EVENTS July | August 2022
Together Again Meetingfully
Exhibitors and sponsors of the 2nd Annual PCMA Tailgate Trade Show, Drexel Hill, PA
FEATURING 416 Integrated Guest Rooms 90,000 sq. ft. of Exhibit Space
EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES
While planning your next big event, don’t settle for anything less than the best of both worlds. Located in the historic heart of downtown Lancaster City, the Lancaster County Convention Center allows visitors to have their cake and eat it too—where big city culture can be savored at a small town pace.
Jacyn H Thompson
DIRECTOR OF CONVENTION SALES
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POCONO MOUNTAINS, PA
SERIOUS MEETINGS WITH SERIOUS FUN At Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, we give you everything you need to make your event a success. You and your attendees will enjoy ample event space, custom group and world-class dining experiences, a full-service spa and second to none service. Your attendance-increasing event at Kalahari is one your members will look forward to.
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205,000 square feet of flexible event space 977 guest rooms & suites Diverse team-building options available on-site Eight food & beverage options The best amenities available, all under one roof
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CoNTENTS July z August 2022
EVENTS July | August 2022
etingfully Exhibitors and Together Again Me sponsors of the 2nd Annual PCMA Tailgate Trade Show, Drexel Hill, PA PAGE 70
PAGE 10 - Rendering of Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen restaurant, set to open this summer at Caesars Atlantic City, NJ
of the 2nd Annual PCMA Exhibitors and sponsors
l Hill, PA Tailgate Trade Show, Drexe
Upscale Dining at Casino Resorts All-in-one destinations with outstanding culinary options
Trends in Team Building Taking team building outdoors and more in 2022
Trade Shows and Showcase Events Association conventions, shows and events are back
Sports-Related Tournaments, Exhibitions & More Destinations welcoming back sports-related groups
Considerations When Hosting Catered Events Di Bruno Bros. chef offers some "food for thought"
PAGE 26 - Woodloch Resort offers a wide range of team building activities and meeting venues in the Pocono Mountains, PA
Great Nights at Museums, Theaters and Attractions The value of bringing company events to your museum
Security for Large Events A Q&A with Yousef Kassis, Imperial Events Security Services
PAGE 30 - Chester County Culinary Challenge at The Desmond Malvern in Malvern, PA; photo courtesy: Chester County CVB
July z August 2022
34 Associations Helping Communities Grow Safer 52 Landmark Hospitality: Transforming Historic Spaces LoCATioN REpoRTS 54 New York-Albany, Dutchess County, Lake George, oneida County, Saratoga, Sullivan Catskills, Westchester County 62 Connecticut 66 Summer Happenings 70 Eventsworthy-pCMA pHL Tailgate Trade Show, DMC Network Meets in AC, Discover Lancaster Hosts at the Winery, Historic Hotel Bethlehem's 100th Anniversary 78 Around The Region 82 EventMakers
Mid-Atlantic Events Staff PUBLISHER & EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jim Cohn MANAGING EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Rich Kupka DESIGN & PRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . .Dana Kurtbek-MME Media FEATURES EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lydia Young TRAVEL EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ken Alan EVENTS DIRECTOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jennifer Johnson CONTROLLER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robert Conrad CONTENT CONTRIBUTIONS BY . . . . . . . . . . .Di Bruno Bros., Imperial Events Security, Landmark Hospitality, Bob Pacanovsky, Don Welsh
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MEETINGS WITH A SIDE OF VITAMIN SEA 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!
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Vol. 35, No.5
International – Greater Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware - International Live Events Association – Greater
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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 2022 by Tri-State Events Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Overlooking the boardwalk and beach, Guy Fieri’s Chophouse at Bally's Atantic City is a traditional steakhouse that features a menu of popular signature dishes with New Jersey flair
Upscale Dining at Casino Resorts 10 Julyz August2022
Casino resorts throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regions of the U.S. present a host of inviting options for planners seeking an allin-one venue with everything their attendees could want or need in a single location. Among their most attractive offerings is corporate dining prepared by the skilled chefs, restaurants and kitchens on-site. Planners seeking to leave a lasting, memorable impression on their attendees would be well-served to plan a trip (and a feast) at one of these meeting, gaming and culinary destinations. Whether it’s a private catered affair, a dinner meeting in a celebrity chef-inspired restaurant, or a client meeting in an upscale steakhouse, planners have a wide range of options from which to choose. Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 11
Bally's Atlantic City, NJ Bally’s Atlantic City is home to two signature restaurants: Guy Fieri’s Chop House and Jerry Longo’s, located on the dining level of the sixth floor. Guy Fieri’s Chophouse is a traditional steakhouse with a twist. Overlooking Atlantic City’s famed boardwalk and beach, it features a menu of popular signature dishes with New Jersey flair. The restaurant accommodates up to 200 people with private dining space for as many as 40 guests. Longo’s Meatballs and Martinis is like a restaurant straight out of South Philly noir, featuring sleek, black-andwhite décor and traditional Italian dishes. Able to accommodate up to 120 people, the restaurant is known for its authentic and approachable atmosphere and skyline views. The experience is further elevated by the two blackjack tables within the restaurant plus multiple televisions, live music and even DJ entertainment. “Bally’s has 83,000-square feet of flexible meeting space all on one level,” notes Peter Ciccone, regional VP of sales for Bally’s. “We have meeting rooms that can accommodate from 10 up to 3,000 attendees. The meeting space also is located on our dining level where Guy Fieri’s Chop House, Jerry Longo’s Meatballs and Martinis, and Waterdog reside. A very accessible location for when the meetings wrap up and Happy Hour begins.” “Guy Fieri’s Chop House and Jerry Longo’s can be a great fit for either a private dinner by booking the entire restaurant or for a small- to mid-sized group,” Ciccone adds. “There are large party menus available with very reasonable pricing. The restaurants also are available for private breakfasts and lunches.”
Rendering of the Main Dining Room at Nobu, Caesars Atlantic City
Caesars, Harrah’s & Tropicana Atlantic City, NJ “At Caesars Atlantic City, we have the property’s signature restaurant, Morton’s The Steakhouse, which will be joined later this year by a new location for the iconic sushi restaurant, Nobu,” notes Steve van der Molen, vice president, meeting operations AC Region, Caesars Entertainment. “Tropicana’s Cuba-inspired The Quarter lifestyle center is home to the legendary NYC steakhouse, The Palm (accommodating up to 140 guests). Harrah’s provides an array of dining options, from celebrity chef steakhouses such as Gordon Ramsay Steak (up to 250 guests) to more local flavors like McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant (up to 330). Across all three properties, our restaurants offer buy-out options, private dining spaces, and specialty group menus flexible to the needs of planners.” Nobu Atlantic City, a restaurant and distinct hotel experience within Caesars Atlantic City, and Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen, the first restaurant of its kind on the East Coast are slated to join Caesars’ portfolio of restaurants this year, as will a reno-
12 Julyz August2022
Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino has completed $100-million in renovations, including new dining and bar areas. The new Carousel Bar at Bally’s is now officially open, and acts as an immersive experience that features a 360-degree view of the lobby, and serves modern cocktails with Atlantic City flavors such as Saltwater Taffy, Cotton Candy, funnel cake, and more. vated swimming pool experience with beach and ocean views from the rooftop of Qua Baths & Spa overlooking the beach and boardwalk. Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen, arriving this summer, will boast design features that are engaging to all senses and are a nod to both the red and blue teams featured on the TV show of the same name. Nobu Atlantic City, debuting later this year, will open on the top three floors of Caesars Centurion Tower and will feature the new dining experience along with redesigned rooms and suites that boast Japanese-inspired decor mixed with sleek, modern touches. “One of the reasons dining at a Caesars Entertainment resort is so appealing is because of the celebrated names we attract like Gordon Ramsey or Nobu Matsuhisa,” observes van der Molen. “Additionally, the number of restaurants we have provides a high level of customization for whatever a planner’s vision is. Dining plays a crucial role in a guest’s overall event experience, as food is a cornerstone of hospitality and often one of the aspects of travel people look forward to most. Great dining options show guests that every aspect of their experience was considered, from business to leisure.” Caesars Atlantic City properties boast a prime location right on the boardwalk or marina, which allows them to offer planners unique dining options like private parties on the beach in front of Caesars and Tropicana. Harrah’s legendary Pool After Dark is a multi-level club with 3,500-square feet of space that features an 86,000-gallon swimming pool surrounded by trees, cabanas, and tropical flora under an impressive glass dome. “At these venues, our catering team can provide customized menus, specialty cocktails, flair bartenders, and more,” says van der Molen. “Additionally, our Atlantic City catering team also is proud to utilize foods grown locally in the Garden State.”
NEW NEW NEW ROOMS
NEW NEW NEW RESTAURANTS
NEW NEW NEW MEETING SPACE 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. Contact the Sales Department at Bally’s at 609-340-2233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. © 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 a liates. 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.
Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland Hanover, MD Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland offers a wide variety of upscale, world-class dining options to appeal to the tastes of every guest. Its primary high-end dining venues are The Prime Rib, David’s Restaurant and Bar, and Luk Fu.
meats all imported from their native countries. The Luk Fu Chef’s Table seats up to eight people, while throughout the restaurant there is seating for 40 people on its Sushi 8 side, and a total of 120 people venue wide.
The Prime Rib is a Zagat-rated, award-winning steakhouse that combines exceptional service, style, an innovative and expansive menu, and a finely curated wine list. For a private event, The Prime Rib has an outdoor patio that seats up to 80 people, as well as a private Wine Room with seating for up to 15. The entire venue can seat 230 people. One of the restaurant’s newest offerings is the Coravin Wine System, which allows guests to select premium wines and to order by the glass (per ounce), rather than needing to purchase the full bottle.
With seven dining venues in the casino, options range from casual fare to fine dining as well as private event spaces for 15 to 80 guests. For large events, the property features over 50,000-square feet of total event space, as well as The HALL at Live!, a 75,000-square foot multi-use concert and event venue. “By offering world-class dining and many different cuisines, our guests can enjoy a true resort experience, whether they are at the property for work or leisure. Rather than simply dining for convenience, guests have nearly any food their heart desires right at their fingertips, with no need to settle,” notes Brian Fountain, director of food and beverage, Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland.
Those not interested in wine can enjoy crafted cocktails, such as a Cask-Aged House Manhattan or a Smoked Old Fashioned. In addition, guests can enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday night at The Prime Rib, or stop in on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 6:00 pm to enjoy “Bubbles & Pearls” with $2 oysters and $10 Champagne flights. David’s Restaurant and Bar, named after Live! chairman David Cordish, features a unique menu consisting of his favorite items from his travels around the world. The open lounge located in the lobby of the hotel seats up to 32 people, with a capacity of 182 throughout the lounge, dining room and bar. The restaurant also offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Sports & Social Maryland, home to a sportsbook in partnership with FanDuel, offers a fan experience usually only found in professional sports arenas. With a massive 100-foot media wall, 47-foot big screen TV, 40 HDTVs, extensive beer selection, chef-curated food, and in-venue gaming tables, guests can enjoy a private dinner or party for up to 150 people. Finally, Luk Fu brings flavorful cuisine from Korea, China and Vietnam to the casino floor. With a bustling open kitchen, delicate and authentic flavors, and chefs from Japan, Korea, Thailand, China, and Vietnam, the menu offers something for everyone, with produce, poultry, seafood and 14 Julyz August2022
“Our restaurants offer dozens of unique specials and customized menus throughout the year that change with the seasons, holidays and events going on across the property,” Fountain explains. “Our VIP guest experience coordinators can curate a dine-around for those who want to experience a taste of each of our restaurants. At The Prime Rib, diners can join us for customized whiskey tastings in the lounge or book a luxury reception and custom dinner on the patio. On September 14th, guests can sign up for a special Wine Dinner with Silver Oak Wines, where a sommelier will explain wine pairings with a multi-course dinner.”
David's Restaurant and Bar, Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland
Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia offers guests three excellent restaurant options on property, including The Prime Rib, a #1 Zagat-rated steakhouse and contemporary fine dining restaurant, which blends a historic steakhouse and cocktail lounge with distinctive twists. The Prime Rib seats 365 guests, and offers private dining options in The Wine Cellar to accommodate up to 20 guests. The venue features two separate bars and live music on select days of the week.
Wine Cellar at The Prime Rib, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia
At Luk Fu, an Asian-fusion destination, mealtime is show time. The buzz of activity in the open kitchen is the first thing that lures patrons in, but it is the delicate and authentic flavors that keep them coming back. Chefs from Japan, Thailand, Korea, China and Vietnam carefully weave together ingredients imported from their native lands with locally-grown produce, poultry, seafood and meats. Luk Fu includes seating for 120 guests with two private dining rooms, each able to accommodate from 12-16. Sports & Social Philadelphia offers guests the ultimate sports fan experience at the only place in the country located in the center of big-league action from four major professional sports teams. Equipped with a 65foot 4K media wall, 26 65-inch HDTVs, the region's first FanDuel Sportsbook & Lounge, giant foosball and more, Sports & Social serves a scratch made menu of American classics, beers, and well-appointed cocktail menus with the ability to accommodate 380 guests.
AWARD-WINNING CUISINE · LIVE MUSIC CHIC BAR AND LOUNGE · BEAUTIFUL PRIVATE DINING SPACE PRIMERIBPHILLY.COM
In addition, Live! Philadelphia also offers a food hall, 10th Street Market, that features local favorites and two outposts from Guy Fieri (Guy Fieri’s Taco Joint and Guy’s Burger Joint). The experienced on-site events team at Live! will work with planners to coordinate catering from any of the property’s F&B venues, or to create menus for any type of event (or diet) held in the Event Center.
Patisserie, street tacos from Diablo’s Cantina, and popular coastal Italian fare from Osteria Costa, among other dining options. “From upscale dining to casual eateries, our resort features over a dozen culinary options for every palate,” notes Sheila Hession, executive director of sales for MGM National Harbor. “Excellent customer service is the foundation of a great dining experience, and our staff is well trained to anticipate customers’ needs.”
Live! also can host a “dine around the casino” event, bringing guests light bites and flavors of The Prime Rib, Luk Fu, Sports & Social, and Termini Bros. to their meeting room. 10th Street Market has an off the street patio and separate entrance for guests. Another unique option is to enjoy cocktails and light fare in the Library Bar at The Prime Rib, and then head over to Luk Fu to finish the night with sushi and private karaoke.
The resort's five restaurants can be booked for group events from 15 people up to a full buyout. Diners can select from group dining menus or from one that has been custom created. “We also can work with our beverage team to provide custom cocktails based on seasons, Washington, DC-centered themes, such as cherry blossoms, cocktails that highlight the client’s logo colors and more,” notes Hession.
