhibit hall and lobby area through floor-to-ceiling windows along with a Tefloncoated translucent fabric roof allowing the entire building to be flooded in natural sunlight during the day. Impressive dining options prepared by the executive chef and expert catering staff include an array of food service options and concession services, coupled with décor and theme consultations. The center’s dedicated team of professionals is available to guide planners through every step of their event journey.

“What truly sets us apart is our dedication to personalized service… From the initial planning stages to the last goodbyes, our team stands ready to assist you at every turn, offering expertise and unwavering support,” notes Rose. “Whether you are orchestrating a conference, trade show, sporting event, or an intimate gathering, we understand that each event reflects your distinct objectives and aspirations.”

“For groups requiring a centralized source to arrange accommodations for convention attendees, the Wildwoods Convention Center offers the best in convention housing support and service. Our ability to locate and manage lodging is enhanced and powered by MeetingMax, the leader in the Internet-based convention housing industry, with a wide array of reports made available to the meeting planner,” Rose adds.

Additionally, a new online hotel and attraction reservation system has recently launched on the Wildwoods official tourism website,, allowing for convenient booking of accommodations at a range of hotels and motels via the Book Your Stay webpage.

Plans are in the works to expand the page's offerings in the future to include events, tickets, attractions, and concerts.

“In addition, the Wildwoods Convention Center will maximize your sub-block requirements, thus protecting key space allocations,” explains Rose. “Our experienced housing staff will work closely with you and each hotel’s staff to accurately identify and verify inventory, rates, and any other unique aspects of your specific needs.”

Sustainability is always at the forefront for the Wildwoods Convention Center, which has taken steps to promote an environmentally friendly atmosphere by engaging in a robust recycling program in the facility, reducing waste, and increasing energy-efficiency. The Wildwoods Convention Center harnesses the power of the sun with its rooftop solar panel array, a solar-electric system that minimizes the venue’s impact on the environment, energy usage, and overhead.

Another area where the Wildwoods Convention Center has become exceedingly popular year-round is in the realm of youth sporting events, establishing the resort as a youth sports mecca, says Rose. “These competitions, ranging from beach soccer, baseball, volleyball, and Frisbee tournaments to cheerleading competitions, youth wrestling and martial arts tournaments, indoor soccer and basketball competitions, contribute significantly to the economic growth of the area, drawing crowds from the tri-state area and beyond. Over the years, these events have surged in popularity, with the Wildwoods’ expansive beaches and renowned boardwalk enhancing their appeal.”

The Wildwoods’ free and spacious white sandy beaches and world-famous 38-block boardwalk offer the unique opportunity between events to explore many fun activities, plus over 100 rides and attractions, which makes changing up any event itinerary easy and accommodating.

SMERF and sports-related events attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Wildwoods each year, generating over $80-million in local economic impact. Youth sports competitions take place year-round at the

40 May z June 2024

convention center and on the Wildwood’s beaches, growing in diversity and number year after year, further solidifying the destination’s status as a premier SMERF and sports-related meetings destination.


“SMERF groups often require versatile event spaces that can accommodate various purposes, from social gatherings to educational seminars or religious ceremonies,” notes Kim Mueller, director of sales, Town of Ocean City, Maryland. “The newly renovated Ocean City Convention Center has ample options with its 250,000-square feet of flexible meeting space and a feel of intimacy that facilitates interaction and networking among attendees.”

Whether planning for a tradeshow or sporting event, the Roland E. Powell (Ocean City) Convention Center has everything necessary to easily accommodate a wide range of needs. Offering newly renovated rooms,

bayfront views, and a bayfront promenade, the center accommodates a wide array of SMERF meetings along with various sporting events throughout the year, such as wrestling, cheerleading, beach and indoor volleyball, basketball, and more.

“As a destination, Ocean City is a fabulous walking town that also offers free transportation for all convention center attendees on our city buses,” says Mueller. “Another consistent concern with SMERF planners is securing room blocks. With over 11,000 hotel accommodations in our 10-miles of ocean and bayfront, plenty of options exist.”

“Planners are always pleasantly surprised by the cost savings they experience at our destination and facility compared to metropolitan destinations,” Mueller adds. “But what truly sets us apart is our off-season, which coincides with the peak convention season in the fall and spring. This unique advantage allows attendees to experience first-class accommodations at budget-

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 41

friendly rates, creating an exciting opportunity for planners to offer their clients a top-notch experience at a fraction of the cost.”

“Our team, from sales to operations, is unwavering in their commitment to making the planner's job effortless,” Mueller continues. “Our dedication to excellence and relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction is not just a claim, but a fact, as evidenced by the substantial volume of return business we consistently receive… As we continue to attract interest from the SMERF and sports-related markets, it only means great things for the Ocean City, Maryland community.”


Planners of SMERF functions require venues with flexibility, and the Blair County Convention Center and its staff offer a great deal of flexibility throughout the entire planning process, explains Garrett Giedroc, sales and marketing manager, Blair County Convention Center. “Whether that is a personalized menu of a large event, decorating for an event’s theme, or the accessibility of our outdoor spaces, we strive to accommodate each guest’s request.”

“To assist in our team’s flexibility, we have a magnetic layout of the facility that is to-scale, which encourages guest interaction with our event planners when making the decision of room layouts, such as for seating, audio-visual equipment, and F&B locations,” Giedroc adds.

In addition, the location of the convention center offers convenience with its central location between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and is easily accessible to major interstates.

Another important consideration for planners of SMERF meetings and events is how much they value personal interaction, attention, and assistance during the planning process, Giedroc notes, and it is critical to ensure that the service each guest receives is always beneficial, helpful, and timely.

Though Blair County Convention Center was not originally built to accommodate every sports-related event, the unique features of its Ballroom and Lower-Level Exhibit Hall provides potential opportunities for tournaments such as wrestling and dance competitions, says Giedroc.

“The opportunity to host SMERF and sports-related group meetings, events, tournaments, and activities allows the Altoona and Blair County area to flourish,” Giedroc observes. “SMERF and sports-related groups often consist of 2- to 3-day events that require lodging and food and beverage needs. Moreover, many of our guests look for fun and unique experiences in the community when they have free time. Certainly, there is a positive economic impact on local businesses and the community.”


“Being part of SMERF meetings and sporting events are often a person’s or a family’s first interaction with the Gettysburg destination,” observes Carl Whitehill, vice president, Destination Gettysburg. “They often have enough time to get a small taste of what the Gettysburg region has to offer, and then make plans to come back and do more. While these people have heard about Gettysburg from history, it often is not until they attend one of these gatherings or events that they truly understand the diverse set of attractions, restaurants, lodging, and shopping that not only line the streets of the historic town, but are scattered across the majestic countryside, as well.”

“It is because of this that the SMERF groups and sporting events plant the seed amongst visitors to sustain visitation for years to come – something that is vitally important for the entire Gettysburg area tourism community,” Whitehill adds.

The team at Destination Gettysburg has a deep understanding of the strengths of this destination, approaching its efforts with planners knowing all that it has to offer, including the variety of outstanding properties and a wide assortment of experiences available to attendees.

42 May z June 2024

“We, as well as those within the destination, work hard to understand the interests of planners, their budgets, and find options that suit the needs of the organizations as well as the attendees themselves,” says Whitehill. “Our team enjoys collaborating with planners to encourage participants to immerse themselves into the destination while they are here.”

Gettysburg is affordable, and while that is not the only attractive quality when it comes to hosting SMERF meetings in the historic town, its budget-friendly options allow meeting planners to spend valuable financial resources to help elevate their events and create ways for their attendees to have a memorable meeting or conference.

Another significant attraction for Gettysburg - it is a rural, small-town escape for many meeting groups, but does not require a full-day of travel for most attendees.

“Destination Gettysburg works with local colleges to continually expand its capacity to host sporting events and tournaments, especially for youth sports,” notes Whitehill. “But also, the destination has the tourism infrastructure to make sure teams and families have a wide assortment of options to enjoy their time in Gettysburg beyond the event itself, and that often leads to lasting memories for participants and spectators alike.”

“While individuals and families often are immersed heavily into the events and tournaments, participants and their guests truly enjoy coming to a

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 43
Youth basketball at the Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood, NJ

destination that provides them with an assortment of unique experiences, accommodations, dining and more,” Whitehill concludes.


Some of the primary needs of the SMERF market include affordability, value, and having an exciting place to hold a meeting or event. SMERF groups coming to Virginia Beach may consist of events with a limited budget where attendees bear most, if not all, of their own expenses. Planners of such events seek destinations that offer not only maximum value, but variety in choices for their attendees.

Virginia Beach offers a convenient location that provides a diverse range of accommodations catering to various budgets, along with a being a destination that is engaging and exciting to visit. When it comes to hosting groups in Virginia Beach, planners appreciate working with the destination experts at the convention and visitors bureau who work hard to understand their needs and goals.

What’s more, Virginia Beach boasts a LEED Gold convention center offering a coastally-inspired venue with plenty of natural light that not only is green, but also provides value. Coupled with an array of accommodations spanning various budgets, planners have the flexibility to tailor events to suit the needs and preferences of their attendees. The city is home to a combination of resort, urban, and retreat-type settings.

Many of the Virginia Beach CVB team members have over 15-years of local hands-on knowledge of booking meetings, conferences, conventions, reunions and more to help planners to streamline the process, offer cost-effective solutions, and deliver exceptional experiences that leave a lasting impression.

The bureau’s Sports Tourism team understands that servicing the event and having the right venue in a desirable location help to make a destination attractive. Situated in the Oceanfront District, the Virginia Beach Sports Center is a cutting-edge facility that spans 285,000-square feet and features a 200-meter indoor hydraulically banked track, dual jumping and pole vault pits, and 195,000-square feet of flexible space. Its multi-purpose area can accommodate 12 basketball courts or 24 volleyball courts. With seating for nearly 5,000 spectators, concession areas, and meeting rooms, the sports center is designed to host a range of events like gymnastics, track and field, and more.