MGM National Harbor National Harbor, MD
Mohegan Sun Uncasville, CT
Voltaggio Brothers Steak House
Voltaggio Brothers Steak House is fine dining concept by chef brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, who starred on Bravo’s Emmy-winning series "Top Chef." The restaurant incorporates nostalgic design elements and childhood photos from the Voltaggio family into the venue’s décor for a unique, homey feel. Their take on the modern steakhouse features wood-fired steaks, savory seafood, popular cocktails and other favorites inspired by the state of Maryland. The main dining room can accommodate up to 261 guests, while the private dining room seats up to 14. Guests of the property also can opt to choose from an array of specialties, including delectable pastries from Bellagio 16 Julyz August2022
BALLO Italian Kitchen and Bar
Mohegan Sun offers a variety of fine dining venues, including the TAO Asian Bistro and Lounge that opened last year. TAO seats 325 for a group buyout and offers four group dining areas that accommodate from 24 to 40 people. TAO serves Asian-inspired specialties and features a creative craft cocktail menu, as well as a robust Sake program. Another fine dining offering at Mohegan Sun is BALLO Italian Kitchen and Bar, which seats 290 for a buyout and has two private dining rooms that seat 25 guests. BALLO features an upscale wine menu and authentic Italian dishes. Another staple of the resort’s fine dining lineup, Michael Jordan’s Steak House accommodates 800 for a buyout and offers four options for semi-private or private dining for groups of 24 to 60.
A FRESH TAKE ON MEETINGS
Offering a AAA Four-Diamond experience in the pristine scenery of the Pocono Mountains with 30,000 square feet of meeting space that can accommodate groups from 10 to 1,000. Plus, with the most exciting dining and entertainment in Northeast Pennsylvania, we’ve got everything you need to make your next meeting extraordinAIRY. For more information, visit mountairycasino.com/meetings-weddings or call 570-243-5173.
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Todd English’s Tuscany seats 260 for buyout with a private wine room for 22 guests and is located at the heart of Mohegan Sun underneath the Taughannick waterfall, featuring a popular brunch buffet along with classic Italian dishes. Lastly, novelle is a premium lounge experience that can accommodate 600 guests for buyout and features cocktails and small plates along with three unique private/semi-private areas for groups of 35 to 150. In all, there are 16 unique private dining options at Mohegan Sun. “Whether guests or event goers are planning lunch before an event or looking for the perfect spot to kick back with drinks, appetizers and delicious entrées in the evening hours, Mohegan Sun is a safe bet,” proclaims John Washko, VP of convention sales and marketing for Mohegan Sun. “We are home to more than 40 restaurants, lounges, and bars, many of which are award-winning, and offer Italian, Irish, Asian, and Mediterranean cuisine, plus seafood and much more.” “With all attendees dining and sleeping under one roof, this allows maximum opportunities for ROE - Return on Engagement,” Washko adds. “In June, we hosted a large group of 2,000 attendees that utilized two restaurants, a section of our concourse, and a nightclub for a successful and unique reception and dinner.” Mohegan Sun offers a variety of unique venues, including Southwestern BBQ and a mechanical bull for a country western event in Comix Roadhouse, and a fun-filled evening with bowling, billiards, shuffleboard, karaoke, nostalgic and modern arcade games in GAME ON!
Mohegan Sun Pocono Wilkes-Barre, PA Rustic Kitchen Bistro and Bar Mohegan Sun Pocono features the popular Ruth’s Chris Steak House, which offers a range of the finest cuts of USDA Prime beef and seafood dishes, New Orleans-inspired appetizers, delectable desserts, an award-winning wine list, and live entertainment daily in a luxurious space that can accommodate 362 people. 18 Julyz August2022
Rustic Kitchen Bistro and Bar is a 260-seat Tuscan villathemed dining space with one-of-a-kind Italian and Mediterranean culinary options that includes seasonally inspired rustic cuisine in a warm, friendly, and comfortable bistro setting. The restaurant also hosts a live action cooking show that features seasonal menu items prepared in front of a live audience group by the executive chef. “With dining options for all occasions, visitors can enjoy hand-rolled, authentic sushi at Pearl Sushi Bar, savory steakhouse favorites at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and a mix of an Italian Mediterranean cuisine at Rustic Kitchen Bistro and Bar,” explains Sarah Farrell, director of sales and conventions for Mohegan Sun Pocono. “Planners also have access to South Philly favorite Tony Luke’s for their own twist on the cheesesteak. With 15 restaurants and eateries at Mohegan Sun Pocono, there are a variety of options for your next corporate event.” “Molly O’Shea’s and Breakers can be utilized as private venues where groups have the ability to enjoy informal party experiences with a ‘backyard’ feel at the Embers Terrace bar,” Farrell adds. “This new area can accommodate groups of up to 150 people with customized menus, and it features outdoor games such as cornhole, Giant Jenga, and more. The brand-new Hive Taphouse has even more unique team building opportunities where attendees can enjoy casual fare and compete together at the state-of-the-art TopGolf swing suites.”
Mount Airy Casino Resort Mt. Pocono, PA Upscale dining takes its place at Mount Airy Casino Resort through Bistecca by IL Mulino. Recently named “Best Italian” and also “Best Romantic Restaurant” in Pennsylvania by Casino Player Magazine, it offers Italian fare prepared in the classic fashion of Abruzzo’s cuisine. The restaurant can comfortably accommodate 165 guests. Bistecca by IL Mulino
At Mount Airy Casino Resort, in the event planning and execution process, the on-site events team strives to build an
experience for organizers and attendees alike. Since dining can make or break that experience, Mount Airy Casino guests work with the help of an executive chef to ensure flawless functions, whether a simple continental breakfast or a formal multi-course dinner. For those seeking something casual, guests can enjoy a hearty plate at Guy Fieri’s Mt. Pocono Kitchen, Pan-Asian cuisine at Lucky 8 Noodle + Sushi Bar, Pizza Montagna, The Buffet at Mount Airy, or drinks at the Glass Bar or Pia’s Lounge. At Mount Airy Casino Resort, the dining possibilities are not only extensive, but also specially-curated to ensure that guests have ample options throughout their stay. The resort will customize menus to meet the group’s needs, too, from a working breakfast to a lavish multicourse dinner to creating a specialty drink to highlight the event.
Resorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City, NJ Capriccio, Resorts Casino and Hotel’s signature Italian restaurant, has been voted #1 American Casino Restaurant by Casino Player Magazine and features top notch service, a mouthwatering menu and views of Atlantic City and beyond. Doughtery’s Steakhouse and Raw Bar is the newest fine dining attraction at the casino hotel, featuring a classic steakhouse, a world-class raw bar, the intimate Cielo Wine Bar, and a live entertainment calendar. A daily happy hour raw bar special is a fan favorite with elegant drink specials and delicious dining options. Both Capriccio and Doughtery’s offer options for private group dining.
Capriccio Italian restaurant, Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic, NJ.
In July, Atlantic City’s Ocean Casino and Resort will unveil an $85-million update that includes 460 new rooms and suites, along with multiple new food and beverage outlets, including The Gallery Bar Book & Games, an elevated bar and lounge with video poker, blackjack and roulette tables, and 140-feet of LED walls.
GO FOR BUSINESS. STAY FOR PLEASURE. • 160,000 square feet of private, ﬂexible meeting space • 70,000 square feet Event Center • 20 meeting rooms on one dedicated level • 90,000 square feet of unique outdoor spaces set against a panoramic backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean • 5 destination restaurants and 10 casual dining options • Year-round indoor/outdoor pool and renowned Exhale Spa & Bathhouse • 13 cabanas with ocean front view • The Gallery Bar, Book & Games sets the stage for social gaming, big game nights and an unforgettable after-hours experience. BOOK YOUR MEETING OR EVENT TODAY. sales@theOceanAC.com 609-783-8300 l theOceanAC.com l Must be 21 or older to wager or consume alcohol. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.
“Guests and meeting planners scheduling memorable visits to Atlantic City should look no further than Resorts Casino Hotel, as Atlantic City’s first casino resort has the best dining offerings on the boardwalk,” says Ritambra Verma, director of sales and revenue management for Resorts Casino Hotel. “Suitable for all occasions, visitors can enjoy delicious, authentic Chinese at Eastwind Restaurant, classic Italian dishes at the award-winning Capriccio, and enticing sushi at Mukashi Sushi Bar.” Planners also have access to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Entertainment Complex, home to Margaritaville Café and Landshark Bar and Grill, the only year-round beach side restaurant in Atlantic City (both of which are available for private parties).
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Martorano's Prime
Martorano’s Prime, the Italian-American steakhouse concept by celebrity cook Steve Martorano, opened at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh in January 2021. Featuring elevated Italian-American cuisine, prime cuts of beef and other high-end steakhouse staples, Martorano’s restaurants have become equally famous for its menu as its attractiveness to celebrity clientele. "I’m South Philly born and raised," says Steve Martorano. "I learned to cook at my grandma’s elbow, and a lot of our menu is built on those family recipes. We’re beyond excited to enjoy our first Italian-American steakhouse at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh." During warmer months, patrons of Martorano’s Prime are encouraged to enjoy their meals on the outdoor patio that connects to the restaurant and offers views of the Ohio River. All year-round, guests are welcome to dine inside, where there is seating for approximately 200 guests. Mar20 Julyz August2022
torano’s Prime also features a central bar and private dining area and offers a luxurious guest experience. “Martorano’s Prime is our top-tier Italian-American steakhouse on property. We take pride in offering each of our guests something exquisite at Martorano’s Prime, whether it’s a menu item or the beautiful outdoor seating on the patio, guests always leave Martorano’s Prime satisfied,” said Thor Kennedy, director of sales at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. The event planning team at Rivers Casino can customize each event at Martorano’s or in other spaces and venues throughout the property.
Rocky Gap Casino Resort Flintstone, MD Lakeside Grille at Rocky Gap Casino Resort is a premier, upscale steakhouse that features expansive views of the lake, USDA Prime selections of steaks, chops and seafood in addition to a curated wine list. The restaurant can accommodate up to 150 guests in its main dining room, and a private space can host up to 24 guests. “Whether you’re finishing up a round of golf or getting away for date night, Rocky Gap Casino Resort offers dining options for everyone and every occasion. From our high-end Lakeside Grille to our casual Signatures Bar and Grill and Lobby Lounge Café and our full-service bar, On the Rocks, it seems like there’s always a new restaurant to try, all while being surrounded by stunning views of the mountain and lake,” notes Brian Kurtz, senior vice president and general manager of Rocky Gap Casino Resort. “Lakeside Grille is our take on the traditional steakhouse experience,” Kurtz continues. “Our menus are inspired by the season, and are developed in collaboration with our property team and corporate culinarians. You will find classics such as shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, traditional cuts of USDA steaks, lobster and our famous crab cakes.” Kurtz adds that creative options include dishes like calamari fries with Sriracha aioli and sweet soy sauce; seared ahi tuna with fresh ponzu sauce; and braised short rib with cavatelli pasta, mushrooms and a rich red sauce. “Our team enjoys creating seasonal cocktails to complement the dishes, as well, so there’s always something exciting to pair with any occasion.”
Fine dining at Urban Table, Wind Creek Bethlehem
Wind Creek Bethlehem Bethlehem, PA Wind Creek Bethlehem’s two signature restaurants are the Chop House at Wind Creek and Urban Table. Chop House at Wind Creek offers a modern, upscale twist on the classic American steakhouse that serves top quality steaks, seafood, signature creations, and handcrafted cocktails. Urban Table's menu is a match for every palate with offerings that include prime beef burgers, cauliflower steak, gumbo, premium chops, and more. “Wind Creek Bethlehem’s culinary team is continuously working to evolve the property’s offerings, ensuring that guests have access to the latest trends and classics,” notes Amelia Tognoli, corporate communications manager for Wind Creek Hospitality. “Our two signature restaurants can accommodate group dining with special pre-fixe menus. This affords meeting planners the ability to plan and enjoy menus that are tailored to their group’s unique needs.”
Flexible Contracts | National Partnership Program In-House A/V | Catering Available
Each of these casino resorts feature varied restaurants that provide unique dining experiences for groups of all types and sizes. Food and beverage offerings are a key part of any event’s success, and these venues have a wide range of offerings available. For those in search of something even more unique, there are plenty of options for customized menus and signature drinks, as well. Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 21
Harrah's Atlantic City, part of Caesars Entertainment which offers team building opportunities at its casino resort properties
TRENDS in Team Building With the continued increasing return of in-person meetings and events, team building activities are helping to bring people back together in fun and exciting ways, many of which include outdoor programs. These functions seem to be growing in popularity as more and more people seek to gather in natural settings and environs. Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, Bucks County, PA draws groups through a wide range of team building offerings. Many enjoy murder mystery luncheons and dinners at the Cock’ n Bull restaurant, while others feel like a kid again at an adult playground in the property’s Giggleberry Fair. “Also, some of our merchants offer culinary team building through food (Sweet Occasions), beer pairings and tastings (Free Will), spirits tastings (Hewn Spirits), wine pairings and tastings (Nissley Vineyards), and terrarium building (Greenology),” observes Justin Seery, sales manager for Peddler's Village. “Lastly, we have organized scavenger hunts for groups throughout the beautiful 42-acre Peddler’s Village property.” Though each group is different, with some wanting to be outside and others opting for indoor activities, so far this year, many of the groups choosing Peddler’s Village have opted to hold their events outdoors. As Seery notes, it is a great place to walk around and enjoy the award-winning landscaping. “Many groups are leaning toward murder mystery shows and scavenger hunts. It’s a chance for the team to get together and have a fun time. 22 Julyz August2022
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Outrageous Games team building activities facilitated by TeamBonding
Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA offers multiple ziplining and obstacle courses that are perfect for team building, explains Jane B. Dempsey, director of sales for the Elmwood Park Zoo. “Our clients are able to enjoy the courses and then gather in our Zoo Brew Beer Garden to enjoy food, beverages and socializing.” Since there has been such limited opportunity for company employees to get together over the last couple of years, many groups are considering a social gathering event, such as a happy hour, barbeque, or cocktail party for their first "post pandemic" company event instead of more traditional types of team building games and activities, Dempsey notes. “Companies are still very concerned with hosting safe gatherings, making outdoor events a priority.” David Goldstein, COO of TeamBonding, says that outdoor events are definitely at the top of the list for most event organizers today. “Specifically, high-tech 24 Julyz August2022
scavenger hunts, outdoor competitions, ‘Escape’ games, and charitable events, which are known to help engage, connect and inspire teams. Since people haven't seen each other in such a long time, they just want to have fun and laugh together and build the bonds that have been overlooked the last few years during the pandemic.”
Better teamwork. Happier teams.