As a destination, Virginia Beach offers plenty for athletes and their families to enjoy pre- and post-competition, spanning 38-miles of beachfront, a vibrant Arts and Culture District, enticing dining choices, along with plenty of activities to enjoy. While Virginia Beach is renowned for its beaches and vibrant summer scene, the destination also offers attractions and activities year-round.

SMERF and sports-related events contribute significantly to the local economy as attendees and spectators stay in local hotels, dine and shop in area restaurants and stores, and positively impact the overall community. Destinations like the ones featured here have much to offer attendees while also forging long-lasting relationships with planners and organizations, all of which equates to groups who are excited to return year after year.

44 May z June 2024

Stadium for Gro Stadium for Gro

46 May z June 2024
View from the Veranda at the new Redner's Event Center at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, PA, home of the Reading Fightin Phils

ms and Arenas oups and Events ms and Arenas oups and Events

Looking for a venue with lots of space, spectacular views, great food, top-notch amenities and service, plus experiences and settings that are one-of-a-kind?

Booking a group event at a stadium or arena can provide attendees with an experience unlike any other. Go on a private behind-the-scenes tour. Visit places on-site that most never get to see. Enjoy VIP seating for world-class performances or sporting events.

The following are just a few examples of the outstanding venues and opportunities that are available to groups at stadiums and arenas throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States.

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 47


“The Redner's Event Center will serve as a tremendous event space both on Reading Fightin Phils (R-Phils) game days and non-game days,” asserts Tonya Petrunak, executive director of marketing, The Redner's Event Center. “Set to open in June 2024, this unique venue will be able to host corporate meetings, social events, tradeshows, and even weddings year-round. The inside of the event space will feature tremendous brickwork, factory-style historic décor, wooden ceilings, and an all-glass view of the FirstEnergy Stadium playing field.”

Booking the Redner's Event Center for 2024 is now open. Its main event space on the second floor will be able to accommodate up to 550 people in a seated setup and up to 1,000 people for a cocktail party or trade show. In total, the new event center will include over 14,000-square feet of versatile event space, with the largest room being 6,500-square feet, and multiple, smaller adjacent spaces for breakouts or accompanying sessions.

The Redner’s Event Center can be partitioned into game suites allowing smaller groups to utilize the main event space for watching games, as well. These suites will feature a combination of stem tables, bar stools, and sit-down tables, plus access to an expansive outdoor veranda. Offering full food, drink and wait-service, options at the Redner’s Event Center will range from a simple buffet to high-end meal functions and everything in between from a variety of catering partners. The event center also will feature a stage, dance floor, televisions, and audio-video systems.

The veranda sits atop the R-Phils homerun wall, explains Petrunak, “and will include comfortable chairs and bar stools that will allow guests to move freely from the inside to outside during a game. Also, the doors to the veranda can completely open 180-degrees to provide guests with an open air, indoor-outdoor experience.”

The venue’s smaller event spaces include: the Baseballtown Club, available for 25-125 people, located on the upper level of the event center with its own veranda and field view; the R-Phils Club on the first floor for 25-150 people; and the Turf Club, which is adjacent to the R-Phils Club with a capacity of 50-300 people. The R-Phils Club and Turf Club can be combined for larger parties. Each of these smaller event spaces offers the same catering options as the large event space, along with TVs, a sound system, bar, and more.

The Redner's Event Center will feature a Bridal Suite/Green Room on the second level, too, adjacent to the large event space with doors that open to its own veranda. Inside is a television, bar, comfortable seating, a powder room, and more.

“The Redner’s Event Center is a venue where planners will be able to make an event their own,” proclaims Petrunak. “Choosing a caterer to suit the needs of their event will make the event center very versatile year-round. It will give the opportunity for someone to have a 25-person picnic-style meal at a game or a 500-person wedding with included dance floor and audio-visual equipment along with the backdrop of the ballpark awash in your wedding colors! The possibilities are endless.”

48 May z June 2024

“Our planning and event staff have tremendous experience, which means they understand how important the details are with events big and small,” Petrunak adds, noting that the staff can help in making every event unique, not only because of their experience in event planning, but also in entertaining guests as they have long been members of the Reading Fightin Phils front office staff. “Their priority is making sure everything goes off without a hitch, and that your event ‘wows’ guests by being one-of-a-kind, whether for 25 people or for 500.”

For gameday events, the Reading Fightin Phils will announce the organization’s name over the public address system, and the group can wave to the crowd, making a big impact, says Petrunak. During the offseason, groups even can rent the home clubhouse for hosting small events - with or without the lockers of the Phillies’ stars of tomorrow.

For those who want to “knock it out of the ballpark” with their guests, Petrunak suggests “using our brand new $2-million video board for a slide show or video, hiring our in-house camera team, or washing the field in the color of your choice.”


The Mohegan Sun Arena concourse and floor can be utilized for a wide variety of events. With a 10,000seat capacity, the arena floor adds over 30,000-square feet of bookable convention space for groups. The venue can host a wide variety of functions, including general sessions, meetings, meal functions, receptions, theme parties, team building, community service programs and more.

“Our arena provides the ability to utilize built-in high-tech audio-visual, which includes the center large screen television and ribbon boards for branding, recognition, or sponsorship opportunities,” notes John Washko, vice president of sales and marketing, Mohegan Sun. “Mohegan Sun Arena is fully owned and managed by Mohegan Sun. The convention sales and services team remain as your contacts for the portions of your program that utilize the arena.”

50 May z June 2024
In addition to hosting over 100 events annually, including concerts and sporting events, Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT also offers 30,000-square feet of bookable convention space

Interested groups can take part in a back of house arena tour where guests can view a commemorative wall featuring over 1,000 famous signatures of some of entertainment’s biggest stars. The tour also can include a trip through the backstage hallway where various national award recognitions are displayed, and where A-list dressing rooms reside. In addition, Mohegan Sun Arena features luxury suites in 16- or 24person capacities, which planners can book for hosting a special experience as part of their group’s agenda.

“The ability to provide all these options under one roof provides convenience and ease for both the planner’s and attendees’ experience,” says Washko.

Major concert tours love to play at Mohegan Sun Arena, Washko explains, because of the full-time technical support team they provide.

“Mohegan Sun Arena hosts well over 100 events annually, including all of the home games for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, various Division 1 NCAA basketball games, and headlining performers like Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Stevie Nicks, Kenny Chesney, Bruce Springsteen, Kevin Hart, and so many more.”

Mohegan Sun Arena has received much recognition for the world-class experience it provides, including recent accolades like the 2024 Newsweek Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Casino with Live Entertainment in America,” and as “Best Casino/Resort Venue of the Year” at the 35th Annual Pollstar Awards.

We can customize any event to your preferred theme, outcome, or charity.

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Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 51 Contact us to book your event! 1.877.472.2725
to view our events Fresh air. Fun challenges. Bond with your team outdoors! OUTDOOR EVENTS


The Mann Center for the Performing Arts sits on a 22-acre campus in the heart of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, offering six out-of-the-ordinary spaces for rentals and group events of all kinds. From corporate events, company outings, galas, and graduations to weddings, private pre-concert dinners, cocktail parties, fundraisers, and community events, the Mann caters to both intimate gatherings and large-scale events.

“Our extensive inventory of tables, chairs, and screens ensures a seamless planning experience for event organizers, helping them transform their vision into reality,” notes Ashley Vanett, director of private events and facility rentals at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.

Acclaim is a tented 2,400-square foot space at the Top of the Hill that is ideal for pre- and post-concert receptions, day-time business meetings, or special family events. The space offers sweeping views, lush garden accents, inviting furniture and decor, and is surrounded by customizable tree lighting for evening events. Crescendo is the Mann’s largest tented space, also at the Top of the Hill, and accommodates corporate dinners, award presentations, annual meetings, cocktail parties, weddings and receptions, and offers some of the city’s best views of the Philadelphia skyline.

“Woodlands by TD feels like a picnic in the park, nestled in a grove of trees with festive lighting and comfortable Adirondack and picnic bench seating,” observes Vanett. “Our Cadillac Terrace is the Mann’s only multifunctioning space that includes an indoor, climatecontrolled area. It features a private bar and private restrooms.”

Of course, the Mann offers its iconic stages for events, too. The nationally recognized and architecturally impressive TD Pavilion at the Mann is well-suited to accommodate graduations, corporate meetings, performances, and more. “Intimate events on stage can accommodate a few hundred, seating under cover can hold 4,500, and events with seating and on the Lawn can host as many as 13,000,” explains Vanett. “The Highmark Skyline Stage lends itself to a festival-like experience for planners who want a standing-room-only or blankets-on-the-lawn experience for guests. This space can accommodate up to 7,500 patrons.”

Vanett says that the Mann’s team of professionals is known for being accommodating, easy to work with, and highly responsive to client needs, adding that the venue’s natural backdrop overlooking the Philadelphia skyline and its well-maintained facilities typically requires minimal additional décor, allowing planners to create memorable events without extensive set up.

The Mann offers groups a variety of exclusive experiences and amenities, as well, including behind-the-scenes tours of its newly renovated backstage area, which has been totally redesigned to bring the outside in and to welcome artists to Philadelphia and to this iconic venue. The Mann also can offer groups VIP seating options and pre-show parties.

52 May z June 2024

“Our venue's flexibility allows for creative event ideas, including, but not limited to, fireworks and drone shows. The Mann also offers a variety of preferred caterers, accommodating guests’ dietary needs for all experiences,” asserts Vanett.

“We provide detailed timelines and organizational support to ensure that every event runs smoothly from start to finish,” explains Vanett. “Ample onsite parking is available for free, providing convenient access... All these aspects help us ensure that every event at the Mann not only is successful, but also a memorable experience for both the organizer and for their attendees.”

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A COHNversation with Terry Glebocki

Delaware Park Casino & Racing in Wilmington, DE

Terry, given your recent experience working at one of the casinos in Atlantic City, what are some of your goals to take Delaware Park to the next level?

Having just completed my first year as President and General Manager of Delaware Park, I am continuing to look to the future to execute transformational change beyond the comprehensive $10-million renovation that was completed in January of this year. My goal is to elevate our offerings to the high standards found in top gaming destinations, making superior slot products and innovative designs available right here in Delaware. By partnering with world-class designers, enhancing our food and beverage offerings, redeveloping our expansive event spaces, and offering the latest and greatest slot products available in the country, we are not just updating our space, but transforming it into a competitive gaming hub in Delaware and beyond.

What are some changes you have seen in both the gaming industry and among those spending time in casinos over the last 5 to 10 years?

Over the last decade, I have observed significant shifts in the gaming industry. Particularly in the post-pandemic era, there has been an increasing need for more personal space. This led us to redesign our casino floor to include more carousel setups rather than traditional linear arrangements, enhancing comfort and safety for our guests. Technological advancements also have transformed slot machines in recent years, providing increased clarity and definition in the games. For example, Delaware Park Casino is home to the state’s first, sought-after “Huff N’ Even More Puff” slot machine, offering high-definition graphics and engaging narratives based off the “Three Little Pigs” story. Another big change we have seen is the recent introduction of mobile sports betting, which has allowed guests to bet in the state rather than drive to neighboring states.

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I have participated in and/or sponsored a mix of corporate dinners and special events at a variety of casino properties, and they have been a real draw with built-in entertainment after the program. Have you seen an increase in the group and corporate markets booking events at Delaware Park?

Delaware Park has vastly improved its capabilities for hosting events. We are now actively pursuing corporate events and banquets, offering newly revamped facilities such as the Liberty and Independence Rooms, which can accommodate up to 1,700 guests, and outdoor spaces like The Grove. Our reimagined culinary program, under the direction of Steve D’Emilio, our Vice President of Food and Beverage, and Executive Chef Rob Gary, aims to provide unique and memorable dining experiences, making our venue an ideal choice for both corporate and special events.

Do you, as well as Delaware Park, participate in business organizational projects, and if so, how do you motivate your team to participate in them, as well?

I am deeply involved in community and business organizational projects, serving on the Board of Governors for the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and participating in initiatives through the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau. At Delaware Park, we also strive to engage in various charity and community service projects every month, including the Brandywine SPCA and St. Patrick’s Center, to which we recently donated $12,000 and over 1,200 pounds of gently used clothing. Delaware Park also is proud to be involved in Autism Delaware, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Delaware Food Bank. This not only supports our local community, but builds a strong culture of philanthropy and team involvement, too, which is crucial for strengthening our community ties and enhancing team spirit.

What is your “wish list” for Delaware, as a state, and Delaware Park to increase Del-awareness?

My “wish list” for Delaware includes raising the state's profile to attract more visitors and increase their engagement with our local attractions. Many people pass through the state on I-95, but do not realize just how much we have to offer - with Delaware Park being one of the hidden gems. I hope to focus attention on the casino’s great offerings, including our 87th live race season, starting on May 15th. My ultimate goal is to showcase Delaware as a vibrant destination for leisure and entertainment, highlighting our diverse attractions and enhancing visitor experiences throughout the state - starting right here at Delaware Park.

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 55

Better Air,

Better Meetings?

In an age of increasing distraction, focus remains a constant struggle for professionals. So, the question arises - how to keep audiences engaged during event programming?

For many of the events taking place in meeting spaces or hotel ballrooms, organizers have turned to options like lowering the room temperature in the hopes that cooler temperatures will assist with audience alertness over extended periods. However, solutions in this vein often fail to account for the fact that stark environmental changes actually can distract participants from the event experience.

This also fails to address the root of the issue of what causes fatigue during these events (aside from the occasionally “less-than-riveting” speaker), which is, oftentimes, the air quality.

Frequently lacking proper access to windows or ventilation, conference and event spaces tend to have insufficient circulation of fresh air needed to combat the fatigue associated with inactivity. Research led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2021 concluded that “low ventilation

56 May z June 2024

rates negatively impact cognitive function and productivity,” underscoring the importance of air circulation in maintaining attention.

Working in tandem with this benefit of increased cognitive ability, freshly circulating air helps to alleviate the stuffiness sometimes associated with at-capacity rooms over long periods.

For the owners, organizers, and designers of meeting spaces, it is imperative to create a comprehensive strategy for addressing air circulation. The approach must be threefold: comprising attention to existing HVAC systems; treatment of surfaces and airborne contaminants; and the continued purification of air over long periods.

Pure Wellness has created a guidebook for operators that recognizes the importance of enhancing air quality. As it relates to considerations for HVAC systems, a good place to start is with general sanitation and regular maintenance of infrastructure to ensure that pollutants remain firmly outside of the system. In-line purification systems greatly reduce the ability for these contaminants to penetrate and subsequently circulate in general meeting spaces, and provide noticeable energy savings in the long term.

This becomes even more crucial in areas with high pollen concentrations, and must be compounded with surface treatments during high-pollen seasons to mini-

mize the spread of allergens. Regular filtration of air and treatment of surfaces provides the added benefit of significantly reducing the spread of bacteria and viruses, alleviating worries associated with cross-contamination during cold and flu season.

Beyond building infrastructure, external technologies like air purifiers also greatly contribute to the focus benefits of filtered air. Modern purification technologies include portable units with the ability to accommodate 3,000-square feet of space, primed for use where needed. Especially for events and conferences that last one or several days, post-meal or break sluggishness can be greatly alleviated through the prioritization of proper circulation.

Determining the proper approach for each size and space typology is critical for ensuring that purification needs are sufficiently met, creating healthier, safer, and more eco-conscious meeting environments.

In short, event planners and organizers should go beyond cranking down the temperature to enhance focus among attendees and participants. The intentional implementation of often-overlooked amenities, whether in-line portable or aimed at consistently addressing air quality, can truly revitalize the event experience and keep programs coming back to event spaces time and time again.

Haley Payne is Head of Commercial at Pure Wellness. Addressing air/surface contaminants, high-pollen areas, and the need to maintain top cognitive performance, the Pure Wellness team continues to lead the charge in creating cleaner, healthier environments for events of all sizes.

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 57
58 May z June 2024 LocationReport NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA The Swiftwater, an Estate Hotel in the Pocono Mountains, PA; photo courtesy: Information for the Location Reports has been provided by the Convention and Visitors Bureaus, associations, organizations and properties listed (denoted by website) along with additional sources. Pocono Mountains, PA WHAT'S NEW The latest addition to the luxury hotel and event venue landscape in the Pocono Mountains is The Swiftwater, whose focus is on high-touch hospitality and that serves as a great option for executive retreats wanting to get away without giving up amenities.

Featuring contemporary-rustic elegance and personalized concierge service, the hotel accommodates gatherings and celebrations seeking an exclusive experience. Meeting configurations will be available for 5 to 40 guests, or groups of up to 100 can enjoy an evening together at Desaki Restaurant on-site. The Swiftwater is well-suited to host executive board meetings and retreats, intimate receptions, as well as team building.

Great Wolf Lodge recently completed a multi-million-dollar renovation and expansion with their new Woodland Villas featuring spaces dreamed up by celebrity designer Nate Berkus.

In the heart of small-town Milford, Historic Forest Hall received a refresh with venue space for art exhibitions and immersive showcases.


As a four-season destination, the Poconos Mountains presents a plethora of pre- and post-event activities for attendees to enjoy. Many of them extend their stays to get out on one of the legendary local golf courses like the island links at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Course or Jack Frost National.

Experience the thrill of a whitewater rafting expedition, splash the day away at enormous indoor and outdoor waterparks at resorts like Kalahari, Skytop, or Camelback, or fly down the slopes in the winter while skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing.

Visitors also can explore the area’s many parks or small towns and experience the vibrant local fine arts and theater scene.

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Indoor waterpark, H20oooooh at Split Rock Resort in the Pocono Mountains, PA; photo courtesy:


Camelback Lodge features amazing views from their ballroom and their event venue, The Summit House, along with everything needed on-site for team building.

The region’s largest property is Kalahari Resorts with 205,000-square feet of meeting space and 1,000 sleeping rooms all under one roof, plus premium dining options and activities, such as escape rooms, mini golf, a ropes course, and its indoor and outdoor waterparks.

Skytop Lodge is like a historic playground set on 5,500-acres where guests can hike to the resort’s private waterfall, spend some time on the lake, try skeet shooting, or play a round of golf on their award-winning course.



Having recently wrapped up Pocono Mountains Restaurant Week, fresh spring flavors and dining deals at 40 homegrown local eateries throughout the region’s four counties were among the highlights.

In fact, there is always something delicious cooking at Poconos restaurants all throughout the year. On May 19, the Kalahari Food and (Not Just) Wine Festival will allow guests to embark on an elevated culinary adventure.

Escape to the Pocono Mountains for your next event or company retreat and discover the perfect blend of business and leisure. Up-to-date immenities and all of the latest tech making hosting your meeting a breeze. Afterwards, immerse in the outdoors with thrilling whitewater rafting adventures, or unwind at picturesque wineries and breweries. Foster team bonding amidst stunning natural landscapes, creating memories that last beyond the boardroom. Email to learn more.