These team building activities are trending more outdoors, not only because of the pandemic, but also because of the warmer weather. “Activities in 2022 are like those prior to the pandemic in 2020, but with a whole new level of technology added to many of the experiences, including augmented reality, virtual reality, iPads, iPhones, and Oculus devices,” Goldstein explains. “During the pandemic, we were virtually facilitating tastings, game shows and trivia games. This year, we are seeing the immediate return of in-person traditional events, which is a higher caliber of team building resulting in unforgettable experiences and a greater return on investment.” For team building events being booking for the fall, Goldstein notes that many groups are opting for charitable programs like a charity bike build, “Team Teddy,” and “Operation Military Care.” Alternatively, companies also are inquiring about activities that have a more goal-based approach, such as development and training, onboarding, wellness, and corporate retreats. “We also are seeing weekly or monthly reoccurring events scheduled for teams, either in office or for those continued on page 28 Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 25
Team Building in the Mountains Woodloch provides a wide array of team building options that can be customized to fit the individual needs of each group. “Our signature event is Boat Building, and it is a great introduction to Woodloch team building,” proclaims Lisa Hugaboom, director of corporate sales for Woodloch. “Gone are the days of the dreaded ‘trust falls.’ Woodloch’s Amazing Race, Game Shows, Food Truck Challenge, and Olympics provide unique opportunities for teams to share ideas, laugh and encourage camaraderie.” Now more than ever, companies are looking to connect with nature. Woodloch’s properties feature 1,500-acres of fresh air, hiking trails, a pristine lake and unique opportunities for outdoor dining, allowing guests to “get away from it all” without needing to travel too far. Woodloch offers team building activities that can be facilitated both indoors and outside. More and more planners want to get their teams outdoors, in part, due to the pandemic. The scenic landscape and vast property make Woodloch an ideal playground in which to embrace nature. “Since so many companies still have their teams working remotely, team building has become one of the most important reasons to bring people together,” notes Hugaboom. “We see this trend continuing and we are adapting to the everchanging needs of our clients by bringing new events to each season. The most popular outdoor options include a campfire with s’mores, rental of lawn games, live music, and, of course, food and beverage to complement the experience.” Woodloch is a four-season mountain resort whose scenic location makes it a popular choice for companies looking for a destination that feels “away from it all,” but is still close to home. The setting allows guests to rediscover nature and seek solace in the outdoors.
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Many of Woodloch's activities and amenities are well suited for group activities, including: hiking, biking, boating, fishing, snowshoeing, snow tubing and ice skating. The resort also offers a variety of local naturalists, herbalists and survivalists who are available for specialty classes, tours, outdoor excursions and nature walks. “Additionally,” says Hugaboom, “our inclusive packages make for a seamless guest experience, with beautiful accommodations, delicious meals, and nonstop activities, amenities and entertainment - all built in.” “The opportunity to gather in-person is definitely welcomed after having been locked out of face-toface meetings for the last two years,” notes Gary Griggs, director of sales for Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains. “As of now, we still are offering virtual options for meetings upon request, but inperson team building activities are much easier to facilitate and a better way for attendees to bond.” Outside team experiences at Camelback Resort include many Camelback Mountain Adventures, such as UTV rides, Pennsylvania’s only Mountain Coaster, a Tree Tops ropes course, ziplining, hiking and more. While outside, Griggs says that teams are inspired by the picturesque mountain setting and fresh air, as well. “Friendly competitions break out and are a lot fun... Once autumn hits, we are graced with beautiful fall foliage, crisp air and nights perfect for gatherings around firepits with warm food and beverages that can be enjoyed outdoors.” In addition to outdoor adventure-type team building, Griggs says that creative activities centered around culinary interests are popular, too, such as cookoffs and other food-centric events. With the increase in fuel prices and airfares, Griggs notes that it also makes sense for regional organizations in places like New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia “to take advantage of our proximity for a quick team getaway that doesn’t require a flight.”
TOGETHER IS A GREAT PLACE TO BE.
Try Woodloch’s new team building activity: The Food Truck Challenge Test your design and marketing strategy skills in this timed event to win over a panel of judges. Each team will receive a food basket, a secret ingredient and access to a pantry to create a delicious dish for everyone to sample. It’s not all about the food however- you will create and design a food truck, business name, marketing plan and menu. Are you ready? Let the challenge begin!
“When it was time to leave the resort, it felt like I was leaving home, and I really didn’t want to go!” -Danielle, Google “I can’t say enough great things about my experience with Woodloch. Each year, our company plans an annual retreat to escape the day-to-day for a few days and enjoy activities and bond with our colleagues.” -Erin, SeatGeek WOODLOCHMEETINGS.COM | 800.453.8263
continued from page 25
"Now more than ever, companies are looking to connect with nature." - Lisa Hugaboom, Woodloch
working remotely,” Goldstein explains. “Most teams are planning inperson events this summer and quite often these are booked last minute. Although, virtual events are consistently booked as well, as are events that can be delivered in a hybrid manner. What that means is some people in the office are in the office and some are at home and they're looking for something that they can do together to have fun, bond and build relationships.” “Virtual options are being requested and delivered for companies that are either remote-first or have multiple offices in multiple locations,” he continues. “I believe there's room for both types of experiences.”
Adventure Ropes Course at Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains, PA
Spirits tasting group bonding at Hewn Spirits in Peddler's Village, Bucks County, PA 28 Julyz August2022
To stay ahead of the latest trends, TeamBonding has dedicated a fulltime program development team to create new, innovative, interesting and beneficial team building functions that are reflective of today’s changing workforce. Goldstein adds that many clients are looking for “life-changing experiences,” so TeamBonding is adding firewalking, board breaking, glass walking and breakthrough experiences to help meet those needs. “As part of the Catalyst global team building network, we are all dedicating a lot of time, energy and resources toward professional development, training, employee engagement and retention. Having both virtual and in-person events positions TeamBonding well for the future,” Goldberg notes. Debbie Anmuth-Hunt, founder of Eventive Productions, Inc., notes that both outdoor and charity-based
Team Building at the Beach The Grand Hotel of Cape May, NJ is situated just across the street from the beach, which allows amazing views from its fifth-floor Penthouse Ballroom, second-floor Sundeck, and many of its 173 guest rooms. Being home to over 17,000-square feet of meeting space, four ballrooms of varying sizes, and on-site catering and event coordination with access to the beach provides guests and their families with outstanding opportunities to enjoy both work and play.
team building have been popular choices among Eventive’s clients, and foresees that trend continuing into later 2022. Anmuth-Hunt adds that outdoor functions are increasingly popular, in part, due to the pandemic, but also because people really just like to step out of the meeting room as a nice break during the day. “While virtual is still being requested, the shift has been to in-person,” Anmuth-Hunt explains. “Some clients whose employees are working from home all over the U.S. are looking to continue with virtual and will in the future, but most of our 2022 requests are from corporate clients looking to add team building to their in-person meetings.” “One of our key questions when talking to a prospect is ‘what are your goals for the program,’” notes Anmuth-Hunt. “Being that people have not been together for a while, those goals may differ from programs held before the pandemic. So, I see the trend being that the ‘get to know you’ goal might be more important in 2022 than in previous years, or in 2023 and beyond. These 2022 meetings might be the first time that certain people in the company are meeting each other in person.”
“We have seen more team building events done outdoors on our second-floor Sundeck that faces the beach this year, which has been super fun,” exclaims Kelly-Ann Kripfgans, group sales and marketing manager for The Grand Hotel of Cape May. “A lot of groups have been enjoying outdoor meals, cocktail hours and even corn hole tournaments for both attendees and their families to enjoy.” Among the top benefits of bringing a group to The Grand Hotel of Cape May is its beachfront location that can accommodate the needs of virtually any size group. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, beach activities and other forms of recreation at the hotel combine with a host of opportunities available throughout Cape May to present attendees and their families with much to see and do in this resort community. Caesars Entertainment’s Atlantic City properties offer a variety of team building activities that can be customized to a planner’s needs, notes James Marota, director of sales, Atlantic City, NJ Region, Caesars Entertainment. One such option is a scavenger hunt that takes teams along the city’s historic boardwalk. Another is team building through volunteering, such as building bicycles for local children through Boys & Girls Clubs. Another growing trend is the desire for more experiential activities. Things that feel meaningful and novel that also help build significant connections while providing a good time. “Escape AC at Tropicana offers four Atlantic City-themed rooms for planners from which to choose that each provide a thrilling and challenging experience where teamwork is the star of the event,” Marota explains. “An escape room makes for a great unifier because it is ‘baked into’ the concept of the activity. The rooms themselves require teams to work together and rely on one another’s skills while also providing a unique bonding experience.”
Chester County Culinary Challenge at The Desmond Hotel Malvern in Malvern, PA; photo credit: Mario Oliveto; courtesy: Chester County CVB
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Trade Shows & Showcase Events In-person trade shows and showcase events are coming back! There’s plenty of excitement surrounding the return of several such events throughout the region. Some of the formats have changed, but the enthusiasm that hospitality professionals feel and exude when they come together is as strong as ever. The Chester County Culinary Challenge, for example, which started in 2016, is coming back and generating a lot of buzz in the process. “It originated when we wanted to refresh a different event that we hosted named Chester County Showcase,” recalls Courtney Babcock, director of sales, Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau. “We were looking for a new way to engage with meeting and event planners that would be memorable to them while still giving our Chester County Hospitality Partners a night to network and meet potential clients.” Around that time, The Desmond Hotel Malvern had started offering team building cooking challenges to their clients, so the Chester County CVB worked with that idea and expanded on what they were already doing to create a new networking event. “This will be the fifth year for the Culinary Challenge,” Babcock notes. “Every year’s 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. In the past, surprise cooking themes have included Chicken Chili, Dumplings, and Tamales. Planners are assigned to teams and are partnered with members of the Chester County hospitality community. Networking - and a lot of fun - ensues.”
With the event’s return, Babcock is seeing a real excitement to gather again. “An appreciation of events like this for networking, connecting with old friends and meeting new prospects. We began incorporating the spacious outdoor deck space for the cocktail portion of the challenge several years ago. It is a great way to showcase a fabulous al fresco experience while making creative cocktails.” This year, the Chester County CVB will be expanding their reach to meeting and event planners not only in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, but also to those who belong to organizations in Central PA, including PASAE and MPI Middle PA. “These are all great markets that have potential to book business in Chester County hotels and venues. The event is being promoted through targeted eblasts, digital marketing, and our Meet in Chester County Facebook. It has developed quite a following, and we promote it throughout the year at trade shows and events,” says Babcock. The energy and excitement during Chester County Culinary Challenge is like no other networking event, Babcock notes, and it serves as a reminder of how in-person events create successful connections and build rapport. Whether an expert in the kitchen or a novice, teammates make a connection that often lasts long after the event.
“We successfully met live for the first time in March 2022 in Atlantic City with over 130 industry professionals in attendance,” notes Trish Rafferty, CMP, HMCC, vice president of marketing and communications for MPI New Jersey Chapter. “The dual purposes of the event are education and networking. The target audience includes those who are active in the meetings industry, such as planners, hoteliers, travel professionals and other vendors. The live event was the first opportunity many of us had to meet in person, and it was a great reunion.” The meeting agenda included a diverse array of topics and continuing education credits were offered for attendance. The breaks and evening events included opportunities to meet with sponsors and network with friends and colleagues. “We took advantage of the group being together to celebrate our chapter’s 35th Birthday,” exclaims Rafferty. “The overall feedback on the live event was extremely positive, and we look forward to continuing the event in 2023.”
Overall, since 2020, the MPI New Jersey Chapter has revised its approach to audience outreach. Their standard events, education sessions, committee meetings and board meetings became virtual out of necessity. Seeing an opportunity to fill a need for connection, they added virtual offerings at no cost for both members and nonmembers. “Membership “The one-on-one interaction, camaraderie, and Mondays” and “Tune-in to Talks” were added friendly competition is a valuable backdrop for to the association chapter’s calendar. successful connections. We are looking forward to another vibrant Chester County Culi- “These new sessions covered industry specific nary Challenge on Thursday. August 18, 2022.” topics or just gave attendees the opportunity to talk about what was going on in their lives,” The New Jersey Chapter of Meeting Profes- Rafferty notes. “These were well-attended by sionals International (NJ MPI) has implemented members and nonmembers who appreciated the MEETS (Meetings, Events, Education, the outlet to share their experiences and to find Travel, Sales) Conference held annually in the a sense of community. The conversations spring. The inaugural event was held during the started with tales of meeting cancelations, too pandemic in March 2021 as a virtual program. many lost jobs and furloughs, and a shared It was well attended, and the educational ses- concern about the resulting struggles. It was sions were well received. gratifying to see the discussion eventually turn 32 Julyz August2022
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ASSOCIATIONS: HELPING COMMUNITIES GROW SAFER & STRONGER Op-Ed by Don Welsh, Destinations International Jack Johnson, our chief advocacy officer, and the Destinations International Foundation have long been advocating for destination organizations to align with their communities to help enhance public image and bring attention to the destination as being a great place to live and work. Today, destination organizations have a greater responsibility within their communities, even more so than they had before the global pandemic. They are no longer perceived as having the sole responsibility of placing “heads in beds,” but are now strategic leaders within their communities. With that elevated role comes greater responsibility, which includes stepping up and playing a supporting role whenever issues that affect the destination arise. One of the biggest issues we currently are seeing at destinations around the U.S. is violent crime. The increase in violence is apparent across many of our communities and, unfortunately, there hasn’t been a day in the past few months where we have turned on the news and didn’t learn of a new shooting or other form of violence in our neighborhoods. So, what are destination organization leaders to do? Jack Johnson states it perfectly in his recent blog post titled: Are you Concerned about Violent Crime? So Are We. He states that the causes and solutions of violent crime are many and not always easy to deduce. And it is fair to say that both the causes and traditional solutions fall outside of a destination organization’s wheelhouse. This is clearly not an area where destination organizations should be expected to play a leading role. That should be left to experts on crime and its causes. But this is something that affects our communities and, therefore, our brands, our products and even our homes. Destination organizations may not have a leading role in this area, but they most certainly have a supporting role in their community’s response and in the development of solutions. Toward that end, the Destinations International Foundation will take on the issue of violent crime at our Annual Convention, July 19-21, 2022 in Toronto. We will be bringing together travel experts to take part in our first Destinations International Foundation Challenge where we will, as an industry, work to come up with some solutions. Together, we can help make our communities stronger and safer.
destinationsinternational.org 34 Julyz August2022
to new career opportunities and a return to live meetings with a new focus on health and safety. Two years later, and these events have continued as touchpoints to share successes and new challenges.” “Our chapter has used social media as a constant source of communication over the past few years,” Rafferty adds. “It is the most expedient way to reach a wide audience and remain a relevant voice in the industry. Our outreach includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, primarily. Each platform allows us to connect with different audiences and our messaging includes event promotion, sharing industry news, and recognizing chapter members, sponsors and colleagues.” Clearly, the meetings and events industries are, at their core, about relationship building. “We are social beings and thrive on the opportunities to do business with people we know,” observes Rafferty. “Meeting suppliers at trade shows typically results in a stronger basis for a business relationship than cold calls or email solicitation. In-person showcases allow suppliers to demonstrate their products and/or share details and answer questions in real time. Planners interact with suppliers and other planners during in-person events, and through those conversations and interactions they can get a better feel for a property or an industry product.” “As a national organization, our top shows every year are our Evolve Conference, which focuses on education and building of each individual chapter’s board members, and the national Experience Conference, which attracts all members from across the country
Well attended breakout session at the MPI New Jersey MEETS Conference in March
and focuses strongly on personal growth. This showcases current successful ideas and future trends in the industry and provides an amazing networking experience, as well,” notes Richard D. Portney, CPCE, membership director for NACE Philadelphia and director of Farmhouse and Fern & Fable Operations, The Farmhouse At People’s Light. “On a local level, our chapter includes Greater Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware, and we strive to educate our current hospitality partners and to mentor students at local universities, colleges and tech schools. Each monthly event is worthy of being a top showcase, and our end-of-the-year holiday fundraiser is always a winner,” Portney continues. “We focus on local organizations that are in need, such as Morris Animal Shelter, Manna, Breathing Room, and local schools. We also raise money to fund our educational programs and to provide scholarships to our students. One of our students, from Drexel University, won a scholarship that pays all expenses to our conferences.”
During the pandemic, NACE Philadelphia survived through the use of hybrid components and due to the efforts of the chapter’s former president, Tim Sudall, along with the area’s largest and smallest caterers, hotels, and event partners who brought together this industry with governmental agencies to work as one and find solutions and ways to move forward while remaining viable. “The importance of personal and direct human contact has never proven to be more important than now,” Portney observes.
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Clearly, the meetings and events industries are, at their core, about relationship building. “We are social beings and thrive on the opportunities to do business with people we know." Trish Rafferty, CMP, HMCC, vice president of marketing and communications for MPI New Jersey Chapter
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The PCMA Tailgate Trade Show was created during the pandemic as a way to get the industry back together in a safe, outdoor environment. Its target audience included representatives of meeting planning companies, industry associations, destinations, hotels, event venues, and event service companies. “In 2020, we did everything possible to keep the event outdoors, which included a rain date. This year we created a backup plan to move the event indoors in the event of inclement weather instead of a rain date. We have included the requirement to be fully vaccinated or to show proof of a 36 Julyz August2022
negative COVID test in the event we had to move indoors, which did end up to be the case,” recalls Erica Keagy, administrator for PCMA’s Greater Philadelphia and New York Chapters. The Tailgate Trade Show offered a unique option for business development and networking. Industry professionals are still collaborating on strategic and best practices to plan and deliver safe and successful meetings and conventions. Participants were able to reconnect to conduct business and reimagine the future of events and meetings, asserts Keagy. The PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference is the premier annual event for school board administrators and school board directors. This event, co-hosted with the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) provides an opportunity for school leaders from across the commonwealth to network, share information, and obtain education on a variety of topics. This multiday conference equips school board directors and administrators for the challenges faced in their education leadership role by bringing learning opportunities, product/service offerings, and networking together for a maximized attendee experience. “In August 2020, we quickly pivoted to a virtual format and enlisted a virtual platform to host our keynotes, educational sessions, and exhibit hall. Attendees were able to attend live, energetic sessions and engage in an interactive exhibit hall experience, as well. The virtual platform recorded all sessions, which we made available to attendees for a month after the fall Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 37
event. All documentation from attendee presentations, handouts, and exhibitor swag and promotional information was also hosted on the platform and available to attendees to download as they needed,” explains Jennifer Cramer, CMP, director of conferences and events for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.
during a crisis, but the face-to-face experience of engaging eye contact and reacting to audience experience is what truly connects and sustains us all,” Cramer declares.
“As we approach this October and our next conference, we are providing increased opportunities to network and interact with each other, as we believe this has been sorely missed over the past two years of social distancing. We are excited to move forward stronger than before and with new ideas and opportunities to share with our members,” Cramer exclaims. When it comes to member outreach, social media has played an important role for the conference. “Previously, we had used the usual apps of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to mainly communicate with members. Since 2020, we have strengthened our presence on those apps, as well as added Instagram and now even a new TikTok account is coming! We use all five of these apps on a daily basis, as well as provide a Daily EDition email to our members that includes the latest news in education. We have targeted virtual documents such as a Policy News Network (PNN); School Law Weekly EDition (geared for school solicitors and attorneys); and weekly PSBA Legislative Alerts,” adds Cramer.
“In May 2022, we had 770 attendees and more than 40 sponsors/exhibitors at this event,” notes Potts. “The Workforce Development Symposium is a smaller-scale event, designed for policymakers, decisionmakers, and management across the Commonwealth. The Symposium provides participants the opportunity to discuss national, state, and local ideas and solutions while sharing knowledge of best and promising practices.”
According to Brittani Potts, member services and events coordinator for the PA Workforce Development AssociaIn 2021, show organizers had every intention to hold the tion (PWDA), there are two core events for the association conference in-person, but with the increase in COVID-19 annually - the Annual Conference in May (this year’s title cases in Pennsylvania that fall, once again it was was Workforce Redesigned: 38th Annual Conference switched to a virtual format. “Our incredible IT depart- hosted by PWDA), and the Workforce Development Symment designed an interactive platform for our member posium held in the fall. website that hosted all of the recorded sessions so that attendees could watch them at their leisure. While this PWDA’s Annual Conference has been celebrated as approach lost the opportunity for live interaction, it al- Pennsylvania’s most anticipated workforce event of the lowed our members, the majority of whom have full-time year for its informative and engaging speakers, 50+ edpositions, to watch education sessions in their free-time, ucational and interactive workshops, and opportunities and saved them from having to take vacation time to at- to network with professionals and partners across all levtend the event,” says Cramer. els of the workforce development system.
“Even though the past two years have caused us the most extreme challenges of our careers, I still adamantly defend the critical need to meet in-person. Nothing can compare to the organic networking that occurs over meals, common issues, or shared concerns. The past two years of virtual meetings were an acceptable substitute 38 Julyz August2022
The agenda has changed for both of these events in the wake of the pandemic, Potts notes. “Many of our attendees expressed interest in longer and more frequent networking breaks during the event because of the lack of face-to-face with others in the industry over the past two years. In response to this, PWDA has hosted additional happy hours and speed networking breaks and provided a ‘member lounge’ space where attendees could rest and recharge. We implemented a hybrid model in our first event after the pandemic, but saw a more positive response to an in-person schedule and have since discontinued hybrid events.” A member-based association, PWDA uses social media, email and newsletters for outreach, but also relies on its members to recommend association events to their staff, service providers and customers. “At our Annual Conference in May, we increased our use of social media during
PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference; photo courtesy: PA School Boards Association
the course of the three-day event,” Potts explains. “We posted messages about location of workshops, start times of award ceremonies, and details on how to win challenges and prizes that were incorporated into the event. At our upcoming Workforce Development Symposium, we will not be offering a hybrid component because of the positive attendance rate we saw from our in-person Annual Conference in May.” “In-person events are still valuable beyond estimation,” Potts observes. “Nothing beats a face-to-face conversation, brainstorming session or discussion. But in-person events are not just important to attendees, they also are important to planners and suppliers because our sponsors and exhibitors prefer making in-person connections.” Such connections are the lifeblood of the meetings, events, associations and hospitality professions. Trade shows and showcase events have always been a valuable tool for those in a wide range of professions. Now more than ever, a return to in-person shows and events is vital to reinvigorating these industries and to reestablishing the connections and reinvigorating the relationships that have long formed strong foundations among exhibitors and attendees, planners and suppliers – all in ways that only face-to-face interactions can create.
it’s Time to meet in Lancaster Whether you’re looking to hold a small corporate retreat, a reunion, a convention, or any other event, Lancaster County offers a variety of fantastic meeting venues in a picturesque location that are perfect for any occasion. We have approximately 8,200 overnight rooms and 1,000,000 square feet of meeting space, state-of-the-art technology and all the amenities you’ll need for an on-the-road ofﬁce. Let us help you ﬁnd the perfect venue. Contact email@example.com
The NYSPHSAA Boys Basketball Championship; photo courtesy: Lake George Chamber of Commerce & CVB
Sports-Related Tournaments, Exhibitions & More Youth sports tournaments, competitions, exhibitions, contests and other sports-related functions have long been a driving economic force for destinations throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. These functions generate blocks of room nights, often for multiple nights per event, and they generate revenue throughout the community through local hotels, restaurants, the convention center, stores and a host of other businesses. The pandemic did put a hold on these events for a time, and in the months after their return there were changes and modifications in some places to their format, length, permitted attendance, and more, but these sports-related programs are back and returning to full-strength. The destinations that have long hosted these events are glad to do so once again, and they are helping to make the experience positive and memorable for the organizer, participants, supporters and suppliers. 40 Julyz August2022
venues · conventions · trade shows festivals · concerts · consulting
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Cape Express Beach Blast Soccer on the Wildwoods beaches
with outstanding catering, an array of food service and concession services, as well as décor and theme consultations. The adjacent beach and ocean expand the venue’s offerings when, during the summer months, the sandy beaches are transformed into over 100 soccer fields for Beach Blast Soccer, Beach Lacrosse, Beach Baseball, Beach Volleyball, Flag Football and Ultimate Beach Frisbee tournaments.
Wildwoods, NJ The “Event Capital of the East Coast,” the Wildwoods offer a unique, one-of-a-kind sports destination experience. Home to five miles of free white sand beaches, a state-of-the-art convention center situated right on the beach, and multiple recreational facilities available throughout the island, this resort town is ideal for outdoor and indoor youth and professional sporting events. The Wildwoods Convention Center is a 260,000-square foot facility with one of the most spacious, flexible, innovative and inviting locations for indoor sporting events. It features 30-foot high ceilings, unobstructed views and bleacher seating for 5,500, and a Teflon coated translucent fabric roof that allows the entire building to be flooded in natural sunlight during the day. It can accommodate 28-wrestling mats, four indoor soccer matches, 12 Futsal matches or volleyball games, and two full-court basketball games. Annually, the venue hosts over two dozen sporting events and tournaments that include wrestling, cheerleading, basketball, gymnastics, Futsal, floor hockey, mixed martial arts and indoor soccer competitions. The center also hosts dance and band competitions, as well as sporting attractions like the Harlem Globetrotters and WWE professional wrestling. The center boasts impressive dining options for all groups and events, as well. The executive chef and expert catering staff can meet the needs of any event 42 Julyz August2022
These beaches also host spectator events like Monster Truck Races, The Race of Gentlemen, Vintage Car and Motorcycle Beach Drag Races, and the National Marbles Tournament at Ringer Stadium, which has a marble tournament court built right on the beach and is the destination every summer for hundreds of champion marble shooters from across the country competing in this four-day event. To the east of the convention center, there is an unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean. Heading north or south is the excitement of the Wildwoods boardwalk. To the west are more than 8,000 hotel and motel rooms and 3,000 vacation rentals either on within close proximity of the island. Its location makes it ideal for bringing families along to sporting events, tournaments, and sports-related activities, as well, whether for a group of 100 or 10,000. Additional venues can accommodate sports-related activities and only add to the appeal of the Wildwoods. The North Wildwood Recreational Facility includes a gymnasium, fitness room, a baseball and softball field, two outdoor basketball courts, a multipurpose athletic field (flag football, soccer, and field hockey), three tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, a skateboard park and a roller hockey rink. The Byrne Community Center is open 7-days a week and is equipped with a dance room, fitness room, gymnasium, high school baseball field, football field and track, an outdoor basketball court, as well as a playground with fitness stations. Byrne Plaza, just two blocks from the center of the
EXPECT MORE THAN MOUNTAINS IN THE POCONOS
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Make your vision a reality in the Poconos, where you’ll ﬁnd the space you need to collaborate with your team and build a successful future. Up-to-date amenities and all of the latest tech make hosting your next event in the Poconos a breeze. After your meeting or conference, it’s time to enjoy all the perks the Poconos has to offer, from enjoying a night out in our downtowns, sampling delicious drinks on our beverage trail, or hiking up our mountains for a gorgeous view. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD set up for a wrestling tournament. From youth sports competitions and sporting events to cheerleading competitions and other sports-related exhibitions, the convention center's seasoned catering and convention services staff can assist with every detail.
boardwalk, offers 60,000-square feet of outdoor space suitable for a wide variety of events. Anchored by a huge 25-foot by 55-foot covered performance stage at its west end, Byrne plaza can accommodate audiences between 2,500 and 5,000 people and hosts the weekly Fitness in the Plaza, which includes strength training, cardio, core and more.
Virginia Beach, VA
The Crest Pier Recreation Center offers youth and adult sports programs, senior fitness classes and activities, gymnastics, dance, youth basketball leagues, elementary school dances, a popular day camp and more. The facility features a state-ofthe-art basketball court, a fitness room, and various meeting rooms to accommodate small to mid-size groups. Finally, the Joseph Von Savage Memorial Pool offers water aerobics programs, swim lessons and training, open swim hours and more.
The Sports Center is located across the street from the Virginia Beach Convention Center and is just blocks from the boardwalk and the Virginia Beach oceanfront, along with local shops, restaurants, hotels and attractions.
Sporting events attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Wildwoods each year, generating over 31,000 hotel room nights, over 281,400 dining opportunities, and providing an overall yearly economic impact of more than $8-million. 44 Julyz August2022
The state-of-the-art Virginia Beach Sports Center hosts a diverse portfolio of sports events and tournaments. The facility features 285,000-square feet of space, including 12 basketball courts, 24 volleyball courts, a 200-meter hydraulicallybanked track, plus seating for 5,000 spectators.
A vibrant and energized coastal destination, Virginia Beach has a flourishing local dining scene, arts and entertainment, history, and family-friendly attractions. It has 35-miles of beaches and seven unique districts that offer enjoyable experiences year-round, including: Sandbridge, Chesapeake Bay, Town Center, Pungo, Oceanfront, ViBe Creative District and Inland. “Sports tourism is a thriving business for Virginia Beach,” notes Dani Timm, CSEE, sports marketing national sales manager for the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It generates economic growth via hotel bookings, guests dining in restaurants, shopping and more.”
Lake George, NY The Lake George Area is a natural playground for athletes. Whether it is skiing one of 2,000-miles of groomed trails, diving into the pristine waters of a 32-mile lake, or using a local state-of-the-art facility, athletes, coaches and visitors will never run out of things to see and do. The area offers a number of indoor and outdoor facilities for sports groups coming to the region. There are more than 7,000 combined guestrooms, over 100 restaurants, 200-plus attractions, and year-round events that help to make the area a true “sport-cation.” From skiing to soccer to marathons to beach volleyball, the Lake George region has outstanding resources, venues and services to help in organizing a successful and memorable event. Situated in the Adirondack Mountains, encompassing the famous 32-mile “Queen of American Lakes,” Lake George features over 200-miles of natural trails, a beach and majestic mountains, making it a natural playground for numerous sporting activities and events. And while nature has provided the area with some exquisite natural venues, the region also possesses numerous manmade outdoor venues, such as baseball and softball fields, large outdoor fields, turf and grass for sports like soccer, lacrosse, Quidditch, ultimate frisbee and even disk golf. The region boasts golf courses, too, including a championship par-70 Donald Ross-designed course and a course carved onto the side of French Mountain with spectacular views of the south end of Lake George. High-level indoor sports venues include ice rinks and arenas, sports domes, bowling alleys and courts, indoor rock climbing and more. With a host of regional festivals, fireworks and free events, there’s always something to attend and celebrate in Lake George. An amazing event can be the cherry on top of any visit.