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 61
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions


Give your next meeting world-class inspiration with over 20,000 square feet of convertible meeting space tucked away in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Mount Airy Casino Resort offers a AAA Four-Diamond experience for groups of 10 to 1,650. When the work is done, guests can explore non-stop gaming action, award-winning dining, exciting entertainment and luxurious accommodations, all in one place!

For more information, visit, call our group sales team at 570-243-5125 or scan the QR code.

The Premier Adult Resort


Lehigh Valley, PA


In 2024, Lehigh Valley continues to expand with new and renovated meeting venues, delicious dining options, and endless entertainment. The first dive coaster in the Northeast will be ready to ride at Dorney Park and WildWater Kingdom with their season opening in May. This fall, Allentown welcomes a new boutique hotel, Moxy by Marriott, and a state-of-the-art entertainment venue, The Archer Music Hall, with acts presented by Live Nation.

Dinner is served at Thyme Rooftop Grille in Easton, located on the 7th floor of the newly constructed Commodore apartment complex, where attendees can take in breathtaking views while dining. New to south side Bethlehem is Alibi Bar and Lounge, a vibrant, upscale restaurant.


There is so much to do before and after any event in Lehigh Valley. Grab a cup of coffee, attend a meeting, then head out for dinner. Spend an afternoon shopping at the Promenade Shops in Saucon Valley or window shop around downtown Easton. Get tickets to an event at the PPL center in Allentown, or get the group together for drinks and see a show at ArtsQuest with a view of the legendary Steel Stacks.

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 63
Miller Symphony Hall in downtown Allentown, PA; photo courtesy: Discover Lehigh Valley

Hotel Bethlehem

Historic Hotel Bethlehem recently opened extended stay suites with an on-site spa. The Suites at 462 by Hotel Bethlehem feature nine Industrial Era-style meets modern luxury one-bedroom apartment-style suites located directly across the street from the hotel. Longer stays afford guests the ability to shop, dine and participate in festivals, events, historic tours, and more. These roomy spaces either overlook Bethlehem’s Historic Main Street for a view of downtown or are tucked away for peace and quiet. They also include full access to the hotel's amenities.

Located on the second floor of the suites is the Steel Magnolia Spa and Salon. There is a full menu of services for nails, hair, facials, massage, wraps, makeup, waxing, and more.

With the arrival of warmer weather, the hotel will offer a dinner series featuring wine or cocktails from special hosts paired with an inviting menu crafted by the hotel's award-winning culinary team, led by Executive Chef Rodney Rivera. The dinner series will include: A Night In Portugal by Vintage Imports; Xplorations: Cocktail Dinner by Kilimanjaro Distillery from Xplorer Spirits; and Sun N' Fun Wine Dinner by Stone Farm Cellars and Vineyard.

In addition, the hotel is partnering with Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites to offer packages that include tickets, and the property plans to bring back Saturday history tours this summer, as well.

For off-site activities, Bethlehem is a great city for meetings. It is very walkable and easy to navigate for leisure or group activities such as shopping, sampling different dining options, history tours, and options for team building. Downtown features unique stores, fun shopping and dining experiences rather than chains, and Bethlehem is home to several historical firsts in the nation, including two national landmarks.

Bethlehem’s Moravian Church Settlements have been nominated to gain World Heritage Site status. The city has both Colonial and Industrial Era roots, as well as modern attractions to keep people with a variety of interests entertained. Visitors can take walking tours or visit museums and galleries throughout the Historic and SouthSide Arts Districts. The old Bethlehem SteelStacks is a cultural center that always has events going on.

For dining, Hotel Bethlehem has two acclaimed restaurants and offers both indoor and outdoor dining. 1741 on the Terrace features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the historic Moravian Church Settlements. The on-site taproom is full of photos of the hotel’s famous guests, and the property even offer its own ice cream shop.

Nearby, Apollo Grille has a comfortable, yet lively atmosphere and an extensive menu, while Twisted Olive offers its unique take on dishes from around the world.

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Vault 634 combines history and sophistication, while events at Glasbern Hotel provide a peaceful retreat in the Lehigh Valley hills.

The award-winning Historic Hotel Bethlehem takes pride in the details and is surrounded by local food and entertainment.

Plan to work, stay, and play at Wind Creek Bethlehem. Business professionals, trade show attendees,

Meeting space at Blue Mountain Resort in Palmerton, PA; photo courtesy: Discover Lehigh Valley

meeting planners, and all guests have access to the resort’s amenities, such as its ultramodern hotel, a wide range of dining options from a classic American steakhouse to a buffet to express market bites and more, team building and group activities, an on-site spa, upscale lounges and nightlife, as well as free, live entertainment every weekend.

More one-of-a-kind meeting and event experiences can be found at Lehigh Valley Zoo, Miller Symphony Hall, America on Wheels, and other area attractions.

Lehigh Valley’s Got It

Easy access and a convenient, central location. Located in the heart of the Northeast, Lehigh Valley, Pa., is conveniently located just 90 minutes west of New York City, 60 minutes north of Philadelphia and less than three hours from Washington, D.C.

Our team is here to enhance any guest experience with a personal touch. We offer complimentary services to provide the ultimate tool in assisting any planner. PLAN YOUR EVENT TODAY


Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 65 ALLENTOWN A L L E N T O W N EASTON E A S T O N D&L Trail & r i l D&L Trail D & L T r a i New Jersey w 78 22 78 78 476 LehighRiver Delaware reviR Center Valley Emmaus Nazareth Bath Whitehall i BETHLEHEM B E T H L E H E M DORNEY PARK & PARK WILDWATER KINGDOM PPL CENTER COCA COLA PARK LEHIGH VALLEY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LEHIGH VALLEY ZOO STEELSTACKS STEELSTACKS™ WIND CREEK CREEK® BETHLEHEM CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCE™ THE PROMENADE SHOPS SHOPS AT SAUCON VALLEY Home to some of the world’s favorite brands Stress-free air travel at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) Dine
your thirst 30+ Meeting Hotels Allentown Bethlehem Easton
& quench
MAIZEE FREEMAN Manager, Tourism Development

The Maine Central Car, part of scenic train rides at Colebrook Railroad in Boyertown, PA; photo credit: Colebrookdale Railroad; courtesy:


The Redner's Event Center at FirstEnergy Stadium is the newest hospitality-related offering in Pennsylvania’s Americana Region, which includes over 14,000-square feet of versatile event space.

Catering by DoubleTree Reading expanded its catering venues to include unique venues beyond its base at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Reading. Its catering services now are available at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Reading Country Club, Berks Nature, Kraras Hall of Wyomissing, and the Redner's Event Center.

Residence Inn by Marriott Reading is the area’s newest hotel and serves an excellent option for the corporate meetings market.


During the spring and summer, catch a Reading Fightin Phils baseball game at FirstEnergy Stadium, the DoubleA Affiliate team of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Take in the views at the Reading Pagoda or Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Enjoy a concert or show at the Santander Arena or Performing Arts Center. Visit the Reading Public Museum, which offers world-class exhibits, or learn about local culture at the Berks History Center or the Berks County Heritage Center.

Enjoy interacting with artists at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, once a goggle factory, now a state-of-the-art center that includes artists' studios, galleries, exhibits, a hot glass studio, and a film theater.

Step back in time by visiting the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum, Colebrookdale Railroad, the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, or the newest museum in the area, General Carl Spaatz National USAAF Museum. Not far away is the Daniel Boone Homestead.

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Reading & Berks County, PA


DoubleTree by Hilton Reading is one of the region’s top meeting spots, and it sits across the street from the Santander Arena.

Unique venues for events in the area include: GoggleWorks Center for the Arts; the Reading Public Museum; Berks History Center; Folino Estate; Stokesay Castle; and the Reading Liederkranz.

Several historic sites provide lovely backdrops for indoor and outdoor event options, such as Conrad Weiser Homestead, Daniel Boone Homestead, The South Mountain Inn, and the Rodale Institute.


Offering eclectic culinary options to please all palates, from fine dining to casual fare, the variety of restaurants in the Americana Region is sure to please. Top options include: Folino Estate; Judy's on Cherry; The Knight's Pub at Stokesay Castle; Bridge Inn Pleasantville; Pourhouse American Grille; Café Sweet Street; Coastal Grille; Doc & Bubba's; Stampede Barbecue; West Reading Tavern and Restaurant; Saucony Creek; Chatty Monks Brewing Company; and 1787 Brewing Company.

Santander Arena

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 67 Let me help you plan! Margo DeRouchie 800-443-6610 We are home to the awardwinning DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, exceptional venue spaces; a castle and a state-ofthe-art art center! Take your pick of beautiful meeting spaces in Pennsylvania’s Americana Region.
Reading Public Museum DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
Stokesay Castle Unique destination. Budget-friendly facilities. Customer-focused service.
68 May z June 2024 Lancaster, PA
an easily accessible destination
offers a
urban style
rural splen-
event space
conference facilities
venues to meet
groups large
small. WHAT'S NEW
space improvements
continuing at two of the area’s most significant meetings
the Lancaster Marriott
Penn Square
DoubleTree Resort
Lancaster. LocationReport CENTRAL & WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA Lancaster County is
blend of
dor. The area boasts almost 9,000 overnight rooms and approximately one-million total square feet of modern
in its
wide range of
and the
Meeting space at Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, PA; photo courtesy:

Lancaster County also boasts three new sites for events: the Barn at Paradise Station in Ronks, a restored and technologically-enhanced 19th century Pennsylvania Bank Barn; the finishing touches of the 4,500-square foot Imperial Terrace, which completes the Imperial Event Center at the Holiday Inn Lancaster in the city; and the mezzanine balcony space at Decades in the city, with dedicated games and a dining area.