Atlantic City, NJ In Q2, Meet AC and the Atlantic City Sports Commission hosted 12 events across the destination, with nine at the Atlantic City Convention Center. The economic impact resulted in over 42,000 room nights booked for meetings, conventions and events, generating almost $44-million in revenue for the destination. “With summer now in full swing, we’re seeing a big uptick of in-person events taking over Atlantic City throughout the third quarter,” said Meet AC’s president and CEO, Larry Sieg. “We’re excited to see some of our most popular events return, like the Meet AC Atlantic City Airshow, as well as some major events choosing our destination, like the 113th NAACP National Convention and 42nd National Sports Collectors Convention. In addition, many of our hotel partners have completed, or have almost completed, significant renovations and new amenities, making Atlantic City the place to be this summer.” Sporting events in Atlantic City this summer include: Atlantic City Jam Fest, a basketball camp for sports loving teens; Vertical Adventures 14th Annual Beach Pole Vaulting; Jimmy Johnson’s Atlantic City “Quest for the Ring” Championship Fishing Week; JJFishWeekFL tournament, in partnership with the Atlantic City Sports Commission at the Frank S. Farley State Marina at Golden Nugget Casino, Hotel and Marina with approximately 90-100 teams; AVP Junior Nationals Beach Week; the 42nd National Sports Collectors Convention and its expected 30,000 attendees; the 12th Annual Atlantic City Triathlon; the third Annual Jim Whelan Open Water Festival; Amerikick Internationals; the Atlantic City Pickleball Open; and more. Sports tournaments and sports-related events are back in a big way at destinations throughout the region. Their strong return has energized and invigorated these communities, promoting excitement and optimism for bright days ahead. Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 45
Chef Ashley James, Di Bruno Bros.
Five Things to Consider When Hosting Events Who will be attending? Regardless of how big or small the event, there most likely will be a diverse group of people attending. There may be a range in ages, guests may be coming from different parts of the country (or the world), and they will likely vary in terms of their palate sophistication. Not everyone will like the same foods that you do, so it is very important that the event menu’s offerings are selected with your guests in mind. A great way to accommodate your guests is to provide a staple dish like chicken, fish or beef and to add some creative sauce or garnish to elevate the entrée without making it unapproachable.
Food Inclusion Many people are conscious of what they put in their bodies today. Some guests may have food allergies, religious beliefs, or food preferences, such as vegan and vegetarian diets. A planner should respect their choices and provide a variety of options that allow guests to enjoy the event, rather than worrying if they will be able to eat the food. Request that the serving staff highlights whether a dish is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or kosher, especially when offering passed hors d'oeuvres. Provide a variety of items from spirits to culinary.
46 Julyz August2022
Seasonality If the event will be at a local farm and tented in June or held indoors at our beautiful venue, Banca, in February, the season can help guide the menu choices. Many groups are taking into consideration sustainable products and ingredients for their event. Choosing seasonal ingredients will almost guarantee that the desired food items will be available and they may be cost effective. For the warmer months, consider a summer panzanella with melon and a fish option like mahi mahi. In colder weather, consider a warm braised short rib or ragu and pasta dish.
How do you want to feed your guests? Since COVID, all the rules on how to plan have gone out the window. There are many options, from plated dinners, action stations and family-style meals to a variety of butlered small plates that can be offered. One may choose the traditional way of a seated meal or change it up where there is limited seating and more of a cocktail-style feel. When we cater that big event, we offer plenty of options from which to choose. Anything goes!
Your Event is Like a Good Book Finally, create an event that is both engaging and memorable. Make it “wow” by beginning with creative hors d'oeuvres that pair nicely with a wine tasting flight, specialty cocktails or unique mocktails. Offer an assortment of stations such as antipasti, cheese and charcuterie, or sushi. End the event with sweets. A live made-to-order funnel cake station served hot and fresh with adult milkshakes or a classy blueberry pancake breakfast bite drizzled with warm maple syrup and a cappuccino.
Chef Ashley James is managing director of culinary for Di Bruno Bros. Catering and Events, a pioneering specialty food retailer and importer with its origins at the South Philadelphia Italian Market in 1939. Today, Di Bruno employs over 350 team members and has evolved into a community-driven enterprise with five retail locations, catering, import and e-commerce divisions. dibruno.com
Great Nights at Museums, Theaters & Attractions! A few years ago, over 1,000 meeting and event planners were asked by an events organization, “What type of venues are you planning to work with this year?” The top two answers were expected: Hotels and Conference Centers. It was the third answer that caught my attention. Over half of these planners said: Unique Venue. Do you consider your venue to be unique for private events? If so, have you considered the very real value that company events and meetings can bring to your property in the long term? Why do more than 50 percent of planners want to hold an event in a venue like yours? In my businesses, I have worked at over 60 unique venues, including many museums and attractions, and have worked with many planners. Here are a few of the reasons that they shared with me about why they chose the venue that they did: • “It’s different and unique. We need that for our events.” • “The museum is a beautiful place to hold an event and it helps that it is a draw.” • “Our company would like to support this jewel in our community.” • “We want to introduce our people to it so that they can bring their immediate and out-of-town family and friends back for a visit. Maybe even become members.” • “I love the history and stories that are attached to it.” Yet, some organizations may not see the overall value and revenue stream that can be created by opening their museums to companies and organizations. It’s a simple math equation at heart. For example, if 150 people come to the museum on a Wednesday evening (after closing) for a corporate sponsored product launch and the price to the company is $16,000 (including the rental fee, security/staff, catering, bar, private tours, etc., how many of the event’s guests visiting during regular business hours would it take to equal the amount the company paid? On a typical Wednesday? Is your marketing of private events more prioritized now? 48 Julyz August2022
Military Aviation Preservation Society (MAPS Air Museum) in Green, Ohio
Another incentive for such events could be to offer membership discounts or reduced ticket pricing for those who would like to return at a later date. You can make this offer available to all guests or, if not, just to the planners of the event. Pre purchased gift shop item can serve as a keepsake, or open the gift shop to attendees if the event schedule and attendance allows.
I believe that museums are in the storytelling business, and you should always be looking to tell your story, especially at a corporate event or meeting, even if it is only a welcome and a few minutes when the guests arrive.
Is hosting company events and meetings part of the strategic plan and initiatives of your museum or attraction? According to Mark Heppner, president and CEO of The Ford House in Grosse Pointe, MI, it can be and it can pay dividends.
Heppner agrees, “Exposing guests to the museum and its membership programs can increase individual and family memberships. Plus, following up with the business as a corporate sponsor for other programming is more meaningful and relatable now to the business leader. By being at your museum, they become more invested than before.”
“The strategic priority of corporate rental activities at a museum should connect with the main goals of any museum. Corporate events and activities introduce a museum to a new audience and potential constituents that might not otherwise be exposed to the museum”, says Heppner. This ties in directly with the aforementioned math problem.
Your venue may be more valuable than you think, especially when it comes to bringing companies and organizations into it. If company events are part of the plan, then there are other opportunities to expand goodwill, membership, and, ultimately, revenue. The value that they can bring to your organization extends much deeper than just an event on a Wednesday night.
While events do take time to plan and execute, they open your museum to people who have never been to it before, and in a setting that can be either formal or casual. If they enjoy themselves at that particular event, chances are good that they either will come back to the tour or invite others to tour. So, with one event there is an opportunity to double or triple the foot traffic that comes to your museum.
By hosting corporate events Monday through Thursday nights, you can help to create memorable and wonderful experiences and start building relationships that will continue to grow and prosper. Bob Pacanovsky is a keynote speaker and trainer who works with organizations to help them create memorable, “Black-Tie” customer experiences. He also works with museums to help them speak the language of companies when it comes to meetings and events. www.bobpacanovsky.com Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 49
Security for Large Events A Q&A with Yousef Kassis, general manager for Imperial Events Security Services, LLC Q: WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO HAVE A SECURITY PRESENCE ON-SITE FOR LARGE EVENTS, AND WHAT ROLE DOES THE SECURITY TEAM PLAY THROUGHOUT THE FUNCTION?
foundation on which the event should be built. Hiring your event security firm after your event has already been planned is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
A: Event security is a unique segment of the security industry – 99 percent of what we offer is customer service, and while we do control access, screen guests, and respond to incidents, our line staff will spend much more time answering questions about where restrooms are, where to find a good cup of coffee (or a good cheesesteak), or where is the best place to request an Uber. Viewing your event security team as a part of your overall event staff – and giving them event information, even if it’s not security-specific - helps to gives you more boots, eyes and mouths on the ground.
Violence, in general, is a concern as of late. Event professionals know what I mean when I say that the general public has become a bit more erratic and unstable since the hospitality industry has bounced back in the wake of the pandemic. Using a company that keeps up with the newest technology and can balance your guests’ experience with keeping them safe is invaluable. We utilize the newest in weapons detection technology that allows our staff to quickly screen guests and their belongings with minimal impact on ingress.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PRIMARY SECURITY RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH LARGER EVENTS? A: Large events come with inherent risks, from weather concerns to crowd flow issues and critical incidents. We recently completed a major 10 day long outdoor event which felt like we had every incident imaginable short of a couple of Biblical plagues. When you invite thousands of members of the general public, things are bound to happen. Being prepared for them and reacting swiftly is key. Having a team in place that understands each of their roles and how they fit into the plan saves valuable time when a situation occurs. Q: WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PREPARE FOR AND TO MITIGATE SUCH RISKS? A: Hiring an experienced event security team at the very early stages of your event planning is key. Establishing your perimeter, access points, and guest flow are the 50 Julyz August2022
Q: WHAT ARE SOME KEYS TO EMERGENCY PLANNING FOR A LARGE EVENT? A: Having a codified emergency plan is preferred for all events. Bringing together key stakeholders and talking them through potential incidents and how the response to each will look keeps everyone on the same page. We also recommend conducting tabletop exercises, which will allow key staffers to walkthrough potential incidents step-by-step and review the decisions made along the way. Q: HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO HELP GUESTS TO FEEL SAFE WHILE THEY ARE ON-SITE AT LARGE EVENTS? A: Uniformed, professional security staff offer many benefits. Having them in key positions gives your security and management team eyes on your entire event. Using a team that is experienced in events means you’re getting guards that have worked events before and know what to look for, how to point out something that could be of con-
An IESS security guard greets guests through an OPENGATE weapons detection screening as they enter the Philadelphia Flower Show
cern, or simply give your attendees peace of mind. Using a team that values its staff’s appearance, equips its team with radios (including an earpiece, so we’re not transmitting sensitive info to the public), and comes equipped with all the resources necessary, including supervisors and managers, makes a difference. We’ve worked events before where we have coordinated threat assessments with Homeland Security, established a network of dozens of cameras monitoring the grounds 24/7, and designed and implemented a command center with a central number that staff or guests can call, giving them direct, single-point access to security, medical personnel, police and fire departments. Q: WHAT ARE SOME DIFFERENCES IN PROVIDING SECURITY FOR PUBLIC EVENTS VERSUS PRIVATE EVENTS? A: Public events can be vastly different from private events. Take a professional convention. For the most part, a planner can reasonably predict the behavior of their attendees. We know who they are, what they do for a living, and the event itself is more of a learning and networking experience than an entertainment source. A public event is a whole different beast – you don’t know who you’re getting, how many you’re getting or how they’re getting to your event. The planning for these events has to include considerations well outside of the footprint. For the Philadelphia Flower Show, this included everything from coordinating with SEPTA (Philadelphia’s mass transit agency), the Philadelphia Police Department and Office of Emergency Management, and the venue and parking staff for the stadium district, where guests would park and board shuttles. We recognized and took into consideration that a guest's first impression of the event starts when they pull off the highway or get off the train, not at the front gate of the show. So, after "zooming out" to that level, we were able to "zoom in" and focus on each step of the guest's journey, from the first hello to the last goodbye. Q: WHAT ARE SOME CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH PROVIDING SECURITY FOR A HIGH-PROFILE EVENT LIKE THE PHS PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW, WHICH HAS MOVED FROM AN INDOOR VENUE TO ONE THAT IS OUTDOORS? A: We’ve been fortunate to work with the Philadelphia Flower Show since 1994 – the first time it was held in the then-new Pennsylvania Convention Center. The 2022 show
was my 11th and seeing it evolve year after year is always amazing, but it really became my favorite event when it moved outdoors. The security planning, like the overall event planning, went from a somewhat copy and paste to a blow it all up and start from scratch challenge which I enjoyed - most days. Going from a building with infrastructure - doors that lock, lighting, cameras, air conditioning, and bathrooms - to the middle of a field in South Philly was a shock to the system. We really had to work closely with the show operations team to dive down deep into the event footprint, layout, and vision to ensure the site could be secured, the event could be traversed safely, and that we could respond to any type of incident quickly. Large events, both indoors and outside, require extensive planning and preparation, along with on-site staff who help to keep all aspects running smoothly. Event security is a critical component that provides not only a safe environment, but also extra “boots on the ground” that can help direct attendees, provide information, and serve as a conduit between the show organizer and their audience. TO FIND OUT MORE, VISIT: IESSEVENTS.COM Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 51
Landmark Hospitality was born out of a love for historic properties. Owner Frank Cretella and his team first developed the hospitality company not yet knowing if refurbishing and repurposing these properties would turn into a successful venture. Today, however, unique venues such as mansions, stables, barns and banks are the leading trend in terms of event spaces, putting Landmark’s vision of the industry ahead of the curve. “Landmark instinctively sees diamonds where others see rocks,” says Cretella. “Uniqueness and a tinge of oddity is what spurs our imagination, and we reversely put the buildings fingerprint on what business we will create in the space.”
Photo courtesy: Elkins Estate, Elkins Park, PA
In breathing new life into these properties, Landmark also allows thousands of people to experience them in a whole new way, adding a completely different perspective to a historic building. “Idealists feel that all historic buildings should be government owned, treated and operated as museums,” Cretella observes, noting that it can be a challenge to convince them that transforming the property into a vibrant hospitality business will allow it to live on for generations, because it becomes self-supporting.
Historic buildings in disrepair can become a hot button issue for the communities in which they reside. Winning over their support takes communication, a process that Landmark prefers to tackle “head on” through meetings with the community at-large and also with various groups “to show our plan, uniqueness to build, and the benefits of the overall long-term success to both the building and to the community,” explains Cretella.
Back To Life
One example of a repurposed historic site is the Village Hall building in South Orange, NJ. This property has long served as the center of town. The mayor, who had a background in neighbor-
Bringing 52 Julyz August2022
hood planning, realized that the historic city hall was in need of a major renovation that would probably cost the city in excess of $15-million. She also thought, once it was complete, that it would have little impact on the neighboring blocks because the traffic that city hall generates was minimal compared to what a hospitality use venue would generate. So, South Orange Village Hall, which opens this summer, instead will be a beautiful restaurant with second floor event spaces and a biergarten. Another example is Elkins Estate, a 45-acre site that is home to nine historic structures totaling 165,000square feet. Its last use was as a convent for Dominican Sisters who attempted to sell the property several times. In each case, an affluent person fell in love with the property, but did not have the vision or expertise to bring it to a point where it could become self-supporting and profitable.
In breathing new life into these properties, Landmark also allows thousands of people to experience them in a whole new way.