The return of Hershey Farm Restaurant, slated for spring, follows a complete rebuild that features an enhanced Grand Smorgasbord and new dining options.

Entering its first full year in 2024, Bird-in-Hand Artisan Village features quality hand-crafted, locally-made goods and retail in a historic building anchored by Creative Rustic Furniture.


The Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum (just outside Lancaster City) provides an authentic immersion in early Pennsylvania German life (1740-1940), with interactive demonstrations from tinsmiths, blacksmiths, and tavern keepers in period costume.

The main hall of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg features a backdrop of historic locomotives and vintage railroad cars.

The picturesque grounds and mansion of President James Buchanan’s Wheatland in Lancaster City were home to the man who preceded Lincoln in the White House.

Sight & Sound Theatres recently debuted its original production of “Daniel,” where faith-filled hope triumphs over every adversity, from a fiery furnace to the infamous den of lions.

The Sky Bridge climbing structure at Lancaster Science Factory highlights the engineering principles of bridges, and its 35 climber panels reach up to a height of 25feet.

Refreshing Mountain in Stevens offers meeting room options, dining facilities, high adventure activities that include team building formats, along with other recreational opportunities.

Bube’s Brewery in Mount Joy is the only intact 19thcentury lager brewery in America. Its complex contains several dining and event spaces, and it offers tours, Murder Mystery dinners, and themed feasts.


The Lancaster County Convention Center and adjoining Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square in Lancaster City seamlessly incorporate the 110-year-old Beaux Arts façade of the landmark former Watt & Shand department store and offer a combined 90,000-square feet of meeting space.

The full-service properties Eden Resort and Suites and DoubleTree Resort by Hilton - Lancaster, both just outside Lancaster City, feature over 25,000- and 20,000square feet of function space, respectively.

Also, just outside of Lancaster City, the Wyndham Lancaster Resort and Convention Center has refurbished its guest rooms, event space, common areas, grounds, and offers upgraded amenities.

Spooky Nook Sports complex in Manheim contains 100,000-square feet of meeting and exhibit space and the on-site Warehouse Hotel.

The 93-room Cork Factory Hotel in Lancaster City boasts 9,750-square feet of meeting and event space that features a catering kitchen and a covered outdoor veranda. The property is comprised of buildings that once housed the historic Armstrong Cork and Kerr Glass companies.

The Inn at Leola Village - a AAA Four Diamond-rated property in Leola - has meeting and event space totaling 9,600-square feet and 62 guestrooms.

The Lancaster Arts Hotel in Lancaster City offers meeting space and 63 guest rooms.

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John J. Jeffries in Lancaster City is the epitome of farm-to-table dining in Lancaster County.

Bistro Barberet, also in the city, recently became the first eatery in the U.S. to earn a “World’s French Restaurant” designation from the French Association of Master Restaurateurs.

Wholesome and hearty PA Dutch dishes are served at Miller’s Smorgasbord in Ronks, the oldest smorgasbord in the county, which is celebrating its 95th anniversary this year.

Agape Café and Grille in Ronks serves up a welcoming atmosphere along with delightful food.

For dining at Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, adjacent to the Lancaster County Convention Center, Plough serves up classic American fare highlighting local ingredients. Alternatively, enjoy city views at The Exchange, a rooftop bar and dining spot with creative cocktails.

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Lancaster Central Market

Hershey & Harrisburg, PA


The Villas at The Hotel Hershey mark one of the largest investments in the iconic hotel’s 90-year history. The elevated luxury accommodation experience opens in two phases: Phase 1, the reimagining of the former Woodside Cottages into The Villas (10 cottages, 48 total sleeping rooms), which opens Memorial Day Weekend; and Phase 2, involving construction of nine new Villas (50 new sleeping rooms) that are slated to open in late 2025.

Summer 2024 amenities include a Concierge Lounge, continental breakfast, evening hors d’oeuvres with beer and wine, plus desserts prepared by the hotel’s awardwinning culinary team, Hershey character appearances and s’mores roasts, Hersheypark admission for each day of the stay, and more.

Hidden Still Spirits is adding a new retail and tasting area, a 200-seat Events Center, 20,000-barrel Rickhouse, Cigar Bar and Lounge with humidor-ed lockers, and an outdoor patio facing the Hotel Hershey and Hersheypark. The distillery currently has a lofted space above its full-service restaurant and bar area for semiprivate meetings.


Hershey’s Chocolate World, Hersheypark®, and the Pennsylvania State Capitol are iconic destinations that will always be on guests’ bucket lists, but for hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path experiences, Visit Hershey Harrisburg has launched several new trails and experiences.

The Brew Barons Beer Trail (mobile passport) highlights more than 25 craft brewery locations. The Chocolate & More Sweet Treat Trail features small businesses and corner stores with tasty treats. The Adventure Trail maps out hiking, biking, and kayaking opportunities. The Black Travel Experience connects travelers to Black-owned businesses, events, and unique cultural

experiences. The Harrisburg Arts District highlights the creative heartbeat of the Capital City.

The Hershey Harrisburg Region is tailor-made for “adding a day” to a sports event or a business trip, and these trails easily connect travelers to attractions or experiences. The trails also emphasize the fact that the region is a dynamic destination for adventure, art, history, culinary interests, sports, and more.

Guests can add the Hershey Harrisburg Savings Pass to their mobile phone to access current deals at participating restaurants, attractions, and experiences, as well.

Adventure Explorations is one of the go-to team building and outdoor adventure outfits in the area. With headquarters located on the grounds of The Hotel Hershey, their expert team can create specialized itineraries on- or off-site.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse is an entertainment complex featuring slots and table games, live horse racing, live music, and both casual and fine dining. An outdoor performance venue with over 5,000-seats hosts summer concerts under the stars, and the venue has more than 6,500-square feet of flexible meeting space.


Hershey Lodge offers a resort setting with more than 100,000-square feet of flexible meeting space and state-of-the-art services.

The Hilton Harrisburg is a top destination for premier city-centered meeting space with on-site lodging and easy access to downtown Harrisburg retail, attractions, and nightlife.

The State Museum of PA in Harrisburg is an iconic structure adjacent to the PA Capitol Complex. Its halls and exhibit space flex to become unique meeting spaces for groups both large and small, such as a reception in Memorial Hall with an 18-foot-tall bronze statue of William Penn as the backdrop.

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Brewery Tour at Tröegs Independent Brewing in Hershey, PA; photo courtesy:

Built in the 1920s, Historic King Mansion in Harrisburg is an architectural gem offering accommodations, flexible event space, and sunset views over the Susquehanna River.


The Chocolatier at Hersheypark is a year-round dining destination with a rotating menu of dishes inspired by chocolate and other Hershey’s flavors. The restaurant offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience, amusement park views, and - of course - desserts. Protip: Guests can head downstairs to Hersheypark Supply Co. for souvenirs after their meal.

The Englewood in Hershey is an all-inone destination with seasonal menus, an on-site brewery, and live entertainment from the indoor stage area or the outdoor deck and patio.

The Millworks in Harrisburg features indoor and outdoor dining, a biergarten, on-site brewery, artist retail area, and artist studios.

There are over 25 breweries and tasting locations featured on the Hershey Harrisburg Brew Barons Beer Trail, and many stops feature full restaurants. Meeting attendees who enjoy craft beer can use a free mobile passport to find locations nearby and check out what is on tap. The Brewery Tour at Troeg’s Independent Brewing often receives “Best Brewery Tour” accolades in local and national publications.

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 73 Sweet Hospitality CAPITOL CONVENIENCE. Over 2.5 MILLION 9,400 sleeping rooms Jenny McConnell | Cell: 717-451-7953 sq. ft. of 昀exible meeting and event space. Over 100 attractions

York County


The Best Western Plus Heritage Rail Inn and Suites is newly-renovated and rebranded with 128 guestrooms. Drawing from York's rich history, the railroad and industrial themed property pays homage to the local community and York's significance in American culture.

Two Hilton properties, the Hampton Inn and Suites York South and the Home2Suites York recently completed a multi-million-dollar renovation. The Hampton offers meeting space, while the Home2 Suites features a kitchenette in every room. There are multiple restaurants within walking distance.

The York County History Center is set to open a new state-of-the-art facility this summer and will serve as a major cultural anchor and community space in downtown York City. The new history center will include a 15,000-square foot main exhibit gallery, a smaller gallery for changing exhibits, and a spacious lobby that can host events.


Mural Park in the Royal Square District features 30 colorful, largerthan-life murals in a one-block radius created by local and national artists, plus there are unique shops and galleries within the area. When sharing photos on social media, please tag #RoyalSquareMurals.

Brewery Tours include knowledgeable and experienced Beer Guides who lead an educational and entertaining craft beer experience. Enjoy guided craft beer tastings, behindthe-scenes access, historical and local anecdotes, and more.

York County has four state parks and 11 county parks, including the award-winning York County Heritage Rail Trail. Roundtop Mountain Resort features ten paintball fields, plus skiing, snowboarding, and tubing in winter.


Heritage Hills Resort is a full-service property featuring 104 guestrooms, on-site dining, an expansive outdoor patio, meeting space, an 18-hole golf course, fullservice salon and spa, and familyoriented recreational attractions, including snow tubing and ice skating in the colder months.

In the heart of downtown York City, the one-of-a-kind, restored Yorktowne Hotel has been considered the “Cornerstone of York” since 1925. This grand hotel borrows from its rich history and blends it with contemporary amenities from the Hilton family of brands, and so much more. It is within walking distance from many restaurants, shops, and activities.

Historic Wyndridge Farm brews award-winning farm-crafted beer and cider in a state-of-the-art, 5,000-square foot automated brew house that produces year-round and seasonal craft beverages. Wyndridge offers multiple event spaces,

a Pub Room with its own entrance, outdoor space, and The Inn at Wyndridge Farm, a five-bedroom destination for groups seeking privacy.

Four Points by Sheraton near historic downtown York City provides easy access to popular nearby attractions. The hotel includes an onsite restaurant, indoor heated swimming pool, and meeting space.


Mesa Moreira is a family-owned restaurant that showcases the authentic flavors of Portugal in downtown York.

The Glen Rock Mill Inn is an upscale restaurant and historic inn serving fine regional cuisine and spirits in the historic environment of an original working mill. Spaces are available for large and small groups, from a dedicated private banquet area to an exclusive wine cellar. Adjacent to the inn, Simply Local is a boutique indoor artisan market and gift shop.

A local favorite, Viet Thai Café has been serving Thai and Vietnamese fusion cuisine for more than two decades. Earlier this year, they were included in a listing of USA Today’s Top Restaurants of the Year.

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The Gettysburg Hotel, established in 1797 and situated just steps from where President Lincoln finished writing the Gettysburg Address, underwent a renovation of all 119 guestrooms in 2023 after having updated its meeting spaces in 2022. Inside, guests will find an impressive vault that harkens back to when the space once served as Gettysburg National Bank.

Wyndham Gettysburg, the 248-room hotel with the largest meeting venue in the area, has a full renovation scheduled for 2024 into 2025. Its event space spans 61,000-square feet across 18 rooms, and its scenic outdoor terrace can host 400 for a reception. Enjoy a movie night just a short walk away at the Gateway Theater.

Nearby is one of the newest restaurants in the heart of downtown, Sign of the Buck, which boasts a New American menu inspired by French cuisine composed of ingredients sourced from local farms.

Beyond the Battle, one of Gettysburg’s newest museums, highlights the civilian experiences of this historic town through 12 interactive exhibit galleries that take guests through the age of the dinosaurs, the Revolution, Civil War, World War II and up to modern day. The second floor of the museum features an event center overlooking Gettysburg Battlefield.


Hold your next event in a location built on leadership.

From historic sites to modern cuisine—Gettysburg’s unique venues will make your event one for the history books. All with easy access from Harrisburg, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

Let Lindsay Methlie, Director of Sales, help plan your next event, meeting, conference or retreat in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 800-337-5015

Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 75
Gettysburg, PA
The Lodges at Gettysburg, modern, private lodges, retreat, and event center in Gettysburg, PA; photo courtesy:


Tour Gettysburg National Military Park, federally preserved land that stretches across 6,000-acres where soldiers fought and died over three days in 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg. The 16-stop self-guided driving tour takes visitors to historic sites across the battlefield. Licensed battlefield guides are available for tours by car, bus, bicycle, horseback, and Segway. Licensed town guides provide walking tours of downtown, as well.

Leadership programs inspired by Gettysburg’s history provide insightful lessons that bring the classroom to the battlefield. Check out the Gettysburg Leadership Experience, Higher Ground Leadership at Gettysburg, The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg, and Tigrett Leadership Academy.

Visitors can fill their days hopping from one museum to the next, but when they are ready for a break from the history lessons there are dozens of unique shops to explore. Gettysburg’s lively downtown is full of mom-andpop businesses carrying a variety of treasures.


In addition to the Wyndham and Gettysburg Hotel, Federal Pointe Inn, Liberty Mountain Resort, and The Lodges at Gettysburg are among the top locations at which to hold meetings and events in the area.

Federal Pointe Inn was originally the town’s first high school, transformed in 2012 into a 23-suite luxury inn. Reminders of school days can be found throughout the building, including original blackboards and class photos. The Federal Pointe Inn offers intimate meeting rooms, the Pointe Pub on-site, or the nearby Federal Pointe Grill.

Liberty Mountain Resort is 20-minutes south of Gettysburg. A 114-room all-season resort, it offers a winter escape with skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. When the weather turns warm, it is home to the 18hole Carroll Valley Golf Course. The aptly named Over-

look Room at the Highland Lodge, which includes an outdoor terrace, can host up to 300 guests. Additional meeting space can be found at the Boulder Ridge Lodge and Alpine Lodge.

The Lodges at Gettysburg, minutes from downtown, is set on 63-acres along a scenic ridgeline. Its Gloryridge lodge offers meeting and banquet space. Outdoors, visitors can explore hiking and biking trails, and there is a private lake. The 28 guest lodges encompass 45 rooms.


In addition to its crucial role in American history, Adams County also is home to rich agriculture, where multigenerational family farms lend themselves well to farm-to-table dining experiences. Visitors will find that many restaurants source local ingredients, like the bacon and pork chops served at Sign of the Buck. These pasture-raised meats travel five-miles to the restaurant from The Farmstead Butcher.

Mason Dixon Distillery and Restaurant uses grain grown on the Gettysburg Battlefield to make its spirits as part of a lease with the National Park Service. Mason Dixon also makes a pear brandy that has a whole pear in each bottle, grown by Hollabaugh Bros. just minutes away in Biglerville. The restaurant’s menu changes with the seasons to reflect what local farmers have harvested.

In 1776, the Reverend Alexander Dobbin built what is now known as the Dobbin House Tavern with its wellknown stone facade. Dine by candlelight beside a fireplace in the Alexander Dobbin Dining Rooms or enjoy a more casual experience in the Springhouse Tavern.

Not far away is a boutique inn and restaurant in Fairfield with a history that dates back even further. Guests of Mansion House 1757 have included abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. Chef and co-owner George Keeney is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, serving up farm-to-table dishes in the elegant, restored inn.

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Happy Valley, PA


The anticipated reopening of the famed Nittany Lion Inn marks the return of an icon to Happy Valley. The area’s most recognizable property is set to reopen in September and is expected to have an immediately impact on the local meeting and hospitality industries, set to increase the area’s conference inventory by 20 percent.

“The opening buzz will reverberate throughout our meetings market elevating the awareness of how unique Happy Valley is for mid-sized and small meetings, retreats, board meetings,” proclaims Dave Gerdes. “It also will shine light on other new developments coming to the area. A significant renovation at Toftrees will transform the resort into a Marriott Autograph Collection property by 2027. A new Holiday Inn will open later this year, too. Several other projects are set to break ground, including exciting developments in Bellefonte and downtown State College.”

“Our market demand has been very strong, and has shown the most improved REVPAR change in the state since the second half of 2022,” Gerdes continues. “Another unique meeting venue will be Brass 16823 in Bellefonte, which is a multi-purpose facility in a renovated brass factory... Numerous facilities are on campus at Penn State University, too.” | 814-865-1853 School of Hospitality Management

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Rendering of the new Triplett's bar at Nittany Lion Inn, slated to open in State College, PA this September

The Nittany Lion Inn

Ron Balle, vice president of sales and marketing for Scholar Hotels, discusses the reopening of the Nittany Lion Inn, and the excitement it is generating in Happy Valley. Part of Historic Hotels of America, the Nittany Lion Inn’s storied history has deep roots in both Happy Valley and Penn State University. “To be involved in the rebirth of such an important building to the area is a pretty big honor for us.”

Every part of the building is being renovated or restored, Balle says, from guestrooms to public space, meeting space, and all the food and beverage outlets, which are being refurbished and rebranded. The restaurant now will be called Lionne, an American brasserie, while the bar is being renamed Triplett’s, in honor of Wally Triplett, a trailblazing athlete with a legacy of breaking barriers and fostering inclusion. The Dear Joe Café & Bakery also has been added.

Scholar Hotels, the new owners of the Nittany Lion Inn, has strong ties to Penn State University. The idea for the company, which specializes in hotels on or near university campuses, was born out of a white paper written by a professor at Penn State University about the economic security of college towns. Gary Brandeis, its founder and CEO, is a Penn State alumnus who has remained involved with the university.

“We are a small team, but that makes us nimble… quick; we have a great collection of six hotels now in that market and we have hospitality professionals who have been with us for several years now… Our very first property in State College was the Hyatt Place, which we opened in 2017,” says Balle, “it was so successful that we made a deal for the Glennland Building and opened the Tapestry there, then we added the Courtyard and Residence Inn.”

The success of its Happy Valley portfolio has made the excitement around the Nittany Lion Inn’s reopening even greater. “By bringing the Nittany Lion Inn back, we are bringing 230 hotel rooms back into the market, but also 15,000-square feet of event space.”

Having multiple properties downtown provides planners with the opportunity to mix and match Scholar Hotels venues, and the walkability and the ease of transportation add to the attractiveness of the area.

“I think anchoring a great property like Nittany Lion Inn in the downtown area really lends itself to do more of those type of events for planners,” notes Balle, “a more open vision of what they want their event to be.”

The Nittany Lion Inn plans to work with the university, its faculty, sports department, and even its students. Groups have already reached out to ask about possible speakers from the faculty and the availability of Coach Franklin to address a group. There have been some NIL deals in the past where arrangements were made for student athletes to speak or network at different events. “We even have had organizations ask for student interns to assist them, so having that relationship with the university provides a lot of opportunities for meeting planners to really make their events unique,” notes Balle.

Happy Valley is home to a great restaurant and bar scene for afterhours events, and there is a lot to do outdoors, such as hiking and fly fishing. There is the sports connection at the university, too, which attracts a lot of people to the area.

Scholar Hotels is involved with the community and has a great relationship with the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, as well. “Scholar Hotels will be sponsoring the Hoppy Valley Beer Fest (May 11th) that the bureau put together. We hosted a reception at the Penn Stater for the Pennsylvania Bus Association in conjunction with the bureau,” notes Balle. “On top of that, there is Gary’s involvement with the community. We are involved with the chamber, the downtown district, and a lot of local non-profits… Anything where we can give back to the community, we are always excited to be involved.”