This property was a gem in Elkins Park, PA, so residents naturally had many opinions as to what it could become. Surprisingly, however, all ultimately agreed that Landmark Hospitality’s plan for its use was the most appropriate, and that they have the expertise and experience to bring their vision to fruition. “We are happy to say that Phase One of this project is now complete,” says Cretella. “The property will contain 120 hotel rooms, a fine dining restaurant, three distinctive event spaces, a conference center, a recording studio, demo kitchen, spa, a working farm with livestock, and even a helipad.” Landmark’s vision, experience and resources allow them a unique perspective and ability to transform historic venues such as these into memorable and elegant event spaces. These transformations provide planners with unique options for events, and towns and their residents with true destination venues that both preserve history and add something special to their communities.
www.landmarkhospitality.com Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 53
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.
New York & Connecticut
Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY; photo courtesy: Discover Albany
ALBANY, NY WWW.ALBANY.ORG WHAT’S NEW The Desmond has undergone a $15-million renovation and has rebranded itself at the Crowne Plaza Albany, the Desmond Hotel. This renovation included modernizing all the public spaces and restaurant facilities, as well as the 322 guest rooms and meeting spaces. Additionally, the hospitality community of Albany has come together as a whole in various ways to meet guests changing needs. In the drive to hold more events outdoors, the city has seen greater usage of public areas of hotels and meeting spaces in collaboration with the local Food Truck scene to create unique events for 54 Julyz August2022
conference attendees, which has created one-of-a-kind events and even stronger relationships within the destination. LOOKING AHEAD “The pandemic has refocused our Albany Capital Center on producing meetings and conventions with safety and cleanliness as a top priority,” explains Jay Cloutier, director of sales and sports commissioner for Discover Albany. “The Bipolar Ionization Technology ensures top notch air quality for attendees as the move to full capacity events continues... Operation staffs have quickly adapted safety protocols to match each event planner and their audiences to their particular comfort level. This flexibility will be required as we move into 2023.” “Albany continues to be a great location for meetings with excellent Amtrak Train Service and accessible flights through Albany International Airport. Ease of access from drive, fly and train markets will continue to fuel interest in hosting events in our destination,” Cloutier adds.
DUTCHESS COUNTY, NY DUTCHESSTOURISM.COM WHAT’S NEW This spring, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum on the Poughkeepsie waterfront re-opened with all new custom STEM exhibits making it the Hudson Valley's first interactive science center. Their new “Science Revealed!” area features 17 hands-on exhibits that invite guests into full-body physical exploration of motion, air, forces, fluids and electricity. The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Red Hook just opened two new hangars for their WWI and Barnstorming era planes, which was just the beginning of a major renovation and expansion for the site. Once complete, the Aerodrome will have a new visitors center, year-round indoor museum, farm-to-table restaurant, new entrance for bus groups, improved parking, as well as meeting space. Airshows take place on weekends from June-October. Adventure seekers can even take a biplane ride over the Hudson River and historic landmarks. The Academy is a multi-use development that recently opened in the City of Poughkeepsie, featuring The Academy Kitchen and Bar, a 75-seat American bistro w/expansive cocktail menu, an International food hall, The Academy Brew, and The Academy Fresh Food Market. The site also in-
cludes Keepsake at the Academy, an event space for up to 200 guests. Bellefield at Historic Hyde Park, across from The Culinary Institute of America, will include a 133-room boutique hotel with an anticipated opening in the fall of 2023. This multifaceted, hospitality and culinary tourism destination will include an integrated residential agrihood, a culinary research and development center, art galleries, a beer garden, an amphitheater and more, along with a second boutique hotel in 2024. Japanese brewing company Asahi Shuzo International is building its first U.S. sake brewery to Hyde Park that will open later this year. A maker of world-renowned DASSAI premium sake, the company will invest more than $28-million in the site where they are aiming to produce more than 332,000 gallons of sake annually. The space is being designed to welcome visitors for tours and tastings, and Asahi Shuzo will partner with The Culinary Institute of America on future research and development opportunities, including the development of new curriculum, certification programs, workshops and special events. Eastdale Village, Poughkeepsie, in the heart of the Hudson Valley, is a smart-growth-designed, 35-acre walkable community that will infuse shopping, dining, entertainment, living and working. NORSK Spa, Poughquag – is an outdoor Nordic oasis comprised of hot and cold pools, saunas, warming huts, relaxation spaces, massage rooms, a biergarten and a bistro. OUTREACH “We say Dutchess is ‘One County. For All Stories,’ because Dutchess County is a destination for all people. Our businesses and attractions continue to create welcoming environments for people with disabilities, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+ as well as those who don’t consider themselves a part of any particular group,” observes Melaine Rottkamp, CDME, president and CEO, Dutchess Tourism, Inc.. “We love showcasing the people who make our communities a special place and telling their stories. And we love inviting travelers to visit to create their own memorable stories they’ll tell for a lifetime.” LOOKING AHEAD “We are excited for the future of tourism and hospitality in Dutchess County,” exclaims Rottkamp. “Our attractions have Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 55
Bar at George's Restaurant, one of the top restaurants in Lake George, NY; photo courtesy: Lake George Chamber of Commerce & CVB
fully opened and have great programming planned. Events are back in full swing and people have been filling our hotels. “There’s a buzz of energy in the air that you can just feel. We are ready to welcome all people to the Hudson Valley. Visitors can craft their own experiences, whether it’s a focus on history, world-class art and performances, visiting our farms and enjoying the freshest dining experiences anywhere, exploring our outdoors or a sampling of each.”
LAKE GEORGE, NY WWW.VISITLAKEGEORGE.COM WHAT’S NEW Recent renovations and upgrades in the Lake George Region range from simple things, such as new linens to major expansions with additional meeting space. There are many examples of restaurants that have permanently expanded with new outdoor seating as a result of pandemic, as well. Local attractions have stepped up their tech offerings, such as the Fort William Henry Museum’s virtual reality exhibit or the updated online ticketing system and newly renovated entrance at Six Flags Great Escape Theme Park. In December 2021, the 166-year-old historic Fort William Henry Hotel in Lake George announced a renovation and rebranding project. Phase one of this multi-million-dollar three-year renovation plan included 36 guest rooms, a new kitchen, and a complete overhaul of The Carriage House space, a 7,000-square foot multi-use venue with a view at the southernmost point of Lake George. The full three-year plan includes renovations of 56 Julyz August2022
the conference center, which is nearing completion this summer, and additional guest rooms. The guest rooms renovations will be finished in three stages with all upgrades scheduled to be completed ahead of the 2024 summer season. In Glens Falls, a charming city dubbed “Hometown USA” located just south of Lake George, the historic downtown Queensbury Hotel plans to complete its Adirondack Ballroom Expansion with an unveiling in July 2022. Since 2016, The Queensbury, built in 1926, has undergone a multi-milliondollar renovation and restoration project that has included updating 123 guest rooms, lobby and front desk, two restaurants and all public spaces throughout the hotel. The 5,200-square-foot ballroom expansion project includes a complete renovation and enlargement of the Adirondack Room, the addition of a patio space and a new state-of-theart kitchen for their banquet and culinary team. With this expansion, the Queensbury will have a total of 10 different event spaces with more than 15,000-square feet of unique and flexible space for events.
ONEIDA COUNTY, NY ONEIDACOUNTYTOURISM.COM WHAT’S NEW The John S. Dyson NY Energy Zone will introduce guests to the dynamic world of electricity, past, present, and future, and the state of New York’s part in it through interactive exhibits, activities, movies and videos. Directly next to the NY Energy Zone is the Utica Zoo, which currently is working on a complete overhaul of their entrance building. This new building will feature an atrium/visitor building, education classroom, event space, new giftshop and more with an estimated completion date in December 2022. Hamilton College’s new Boathouse on a redeveloped brownfield site at Bellamy Harbor Park (on the historic Erie Canal) will bring opportunity for hosting rowing events on the Erie Canal.
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GET AWAY & GET TOGETHER IN THE ADIRONDACKS OF UPSTATE NEW YORK With over 200,000 square feet of ﬂexible meeting space, 7,000+ guest rooms, and 200+ attractions, the Lake George Area oﬀers all the luxuries & amenities without sacriﬁcing the beauty & charm of a small destination.
The Lake George Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau | visit us: meetlakegeorge.com Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 57
Rendering of Hamilton College’s new Boathouse at Bellamy Harbor Park; photo courtesy: Oneida County Tourism The Oneida Indian Nation celebrated the highly-anticipated grand opening of The Cove at Sylvan Beach, a new $35-million vacation rental destination on Oneida Lake designed for weeklong summer getaways with 70 contemporary and well-appointed two- and three-bedroom lakeside cottages. Each cottage rental includes its own personal pontoon boat. Other amenities include a dedicated boat slip, fire pit, gas grill, full-sized kitchen, an outdoor heated community swimming pool and a playground. Sylvan Beach Supply Co., The Cove’s flagship store and café, offers additional rentals, including canoes, water bikes, kayaks, fishing gear, paddle boards, bicycles, and more. The café menu is packed with sandwiches, quick bites and a variety of ice cream, plus candy in 80 different varieties. The Nexus Center is a 169,440-square foot facility in Utica. Slated to open this fall, the Nexus Center will feature stateof-the-art amenities to make it a tournament destination, featuring three multipurpose 200-foot by 85-foot playing surfaces that can be utilized as ice sheets or turf. It will be connected to the historic Adirondack Bank Center, home of the Utica Comets AHL team and Utica City FC. The Center will feature commercial office space, college classrooms, retail stores, training space, a fitness track, and food and beverage services. Recently launched, the What’s Upstate website (whatsupstateny.com) is a significant initiative to introduce and recruit new like-minded individuals to the Mohawk Valley. It will serve as a comprehensive website where area employers, visitors, and future residents can find everything they need to know about the area. The mission is to connect exceptional people and showcase our incredible local communities.
munications and tv/film for Oneida County Tourism. “This is a collaborative effort to promote Upstate NY to event organizers and showcase the athletic facilities within our destinations. With having a brand-new sports facility opening this November, this partnership will be a great opportunity for us.” “The rest of 2022 looks very strong for Oneida County and Central New York for outdoor soft adventure, as well as increasing attendance at events that have returned to the calendar,” Calero adds. “Hotel occupancy for April and May 2022 topped 60 percent in Oneida County, outpacing prepandemic 2019 occupancy rates.”
SARATOGA, NY WWW.DISCOVERSARATOGA.ORG WHAT’S NEW Saratoga Race Course recently completed a renovation of The Post Bar and Paddock Suite, a new, permanent twostory structure that will replace and enhance the original Post Bar, a popular single-story, open air gathering spot that had been located beneath a temporary canopy. The second floor Paddock Suite can accommodate as many as 80 guests. The Saratoga Springs City Center opened their highly anticipated parking facility, which includes a pedestrian bridge over Maple Avenue that leads into the City Center and more than 600 new parking spaces available to conference attendees. Universal Preservation Hall, a former historic church that has been renovated into year-round performing arts, meeting and event venue, opened in the heart of downtown.
LOOKING AHEAD “We have recently partnered with seven other New York State Destination Marketing Organizations to launch a partnership with PlayEasy,” notes Sarah Calero, director of com58 Julyz August2022
The National Museum of Racing underwent new renovations, including a state-of-the-art interactive Hall of Fame experience as well as new special event and meeting space.
Saratoga Performing Arts Center completed a multimilliondollar renovation that includes new, year-round, indoor-outdoor meeting and event spaces designed with safety and functionality in mind. The newly renovated Saratoga Casino Hotel is available for meetings and events with a variety of entertainment options all in one location. A HISTORY OF HOSPITALITY "Health, History, Horses" is Saratoga’s motto, and here, health always comes first, assures MacKenzie Zarzycki, director, marketing and communications for Discover Saratoga. “Our staff and hospitality partners will go above and beyond to ensure your meeting is a success. Nearly 60 iconic lodging properties with a combined total of over 3,900 rooms are ready to accommodate your group. Planners can choose from a variety of meeting spaces equipped to host up to 2,200 attendees.” “The focus of our 2022 strategic plan is to get our group numbers back up to pre-pandemic levels, Zarzycki explains.
CITY IN THE COUNTRY.
“Our plan is to focus on targeted marketing to regional and state associations, corporate groups, etc. to promote the convenience of drivability to our destination. We will also be attending in-person industry events like collaborative DMO events, regional MPI events, and national and regional trade shows to expand our exposure across the country.” “We are creating a new and fresh marketing message to promote the destination, as well as providing a monetary incentive to book first time business with us,” Zarzycki adds. “We are focusing on reconnecting with our loyal planner base to promote our creative convention services and recapture in-person meetings that have gone virtual in the past couple years. We look to 2022 to rebuild a strong future for Saratoga and feel confident that our planners are excited and determined to get back to meetings in person.” In fact, the larger state association conferences held in Q4 2021 and Q1 2022 in Saratoga Springs had great in-person attendance, demonstrating planner confidence. The booking pace for 2022 is very strong, as well. “Consumer confidence is rising, and planners are beginning to feel more confident when signing future year contracts. In recent meetings with
Saratoga, NY is bursting with historic charm, modern amenities, and ﬁrst-class hospitality. Eclectic meeting options, walkable downtown, cultural arts, historic sites, and award-winning golf create the perfect setting for combining business and pleasure. When you’re ready to plan your next meeting, visit discoversaratoga.org/meetings.
Eldred Preserve in the Sullivan Catskills, NY; photo courtesy: Sulllivan Catskills Visitors Association
our hotel partners, they shared that Q2 2022 numbers are exceeding their record breaking numbers from 2019,” Zarzycki exclaims.
SULLIVAN CATSKILLS, NY SULLIVANCATSKILLS.COM OVERVIEW Highly acclaimed and world renowned for hospitality, the Sullivan Catskills has been a favorite summertime getaway spot since the early 19th century. Today, it is an all-season destination perfect for leisure time, business meetings, and special occasions. From sprawling resorts to intimate settings, the area can host meetings and events, both large and small. Whether gathering for an industry conference, sales event, team meeting, or social function, the Sullivan Catskills offers over 100,000-square feet of combined event space at its full-service showcase properties.
Bungalow colonies popular in the Catskills from the turn of the 19th century, when seasonal travelers began renting cottages throughout the region to escape the city. There is a purposeful feeling of privacy in contrast to the Main Inn guest rooms, and similar to the Bungalow colonies of the past, they have their own unique sense of place, community and energy. Built on land that was part of Chapin Park, The Chatwal Lodge offers an incredible experience, from its architecture that stays true to the historic aesthetic and craftsmanship of Adirondack’s great camps to its elegance and hospitality. The newly opened Hampton Inn in Monticello will bring additional, much needed rooms and a small meeting space to the area to provide for the increased number of people now visiting and traveling into Sullivan County, particularly during the summer months. These join a roster of other recently opened boutique hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals, including Callicoon Hills, The Eldred Preserve, The Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark, and Resorts World Catskills.