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Happy Valley boasts a central location in the state and easy access, plus no crowds, no wait lines, no traffic jams, and none of the chaos typically found in larger cities. One of the finest college towns in America, it is a true learning environment that fosters innovation, creativity, and team building.

“It can be electric,” says Gerdes. “People leave energized and inspired after a couple of days in Happy Valley!”


Great team building activities begin outside in an area that is surrounded by state forest. Hiking, fishing, and conservation projects all are part of the list of local options. Exercise, fresh air, and team bonding are just a few of the immediate benefits.

Visit a member of the Central PA Tasting Trail, or enjoy an afternoon in the historic towns of Bellefonte and Boalsburg.

Explore Penn’s Cave, take a walking tour of Penn State’s main campus, or check out numerous local museums and historical markers.


Agriculture is in Happy Valley’s DNA, as the area features numerous Field-to-Fork establishments, like ReFarm Café, Hublersburg Inn, Pine Grove Hall, GiGi’s Southern Table, Creekside at Gamble Mill, Central Reservations, as well as longtime favorites such as The Tavern and Allen Street Grille, Grace, Duffy’s, American Ale House, Mercato, Field, and more.

Altoona & Blair County


For its outstanding variety of year-round themed excursions, the Everett Railroad has been nominated for USA

Today’s 10 Best Scenic Railroads in the nation. The Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum – the only interactive railroad museum in the country – dedicated its newly renovated rail yard, which includes a stage, turf, and gathering space for events.

The Blair County Convention Center enhanced its lower level with a new water feature and revamped meeting spaces to highlight Blair County’s attractions and historical locations.

The Hampton Inn and Suites and the Quality Inn and Suites/Suburban Studios both have recently undergone renovations, and several other hotels have plans to renovate soon, as well.


Have fun at the mini-golf courses and batting cages at Lakemont Park, or enjoy indoor ice skating year-round at Galactic Ice. For rides and slides, visit DelGrosso Amusement Park and Laguna Splash water park.

The Altoona Curve, AA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, are in their 26th season at PNG Field, a stadium that also hosts a multitude of non-baseball events, including a concert by Miranda Lambert.

Railroad history comes alive at the interactive Railroaders Memorial Museum and at the World-Famous Horseshoe Curve, while steam train excursions run regularly on the Everett Railroad.

Hike, bike, or walk on the extensive rails-to-trails of Canoe Creek State Park.

Indoor fun includes trampoline adventures at Urban Air; laser tag, video games and more can be found at Slinky Action Zone (home of the original Slinky) and Tilt Studios.


Larger venues in Blair County include the Blair County Convention Center, the Casino at Lakemont Park, and the Jaffa Shrine. The area also is home to dozens of unique, more intimate venues for smaller gatherings.

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Local entrepreneurs are leading the two biggest trends these days: new coffee shops and craft breweries. The smaller, more intimate coffee shops are serving an array of beverages, with some offering breakfast and lunch, and homemade bakery items. Breweries are opening in renovated buildings and placing an emphasis on high-quality beverages and food prepared and served by dedicated kitchens on-site.

A distillery has opened in the area next to a winery. Together, along with the local craft breweries, these venues will participate in Pennsylvania’s newest and longest craft beverage tour, spanning eight neighboring counties, with Blair County in the middle of it all.

Pittsburgh, PA


VisitPITTSBURGH’s recent rebranding has not only introduced the city to a new wave of leisure travelers, but has increased the opportunity for business events to make Pittsburgh their destination of choice, as well, such as PyCon US and the 2024 Association of Study of African American Life and History Annual Conference.

One of the biggest updates coming to the city is the opening of a new Pittsburgh International Airport. The Allegheny Airport Authority has been working on a $1.6-billion effort to transform the airport experience that will be revealed in early 2025. The entirely new airport facilities will aim to comply with LEED® Silver certification.

In 2024, Pittsburgh’s iconic Sister Bridges came to life, lighting up with more than 600,000 color LED lights and enhancing the connection of the bridges between the Cultural District and the Warhol Museum’s Pop District on the North Shore. And in 2025, the Sister Bridges Experience project will be completed, transforming two spaces on each side of the rivers into a renowned destination that functions like no other open space in the city.

The Andy Warhol Museum’s Pop District expansion is expected to be completed in 2025. This $60-million project will see the museum grow into six blocks of the North Shore, transforming the space to feature a multilevel venue available for corporate events of up to 1,000 guests and more.

This May, the Pittsburgh Glass Center, one of the city’s most unique craft arts attractions, will complete its $15-million expansion.


The Inclines offer unique modes of transportation that lead to the top of Mt. Washington and feature views of the downtown skyline, the famed three rivers (Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio), and many of the city’s neighborhoods.

The historic Strip District has expanded over the past few years and is always bustling with its numerous markets, shops, bars and restaurants, gift shops and more.

Voted “Best History Museum in America” by USA Today, the Heinz History Center is the state’s largest history museum showcasing Smithsonian artifacts daily.

Experience two world-renowned museums in one at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Carnegie Museum of Art connects people to art, ideas, and creativity, while Carnegie Museum of Natural History houses one of the world’s best original dinosaur displays, a hall of minerals and gems, and a working paleontology lab right out in the open.


Centrally located downtown, the Platinum LEED®-Certified David L. Lawrence Convention Center is home to approximately 1.5-million square feet of meeting and exhibition space.

Cadence+ At the Strip, offers luxury event space paired with scratch cooking, craft beverages, and live music in a modern-day speakeasy.

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Shorty’s Pins x Pints boasts up to 15,500-square feet of space in a fun atmosphere on the North Shore.

Engine House 25, home of The Clemente Museum, features two floors of museum space and a wine cellar that can be rented out for groups.

There are several other unique spaces along with hotels throughout the area that offer meeting and event space, including the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, the Omni William Penn Hotel, the Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square and more.


New restaurants and concepts play a large role in Pittsburgh’s hot culinary renaissance. In fact, there are now more than 100 restaurants in the downtown area alone and many more throughout the city’s 90 unique and diverse neighborhoods.

Pittsburgh is known for its chef-driven fare. In fact, the city is home to more than a dozen James Beard Award semifinalists, such as: Apteka (Bloomfield); Chengdu

Gourmet (Squirrel Hill); 40 North at Alphabet City (Northside); and fet-fisk (Bloomfield).

Other popular choices include: Monterey Bay Fish Grotto (Mt. Washington); DiAnoia’s Eatery (Strip District); Con Alma (downtown); Spork (Garfield); Altius (Mt. Washington); and Fish nor Fowl (East Liberty).

Novo Asian Food Hall features seven stalls, each individually-owned by Pittsburgh restauranteurs, in an open kitchen concept.

Space Bar features molecular mixology in a spaceshipthemed venue in Market Square.

Barcelona Wine Bar offers an extensive menu of charcuterie and tapas with a menu that features Spanish, South American, and Mediterranean cuisine and more than 400 wines.

City Kitchen is a unique, chef-empowering model that showcases an array of restaurants, offering guests a distinct, yet flexible culinary experience. Plus, City Kitchen offers space for casual events.

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Grand Concourse restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA; photo credit: Jin Wu; courtesy:

Around Th


The Wildwoods, NJ - Booking a vacation in the Wildwoods is easier than ever, as the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority announced the launch of a new online hotel and attraction reservation booking system at the destination’s official tourism website,

Visitors initially will be able to book accommodations to several Wildwoods hotels and motels by clicking the Book Your Stay web page. Soon to follow, events, tickets, attractions, concerts, and other experiences offered by participating establishments will be able to be added to a vacation itinerary, allowing visitors to plan and book their entire vacation prior to leaving home.


Reading, PA - Get acquainted with the sweet - and sometimes salty - side of Pennsylvania's Americana Region by following Berks County's Sweet & Salty Trail. Their newest experience pass takes participants on a delicious journey across the region to ice cream shops, candy stores, and pretzel bakeries where they will find the yummiest treats. When arriving at a trail stop, check-in to discover sweet offers and collect points redeemable for prizes. Berks County's Sweet & Salty Trail runs through October.

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he Region


Washington, DC - ASAE debuted a new version of Collaborate, a global communications hub for ASAE members to network, share insights, and find resources and meaningful connections.

“Whether you just want to bounce an idea off your colleagues or search for models or samples for a particular project you’re working on, Collaborate is an invaluable forum for gathering feedback and finding resources,” said ASAE President and CEO, Michelle Mason.


Atlantic City, NJ – Bally’s Atlantic City is commemorating its 45th Anniversary by introducing a range of new amenities and special offerings to enhance the guest experience. Building upon the successful completion of over $100-million in renovations in 2022, Bally's has announced even more improvements. On June 28th, Bally’s will celebrate these new offerings with ribbon cuttings, cake, food sampling, themed cocktails, entertainment, and the debut of Bally’s original slot machine.

This summer, Bally's is reintroducing Park Place Prime, a contemporary steakhouse, under its original name. The dining room is undergoing a complete transformation to ensure a luxurious dining experience. In addition, the new Legacy Lounge offers the ultimate VIP Players Club experience after completing its own transformation.

Guests also will have a chance to travel back in time and enjoy the sights and sounds from when the property first opened its doors in 1979 as they present Disco Inferno in the Bally’s Showroom. The tribute features the music of The Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Michael Jackson, KC and the Sunshine Band, and ABBA, and after the show, keep celebrating at the Disco Inferno Pop Up Bar in The Carousel Bar for a night of live entertainment.

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Caesars Entertainment celebrated Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), an important opportunity for businesses and destinations across the world to recognize that #MeetingsMatter. Caesars Entertainment sponsored a wellness session during Meeting Professional International's 6th annual digital broadcast titled “Wellness Resilience: Winning Even When Things Go Awry.” Viewers embarked on a journey of self-discovery and perspective change in this captivating segment with Kelly Smith, Vice President of Sales for Meetings and Events, Caesars Entertainment, and Nolan Nichols, Keynote Speaker and Founder, A Million Dreams.