WHAT’S NEW LOOKING AHEAD Three new properties have opened in the Sullivan Catskills in the past year. Debuting in June 2022, The Bungalows at Kenoza Hall have added 10 additional luxury accommodations to the property. The name itself harkens back to the 60 Julyz August2022
“We anticipate a busy summer season as people feel more comfortable to travel,” observes Roberta Byron-Lockwood, president and CEO of the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Associa-
tion. “We offer fresh air and wide-open space, which is exactly what people are seeking. With new lodging, restaurants, and other businesses opening, there is a sense of excitement swirling around the Sullivan Catskills. Many plans are in the works, including a new marketing initiative to expand the tourism season into the winter and early spring months and inspire travel during the shoulder season.”
fers 10,000-square feet of fun with two ropes courses and over 150 routes across 50 climbing walls.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY WWW.VISITWESTCHESTERNY.COM
Westchester County’s unconventional spaces also draw attention for out-of-the-box meetings and events. From the Capitol Theatre to Tarrytown Music Hall, which is powered by solar energy, there are many interesting places to host a gathering that are sure to inspire.
WHAT'S NEW The Opus Westchester, Autograph Collection is the county’s newest contemporary lifestyle hotel in the heart of White Plains. Renovated and rebranded in the spring of 2021, it welcomes guests with a social nature and modern appeal, featuring eclectic art and décor, and a bit of urban glamour. The hotel offers an indoor rooftop heated swimming pool and lounge deck, and over 10,000-square feet of event space . Overlooking the Hudson River Highlands, The Abbey Inn and Spa is housed in a former convent turned into a boutique hotel featuring luxurious guest rooms and suites, a full-service spa, and the Apropos farm-to-table restaurant with a Mediterranean-inspired menu that celebrates the Hudson Valley. Its ballroom hosts up to 120 guests, and the property features over 50-acres of scenic walking trails. Several historic tourist sites, including Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, John Jay Homestead State Historic Sites, Philipsburg Manor, and Union Church of Pocantico Hills all reopened in May 2022. From approximately June through October, groups can sail aboard the iconic Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, which underwent a major overhaul and offers cruises throughout the Hudson Valley. Clearwater sails between Albany and New York, with dockings in Westchester’s Ossining and Yonkers. The Empire State Trail, a 750-mile traverse designed for bicyclists and hikers to explore New York State that first opened in 2017, was finally completed this June. In Westchester, the trail runs from Yonkers up through the county through Yorktown Heights. It’s a great for doing some exploring. A new climbing park in Yonkers, Hapik, has just debuted, which is a great team building opportunity for groups. It of-
There are many outdoor opportunities in Westchester County, too, with nearly 50,000-acres of open space, including more than 24,000-acres of parkland. Outdoor pursuits in Westchester, which offers four-season appeal, can help groups to explore and enjoy the community.
New restaurants are blooming all over Westchester, too. Groups can try District Social, which recently opened in Mount Kisco with live music and axe throwing. New American restaurant Archie Grand has opened in White Plains and guests will find a progressive craft cocktail experience and a swanky vibe. Other spots include Augustine’s Salumeria e Pasta Joint, an Italian restaurant and artisanal sandwich shop in Mamaroneck, and Basso56, which features artisanal Italian dishes in Chappaqua. Earth-friendly and eco-conscious eateries abound in Westchester, too. TRUCK in Bedford is inspired by the downhome cooking traditions of Northern New Mexico and its menu features grass-fed beef, sustainably raised pork and vegetables straight from local farms whenever possible. Muddy Water in Tarrytown is a coffeehouse with a conscience, mindful of the conditions surrounding the coffee it sells, as well as minimizing energy consumption, and lessening the negative impact the environment. And Croton-onHudson’s The Blue Pig prioritizes local dairy, fresh produce from local farms or its own garden, and environmentally friendly practices for its hand-crafted ice cream. Westchester also is home to one Micheline two-star restaurant (Blue Hill at Stone Barns), and 14 Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants, which celebrates restaurants that are both affordable and remarkable. OUTREACH “We have continued to evolve our Westchester County Tourism and Films ‘Beyond Expectations’ campaign, which has proven to be resilient and relevant since its launch in 2020. It was designed to illustrate the county’s natural beauty and make the case that Westchester County is a departure from the everyday for leisure travelers and groups. We are fortunate that the concept so easily transitioned to Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 61
Skyline view of the city of Hartford, CT; photo courtesy: CTMeetings
pandemic-appropriate messaging and that it continues to resonate through the recovery,” explains Natasha Caputo, director, Westchester County Tourism and Film.
“To deepen planners’ understanding of Westchester’s varied appeal, we worked with more than 20 municipalities last year to create detailed itineraries that highlight each community’s unique assets and offerings. These hyper-local guides, informed by locals, serve as a great resource for planners who are looking for inspiration on how to maximize on their immediate surrounds when their groups are out and about,” Caputo adds.
“Our vision for the remainder of 2022 and beyond is to continue to meet groups where they are, by showing them how to easily and safely ‘Go Beyond’ in Westchester,” assures Caputo. “We are emphasizing the ways in which Westchester addresses the needs of today’s meetings and events, understanding groups are prioritizing meaningful connections and motivating in-person experiences to supplement a remote or hybrid environment, and they care about the impact they can have on the communities to which they travel.” LOOKING AHEAD “We are exploring ways to spotlight the makers of Westchester – the people behind the places that make our community worth the trip. We’d like to create opportunities for visiting groups to integrate these incredible creators into their events in some way. Stay tuned,” proclaims Caputo, adding, “Ultimately, we want planners to know that Westchester prioritizes diversity and inclusion, and this is a safe community for their groups to feel warmly welcomed.” 62 Julyz August2022
Connecticut is a scenic state that is compact, yet offers many different types of meeting venues and hotels (including dozens of bed-and-breakfasts) in a wide range of picturesque locations. Its size makes it easy for groups to meet and day-trip to numerous off-site attractions. From the sandy beaches of the Long Island Sound, to theater and museums in exciting cities, to entertainment at two of the world’s largest casinos, to cruising on the Connecticut River, to hiking the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains in Litchfield County, there is something for every group and every attendee. Known for the affordability of its hotels, venues and convention services compared to large metro areas, the state also is known for its richness of historical and cultural arts attractions, most of which can be used as unique venues for after-event socials. In fact, Connecticut has more than 1,500 sites on the National Historic Registry. WHAT’S NEW A new hotel concept opened in May 2022 transformed/renovated the former iconic Pirelli Building into the new Hotel Marcel in New Haven. Hotel Marcel is a 165-room boutique hotel that includes a restaurant, gallery and meeting space, and is the first passive house design in the U.S., as well as the nation’s only electric hotel, generating 100 percent of its own energy.
A new offering from the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat is Adventure, a restored, classic riverboat available for corporate and private events
Bristol Event Center in Bristol, just 19-miles from Hartford, will provide combined innovation, style and flexibility on a campus offering state-ofthe-art meeting space and quality for corporate, social or leisure events when it opens in early 2023. The cornerstone of the venue will be the chic and innovative Century Ballroom, and the building will feature 50,000-square feet of flexible event space, including an expansive outdoor area, and two on-site hotels. Cambria Hotel South Windsor-Manchester in South Windsor, behind Evergreen Walk, is slated to open in the fall of 2022 with meeting space, restaurant and bar. The former Stamford Sheraton is now THE STAMFORD, a wellness-oriented independent hotel in the heart of Stamford. Embracing a spirit of wellbeing, the hotel “fosters relaxation and comfort for all travelers, at all times.” Its two Wellbeing Floors offer additional wellness-related amenities, including Be Well kits in each room. Sheraton Hartford Hotel at Bradley International Airport, attached to the concourse of the airport (Windsor Locks), recently completed renovation of all overnight rooms and suites. Next up will be renovation of all common spaces. All rooms have multi-paned windows that are perfect for watching take-offs and landings, and all are sound-proofed. Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 63
Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT; photo courtesy: CT Meetings A newly constructed 1.4-million-square foot Ground Transportation Center at Bradley International Airport is set to open on July 13, 2022. Construction on the 13.4-acre $210 Million project is being entirely financed by customer facility charge revenues and will include all the rental car services, replacing the current off-airport rental car facilities and eliminating the need for passengers to use shuttles to access their rental cars. Also featured will be additional public parking and improved access to public transportation. Dunkin' Donuts Park in downtown Hartford, home of the Hartford Yard Goats, affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, was named the 2021 Best Double-A Ballpark in America by readers of Ballpark Digest. Dunkin' Donuts Park previously won the award in 2017 and 2018, marking the first time a minor league ballpark has won the "best ballpark" award three times. The ballpark also hosts numerous special events, corporate gatherings, and community activities. 64 Julyz August2022
The Pavilion at Mohegan Sun is a new outdoor venue with plenty of room (over 44,000square feet) for groups both large and small (150-2,000). The property currently is offering a late summer value package that includes: reception, bar, plus 3 hot and 3 cold appetizers, along with complimentary suite upgrades and a 10 percent discount on audio visual equipment. Available to groups of at least 150 guest rooms from September 19-24, 2022 that are booked by July 31, 2022. Foxwoods Resort Casino is celebrating its 30th anniversary with an impressive line-up of additions in Mashantucket, that include: a new Great Wolf Lodge at Mashantucket that will open in 2024 with a family indoor water park; a High Stakes Bingo Hall that opens this July; and the new 80,000-square foot Rainmaker Expo Center to open in November 2022. The old Ballpark at Harbor Yard, adjacent to the Total Mortgage Arena, was transformed into a live music venue, Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater, in Bridgeport anchored by a new roof to protect 5,700-capacity concertgoer seats. The $30 million-plus retrofit of the 23-year-old minor league baseball stadium opened last summer and has had a full schedule of top touring music headliners ever since. It also is available for private venue rentals. Westville Music Bowl (formerly the Connecticut Tennis Center) in New Haven, across from the Yale Bowl, is an outdoor 5,000-seat live underground music venue that opened in summer of 2021 as a regional oasis for dedicated jam-rock fans, known for touring with bands cross-country and across years. LOOKING AHEAD “The Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau consistently has been building on last year’s COVID efforts. As our state safely reopened, our bureau created in-person opportunities for meetings and hospitality partners to interact,” explains Robert Murdock, director of sports marketing and also president of the Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this July. “We intensified our work with planners by attending live industry events, resuming site tours, and providing modified convention services in safe ways. We rebranded our image to clearly convey our expertise, resources and value to planners’ changing needs. And we hosted virtual and in-person meetings for our members to provide the latest in sustainability news, and to offer opportunities for them to share and support each other.” “Our strategic state hospitality partner, the Connecticut Office of Tourism, has entered into a partnership with the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association, making Connecticut the first state to join the association at the global partner level,” Murdock adds. The bureau also has kicked off a targeted advertising and social media campaign with promotions for planners in Drive Markets like New York City and Boston, and partnered with state restaurant/hotel associations to maximize messaging. “Capitalizing on the return of in-person industry networking, we intensified our relationships with key planners and promoters by partnering with local venues and hotels to attend major industry shows – both virtually and in-person - with one-on-one appointments,” Murdock notes. “Our Bureau underwent a total Brand Refresh in August 2021, just in time for busy meetings/hospitality industry show season.”
CRAVE & EXPLORE MONTCO King of Prussia, PA - The second annual Crave Montco Month is happening this July, where over 50 of Montgomery County’s finest local restaurants and Montco Makers (breweries, wineries, and distilleries) are dishing out delicious deals all month-long. Use the Visit Valley Forge app, which is free to download, at participating locations to redeem Crave Montco Month offers. Explore history at some of the coolest sites in Montgomery County this summer, too. Adventure awaits at sites like Valley Forge National Historical Park (commemorating the site of George Washington and the Continental Army’s winter encampment of 1777-1778), Washington Memorial Chapel (erected as a tribute to George Washington and the entire Continental Army), Pottsgrove Manor (historic home built in 1752 by John Potts, an ironmaster and the founder of Pottstown), and Peter Wentz Farmstead (a historical farm and home in Worcester that once served as Washington's Headquarters).
10TH ANNUAL CRAFT BEER & CRAB FESTIVAL Cape May, NJ – Steamed crabs, local and regional craft beers and food vendors, plus wine, spirits and all-day family entertainment can be enjoyed at the Craft Beer & Crab Festival on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, presented by Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture) and sponsored by PNC Bank, July 23, 2022. Proceeds benefit Cape May MAC educational outreach programs. Cape May MAC is a multifaceted, not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region.
capemaymac.org 66 Julyz August2022
HOT SUMMER FUN AT MOHEGAN SUN POCONO Wilkes-Barre, PA – Mohegan Sun Pocono is celebrating Hot Summer Fun with giveaways and events now through September 2, 2022. In addition, the resort's popular free concert series, Party on the Patio, takes place outdoors every Thursday night through September 1st and features tribute bands, drink specials and local food trucks.
FERRY PARK SUMMER CONCERTS North Cape May, NJ - Ferry Park at the Cape May Ferry Terminal is amping up the summer with a free summer outdoor concert series, now through August 31st. Live music can be enjoyed every Wednesday evening along with a barbeque, beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks served on the lawn (no outside alcohol is permitted). Food trucks and arts and crafts vendors will also be set-up on the lawn, or guests can indulge in a meal or hand-crafted cocktail at any of Ferry Park’s new restaurants while taking in panoramic views of the Delaware Bay.
Ashley Gerrity Photography
Farmhouse AT PEOPLE’S LIGHT
The Farmhouse at People’s Light is the premier venue in Chester County. Whether your event is small or large, our 300-year-old farmhouse will make your event unforgettable.
39 Conestoga Road Malvern, PA 19355
EXCITING SUMMER HAPPENINGS King of Prussia & Lancaster, PA – Whether looking for family fun, an outdoor adventure, or great music, dining and drinking, two Pennsylvania destinations have it all. Lancaster is commonly known for its Amish population, but it also has a bustling and vibrant downtown that is full of great restaurants, art galleries, breweries, boutiques, and more. The Lancaster Marriott, located in the heart of historic downtown Lancaster, is home to two of the city’s premier restaurants: The Exchange (rooftop bar and lounge) and Plough (serving hyperlocal, farm-totable seasonal fare).
Meanwhile, at Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, enjoy a night at the hotel, play games and place bets, and indulge in a meal at one of several restaurants on property. This summer, the resort will feature a series of live entertainment and food truck popups each Saturday evening outside at Valley Beach, a 20,000-square-foot poolside club. Enjoy live music, the open-air tiki bar, private cabanas, and the crystal blue pool. www.vfcasino.com
WILDWOODS NEW SHUTTLE SERVICE The Wildwoods, NJ – The all-new Wildwoods Island Shuttle offers a daily route now through Labor Day, and will run weekends only from September 9 through October 22. The shuttles will run the length of the island, with a special late-night route planned for the North Wildwoods entertainment district. A free app, Jitney Surfer, can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App store that allows riders to view a map of shuttle routes and realtime locations of each shuttle. In other Wildwoods news, the Wildwood Business Improvement District has scheduled Fun Fridays at Byrne Plaza in downtown Wildwood on select Friday evenings this summer. Upcoming dates include: July 15 and 29, and August 5 and 19. Each Fun Friday will feature an assortment of vendors before live musical performances. Vendors and yard games will be set up by 6:00 pm and live music will play from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm. Parking is free for Byrne Plaza Events in designated lots. www.wildwoodsnj.com
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Delaware County, PA The perfect location for meetings, events, and team activities
Located just outside of Philadelphia,
Delaware County is easily accessible from Philadelphia International Airport,
New York, NY
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
Atlantic City, NJ
County offers a complete range of accommodations from full-service hotels to charming Bed & Breakfasts.