Philadelphia, PA - The year of the dragon soars into summer 2024. Historic Philadelphia, Inc., along with Tianyu Arts and Culture, has announced the return of the 2024 Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival to Franklin Square from June 20 - August 18, 2024.

In addition to the light installations, visitors can watch live cultural stage performances, see the choreographed fountain light show in the historic Rendell Family Fountain, enjoy expanded food and drink options, and shop for Chinese folk artists’ crafts along with Festival-themed merchandise.

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he Region


Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa announced it will host Savor Borgata’s Summer Social: A Taste of Paradise on June 28, 2024 at Borgata’s Outdoor Pool. This flavor-packed event will be emceed by James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Michael Symon of Angeline, and will feature specialty culinary items from Borgata’s restaurants, crafted cocktails, and lively entertainment.

“We’re thrilled to host Savor Borgata’s Summer Social: A Taste of Paradise,” said Anthony Caratozzolo, Vice President of Hospitality for the MGM resort property. “Summer Social is not just a culinary event; it’s a celebration of flavors that define Borgata. We’re proud to showcase our exceptional culinary teams outside their restaurants, bringing our guests together through their shared love of food.”


West Orange, NJ - Thomas Edison National Historical Park has officially reopened the Black Maria, a replica of the world’s first motion picture studio. A National Park Service preservation crew has been rehabilitating the Black Maria over the past two years. Its reopening represents the first public access to the venue since the mid-1980s when the building was used to exhibit films. As part of the rehabilitation, new exhibits and interpretive panels were added, including a replica film backdrop, a replica kinetograph, replica kinetoscopes, a video exhibit of select films produced in the Black Maria, along with period clothes and hats for visitors who want to create their own films or selfies.

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Philadelphia, PA - Loews Philadelphia Hotel has announced the debut of the Free Spirited by Loews program, showcasing their on-site mixology talent who craft libations that focus on locally sourced ingredients and unique flavor combinations. Beyond the bar, Free Spirited by Loews will seamlessly integrate into catering and event planning, offering a curated selection of non-alcoholic beverages. Moreover, this program will be infused into brand-wide programming throughout the year.

As an added touchpoint, Loews Philadelphia Hotel and Bank & Bourbon are including these specialty cocktails into their standard cocktail menus, too, with each drink clearly marked by an icon denoting its low or no ABV (alcohol by volume) content. This thoughtful approach ensures that individuals seeking alternatives to traditional alcoholic beverages have access to a wide range of options while providing complete transparency and clarity.


Atlantic City, NJ - Atlantic City is getting an all-new treat. Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro will open Buddy’s Boardwalk Empire at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City in early summer 2024. This new concept from Buddy Valastro’s Restaurant Group will be located in the main lobby and will offer guests an array of Jersey-style sandwiches, a diverse selection of pizzas, an innovative new pasta station, and Valastro's iconic desserts and cakes fresh from New Jersey’s own Carlo’s Bake Shop.

“We’re incredibly excited to welcome Buddy’s newest venture to Harrah’s,” said Gregg Klein, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Harrah’s Resort. “His innovative approach to combining traditional Italian fare with the authentic Atlantic City spirit perfectly complements our commitment to producing exceptional experiences for our guests. This all-new, unique dining concept further strengthens Harrah’s position as the destination in AC for cutting-edge culinary offerings.”

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Washington, DC - ASAE’s innovative ReadyMe Program has relaunched with significant enhancements for association professionals looking to expand their leadership capacity. Following a successful beta cohort, ASAE incorporated participant feedback in designing the second iteration of ReadyMe with all-new, interactive educational modules focused on essential skills development; a four-month, engaging cohort experience; and content and activities created for association professionals by association professionals, instructional design experts, and content SMEs.

ReadyMe also includes webinars, virtual meetups, and other unique opportunities to network and build community with other association professionals; one-to-one mentoring with association C-suite leaders; and an in-person Leadership Academy focused on hot topics in leadership and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility education.

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Atlantic City - MGM Resorts International longtime executive Niklas Rytterstrom assumed a new role as President & Chief Operating Officer of Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, overseeing the resort's daily operations and strategic direction focused on continued employee engagement, guest services, and community relations.

Atlantic City - The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority Board of Directors approved the appointment of Eric Scheffler as Executive Director.

Cape May - Marisa Peragine has started in a new role with Aramark as Catering Manager on the Cape May Ferry.

Cherry Hill - Melanie Wimmer has been named Senior Director of Events for Team Shaw at LamontCo.

Edison - Joanie Coffaro has been named Vice President, External Affairs, Communication, and Advancement for Middlesex College.

Florham Park - Shionogi Inc. has hired Judi Stagg in the new position of Senior Manager, Meeting Planning.

Piscataway - IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), an organization dedicated to advancing innovation and technology for the benefit of humanity, has hired Lori Battista to the position of Event Planner.


New York City - BlackRock announced that Anthony Scaruzzi has started a new position as Vice President, U.S. Wealth Advisory, Client Marketing & Events.


Flourtown - Kori Robino has been named Director of Community Outreach, Traci Bruno as Development Manager, and Marguerite Gelfin as Program Coordinator for Today is a Good Day.

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King of Prussia - Life Sciences Pennsylvania has named Gabriella Forgione as Director, Development and Programs.

Lahaska - Peddler’s Village has promoted Matt Bender, who previously served as director of restaurants, to the position of Director of Hospitality Operations. Matt will oversee the six Peddler’s Village-owned restaurants, the Golden Plough Inn, and the indoor family fun center, Giggleberry Fair. David Perini, who previously served as the executive chef for Cock ‘n Bull, has been named Culinary Director. David will be responsible for the preparation, management, and presentation of all food and beverage at all Peddler’s Village-owned restaurants.

Lancaster - Eden Resort & Suites has named Jennifer Buchter as their new Director of Sales.

Mount Pocono - Mount Airy Casino Resort has hired Danielle Lux as Executive Project Specialist.

Norristown - The Elmwood Park Zoo has promoted Catherine Green to Retail Manager and Rachel Kramer to Assistant Retail Manager.

Philadelphia - Imperial Events Security Services has announced the promotion of four team members: Yousef Kassis to Vice President, Operations; Mark Anthony Casasanto, Jr. to Operations Manager; Edward Aponte Luiggi to Director of Guard Operations; and Mark Casasanto, Sr. to Director of Training and Special Projects.

Philadelphia - Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia has hired Carly Martinez as their new Event Logistics Manager.

Philadelphia - The Curtis Institute of Music has announced that Marina Volpe has started in the new position of Development Events Manager.

Philadelphia - David Ward has taken on the new role of Director of Operations at the Museum of Illusions.

Philadelphia - Melanie Taylor has been named Director, Incentive Travel Programs at Etherio.

Philadelphia - Smith+Nephew has hired Allery Elder as Medical Education Meeting Planner.

Philadelphia - Constellation Culinary Group has hired Sue Cunnane as their new Director of Catering & Event Sales for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Philadelphia - Alison Manna is now the Associate Director of Sales at Warwick Hotels and Resorts.

Philadelphia - The African American Museum has named Theresa Spencer as their new Director of Marketing.

Pocono Manor - Kalahari Resorts & Conventions has announced the addition of Lisa Slotkin to their team as a new Senior Sales Manager, handling the Philadelphia and Philadelphia Suburban Markets. Lisa has two decades of experience in hospitality, including roles with Hyatt, Kimpton, and Caesars Entertainment.

Swiftwater - Tracy Lynn Pagán has been promoted to General Manager for the new boutique hotel, The Swiftwater.

Newtown Square - Crumdale Partners has promoted Jessica Willingham to Vice President, Marketing.

Wayne - David Brennan has been promoted to Vice President of Hospitality for Main Line Hotels.


Alexandria - Visit Alexandria announced the appointment of Todd O’Leary as the organization’s new President and CEO.

Farmville - Historic Hotel Weyanoke announced the promotion of Melissa Zayas to Director of Sales, along with the appointment of Patrick Carey as their new Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director.

Hot Springs - The Omni Homestead Resort is commencing a phase of dynamic growth with the addition of five professionals to its talented leadership team. In the culinary side of the Omni, Chef Michael Zmigrodski has been named Executive Chef, while Chef Pablo Ro-

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driguez is taking on the role of Executive Pastry Chef. Audrey Zmigrodski assumes the role of Spa Director, while Tyler Minamyer serves as the property’s Golf Course Superintendent, and Juan Ayala brings a wealth of experience to his new role as National Sales Manager.

Washington, DC

- The U.S. Travel Association announced that Aimee Misako Gabel has joined the organization as Senior Vice

President, Events and Education, a new position that will play a key role in shaping and transforming the association’s signature events, such as U.S. Travel’s IPW, ESTO, Summer Summit, and Future of Travel Mobility, while also delivering new programs aligned with the organization’s strategic priorities.

- Destinations International has announced the expansion of its team with three key hires: Tim Smith as Vice President of Communications; Ava Wells as Social Inclusion Manager; and Shaniqua Allen as IT Manager.

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Mid-Atlantic EvEnts Magazine 93 1661 Harding Blvd, Norristown, PA 19401 • 610-277-3825 ext 260 • Transform your next event into an unforgettable adventure at Elmwood Park Zoo! Whether it's a retreat, celebration, or everything in-between, we're here to ensure your event is a memorable one. Transform your next event into an unforgettable adventure at Elmwood Park Zoo! Whether it's a retreat, celebration, or everything in-between, we're here to ensure your event is a memorable one.

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