Lou Marrocco, Director of Meetings & Events LMarrocco@visitdelcopa.com
EventsWorthy PCMA PHL TAILGATE TRADE SHOW
Phillies and Philadelphia Union whose mascot Phang was on hand for photos.
June 2, 2022 – Drexel Hill, PA – The second annual Tailgate Trade Show at Drexelbrook Catering & Events Center where meeting, travel and event planners gathered for a unique trade show experience! Though, due to unpredictable weather, the trade show moved inside to the Grand Ballroom at Drexelbrook. Attendees had the opportunity to meet in-person with over 80 exhibitors including destinations, hotels, venues, event service companies and more! “Back for its second year, the PCMA Tailgate Trade Show didn’t disappoint! It’s quickly become a wonderful event that helps bring together our industry.” Scott Higgins, Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board.
“We were thrilled that PCMA chose to return to Drexelbrook for this 2nd Annual event and look forward to continuing our partnership with them for future shows. Delaware County has numerous unique meeting venues and partners, and this show gives us a chance to showcase them to quality meeting planners.” Steve Byrne, Visit Delco . Visit Annapolis came with the Arundel Ambassador, their mobile visitor information center, a 20' trailer wrapped with images showcasing Annapolis & Anne Arundel County.
“The PCMA Tailgate Trade Show was well executed and well attended. This was my first PCMA event and I found everyone to be very friendly and welcoming from staff to other vendors. Looking forward to participating again next year!” Leigh Velez, Pocono Mountains Visitor Bureau. Host Destination Sponsor, Visit Delco created a village that included Penn's Wood Winery, Delco Steaks, Gifford-Risely House, SunCenter Studios, The Inn at Grace Winery, The Philadelphia Union, Brick and Brew Gastropub, Bates Mobile Axe Throwing, DiFabio's Spring Valley Events, Ship Bottom Brewing, Philadelphia
Happy Valley Adventure Bureau gave out their famous ice cream from Penn State Creamery and Delco Steaks were serving their popular cheesesteaks. Choice Party Linens supplied linens for all the exhibitor’s tables. As the event came to a close, Host Destination Sponsor, Visit Delco invited attendees to an after-event to continue to network and enjoy cocktails and appetizers from Drexelbrook. Photo Credits: Mario Oliveto Photography
Hannah Worsh and Ashlee Martinelli, Hyatt Place Dewey Beach & Lighthouse Cove Event Center with Skip Coleman from Hyatt Place Kent Narrows 70 Julyz August2022
Angela Lustig and Carlie Lopate, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia
Lauren Kautz, Kalahari Resorts and Christine Stuart with Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square
Jane Dempsey, Elmwood Park Zoo with zoo staff
Courtney Babcock, Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau; Michelle Cope, Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau; Shelly-Ann Harris, Desmond Malvern, a DoubleTree by Hilton; Neal Yakupcin, Embassy Suites by Hilton; Jackie Hasson, Maritz Global Travel; and Lisa Hart, Maritz Global Travel
Scott Higgins, Valley Forge TCB Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 71
Brian Bossuyt, Pocono Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau
Kelly Connors, Mohegan Sun Pocono
Kim Pagliaro Bussard and Steve Wildemann, Advanced Staging
Jeannine Bates and Kristin Mycek, The Inn at Villanova University
Judy Wilbur, Dunes Manor, Kim Mueller, Town of Ocean City, MD, Jamie Spicer, Harrison Group Hotels and Amy O’Connell, Grand Hotel Resort 72 Julyz August2022
Jenny McConnell, Visit Hershey & Harrisburg
Kathy Hills, Doubletree by Hilton Reading; Carlie Lopate, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia; Gina Harrigan, Caesars Entertainment; Rich McCadden, Doubletree by Hilton Reading; Margo DeRouchie, Visit PA Americana
Arundel Ambassador, a mobile visitor information center that showcases the county's restaurants, shops, attractions, places to stay and more Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 73
EventsWorthy DMC NETWORK MEETS IN A RENEWED, FORWARD-LOOKING ATLANTIC CITY Atlantic City, NJ June 15 – 17, 2022 — The DMC Network celebrated the return of its annual Network-wide Exchange this year uniting nearly 100 DMC professionals and clients at this staple event for the first time since 2019. The Exchange represented a significant investment in the Jersey Shore community by the DMC Network and its partners. It also signals the DMC Network’s confidence in meeting in-person as demand continues to soar. “Atlantic City is ready to welcome groups and events of all sizes,” confirms Larry Huttinger, owner of Destination Philly A.C., a DMC network member and the DMC responsible for managing this year’s event. “It was incredible to have so many of our industry colleagues join us to experience firsthand what Atlantic City offers and the passion we have for our destination.’’ The Exchange is a signature annual gathering and connects DMC partners from across the globe with clients and industry partners for three days of networking, learning, and destination discovery. “The DMC Network Exchange is a standout example of the value and skills a strong DMC brings,” said Jeremy Gardner, Managing Director of the DMC Network. “This year’s program reflected the amazing DMC talent within our Network, showcased a destination ready to accommodate groups of all needs, and was an opportunity for senior DMC talents to collaborate and gain insights from clients about their changing needs and expectations.”
DMC Network Headquarters staff Chris Baker, Cindy Hartner, Meredith Shepard, Margie McCartney, Aoife Delaney and Lindsay Maloni-Kuntz
Highlights of this year’s Exchange included keynotes from digital expert Sam Richter and two-time Olympic gold medalist Lindsay Tarpley, a sunset takeover of the Steel Pier, a community art tour, and unique access to iconic Atlantic City venues — including the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, the Borgata Hotel, Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, and Harrah's Resort Atlantic City. Aoife Delaney, VP of Business Development for the DMC Network, says that the Exchange helped build excitement and momentum for what’s ahead for the DMC Network. “We have so missed hosting our clients for this event over the last two years, so this program was particularly celebratory — we are back doing what we do best, working with clients to create extraordinary experiences! The destination shone, relationships were solidified, and the education was on point,” she said. dmcnetwork.com Photo Credit: Shaun Reilly Photography 74 Julyz August2022
Larry Huttinger of Destination Philly A.C
DMC Network event on the Atlantic City beach
DISCOVER LANCASTER HOSTS AT THE WINERY June 29, 2022 Blue Bell, PA – Top meeting and event planners joined Discover Lancaster and their partners including Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, Lancaster County Convention Center, Lancaster Arts Hotel, Doubletree Resort, The Inn at Leola Village and Cork Factory Hotel at the premier and exclusive Karamoor Estate Vineyard & Winery. Guests enjoyed hearing all that Lancaster County has to offer for the meetings industry while enjoying the scenic views of the vineyards and tasting various award winning wines.
EventsWorthy CELEBRITY AND GHOST SIGHTINGS ALL IN ONE May 28, 2022 Bethlehem, PA - The Historic Hotel Bethlehem celebrated its 100th Anniversary in grand style. An evening of looking back included four different music venues throughout the Hotel, panel discussions highlighting the Hotel’s history, engaging presentations including Hotel Ghosts and the famous George Gray Murals along with experiential hotel history rooms and images of celebrities that stayed at this #1 Best Historic Hotel 2021 by USA Today Best Reader’s Choice Awards. Photo Credit: Repash Studio
Kelly Ronalds, Hotel Bethlehem with Tammy Wendling, Lehigh Valley Chamber
Bethany Greskovich, Ross Traphagen and Amber Grace of Hotel Bethlehem
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Kevin Whitmire and the Hotel Bethlehem team Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 77
Around Th THE BARNES FOUNDATION CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL Philadelphia, PA - This year, the Barnes Foundation celebrates the 100th anniversary of its establishment with exhibitions and public programs that reflect its commitments to education, community engagement, diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Additionally, the Barnes is celebrating 10 years on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. “Home to one of the world’s most lauded art collections, the Barnes is a cultural gem of Philadelphia and, over the past decade, has blossomed into a gathering place for the community, uniting people across generations and cultures,” says Aileen Roberts, Chair of the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees. barnesfoundation.org
CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT - COMMUNITY-MINDED Las Vegas, NV - Points of Light, the world's largest nonprofit dedicated to accelerating people-powered change, has announced The Civic 50 honorees of 2022, which included Caesars Entertainment for the eighth consecutive year. For 10 years, The Civic 50 has provided a national standard for corporate citizenship. It showcases how companies can use their time, skills, and resources to drive social impact in their communities and company.
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NEW DINING & SPECIAL EVENTS HOT SPOT Cherry Hill, NJ – Erlton Social Craft Bar & Kitchen offers lively dining experiences, American cuisine, craft beers, seasonal craft cocktails, wine, entertainment nights, and special events. Located within The Big Event Entertainment Experience, Erlton Social brings a new contemporary concept to an old favorite. The atmosphere is relaxing and entertaining with live music, entertainment nights and bingo nights, along with billiards, ping pong, shuffleboard and private event rooms. www.erltonsocial.com
"Caesars Entertainment's CSR framework, PEOPLE PLANET PLAY, provides direction for us to act with integrity and care for our Team Members, communities and the environment," said Heather Rapp, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility for Caesars Entertainment. "We're honored to be recognized for our efforts as one of the top community-minded organizations, and we're excited to continue to innovate and give back.” www.pointsoflight.org/the-civic-50
he Region DC ADDS MICHELIN STAR RESTAURANTS “Adding more of DC’s great restaurants to the Michelin Guide highlights the diversity of the city’s dining scene and that food alone is worth traveling to Washington, DC,” says Elliott L. Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC, the marketing organization of the nation’s capital. “Meeting attendees don’t have to go far to try a variety of international dishes from Peruvian to Southeast Asian and Greek and Ethiopian. The cuisine in DC rivals most food cities and elevates the overall experience for visitors.” The new One MICHELIN Star restaurants include: Albi (Middle Eastern cuisine); Imperfecto - The Chef’s Table (Latin American cuisine); Oyster Oyster (Vegetarian cuisine); and Reverie (Contemporary cuisine). The MICHELIN Guide inspectors also added the following four restaurants to the Bib Gourmand list, which recognizes eateries for great food at a great value: Daru; Dauphine’s; Honeymoon Chicken; and Menya Hosaki. Finally, the Guide announced two special awards, as well. Sommelier of the Year, presented by Wine Access, was awarded to Nicole Ramée, Alisa Watts and the team at Xiquet. The Exceptional Cocktails Award was awarded to Will Patton and the teams at Bresca and Jônt. www.washington.org
STARR RESTAURANTS’ CAFÉ CLICK Philadelphia, PA - Marrying the simplicity of the French countryside with the bustling energy of Center City, Café Click at Comcast Center is a pop-up Parisian-inspired outdoor café from STARR Restaurants that offers an al fresco dining atmosphere combined with a simple, yet savory menu. Café Click opens daily at 11:00 am serving coffee and light fare. In the evening, diners may choose to swap caffeine for Aperitif-style low-proof cocktails or wines by the glass, and shareable snacks. For those looking for a heartier bite, Café Click offers a selection of crêpes, tartines, and quiches, as well as a selection of pastries for dessert. http://comcastcentercampus.com/dine/cafe-click
Around Th VFTCB MEETINGS & EVENTS CAMPAIGN King of Prussia, PA – For the first time in the organization’s history, the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board (VFTCB) has launched a meetings-specific marketing campaign aimed at attracting corporate meetings and association conference involving weekday overnight accommodations.
“We feel the time is right as coming out of COVID our hotel portfolio has only become stronger, and our meeting amenities continue to grow,” said Scott Higgins, the VFTCB’s director of sales. valleyforge.org
The VFTCB partnered with Aloysius Butler & Clark to invest $325,000 for the initiative, which will target meeting planners of local corporations within 300-miles of Montgomery County, PA. The messaging will include a play on the word room, “Room for Meetings, Room for More” highlighting all Montco has to offer: breathing room (dozens of parks and almost 100 miles of trails), driving room (50 historic and top-ranked golf courses), room for every taste (1,800-plus restaurants and Montco Makers).
CELEBRATE KOP WITH BEER & FOOD BALCONY BAR @ KIMMEL Philadelphia, PA - Balcony Bar at the Kimmel is back, where guests can enjoy music, great food and happy hour cocktails from Garces, along with a view overlooking Broad Street in Center City. Admission to Balcony Bar is free and it is open every Wednesday from now until August 31, 2022. www.kimmelculturalcampus.org
King of Prussia, PA - KOP Beerfest Royale, October 6 & 8, 2022, is produced by the King of Prussia District. Proceeds from KOP Beerfest Royale are used by the King of Prussia District for physical improvement projects like landscaped medians, signage and linear parks. Kick off Beerfest on October 6 with King's Plate, a royal food and craft beer pairing celebration and culinary competition featuring local breweries and dishes from the region's top restaurants and food trucks. Indulge in unlimited food and beer samples, creative cocktails, local wine, decadent desserts, live music and more. kopbeerfest.com
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he Region NEWLY OPENED JERSEY SHORE RESTAURANT North Cape May, NJ – Exit Zero Hospitality has introduced a third full-service restaurant, Exit Zero Ferry Station, at the Cape May Ferry Terminal, an indoor/outdoor venue with an eclectic menu and scenic views. The Ferry Terminal also is home to The Lookout and Boat Drinks, both of which opened earlier this spring, bringing gourmet and casual dining to the freshly renovated space. "We want to offer visitors to the Ferry Terminal an unforgettable dining and entertainment experience," said Jack Wright, owner and creative director for Exit Zero Hospitality. "With three incredible dining options, all boasting unique atmospheres and wicked views of the Delaware Bay and Cape May-Lewes Ferry, we've brought that vision to life." www.visitferrypark.com PENDRY WASHINGTON, DC – THE WHARF OPENING Washington, DC – The Wharf, DC’s newest landmark, is a mile-long destination along the Potomac River with historical ties, a vibrant culture and a central location surrounded by incredible monuments. The destination encompasses a truly unique character with an intentionally curated collection of purveyors, including the nation’s oldest, continu-
ously-operating open-air fish market, and European-style elements, such as a promenade of premier gourmet options, world-class retailers, leisurely parks and more. Pendry Washington DC – The Wharf will be the only hotel to debut within The Wharf’s phase two of development, alongside 287 residential units and 15,000-square feet of public retail, which will open throughout 2022. Guests and locals will find three signature dining and bar concepts, including an all-day DC-Meets-California style restaurant, a day-to-night distinct rooftop concept, and the brand's sophisticated cocktail emporium, Bar Pendry. www.pendry.com/washington-dc
PITTSBURGH’S DLCC ROOFTOP TERRACE MAKES DEBUT Pittsburgh PA – VisitPITTSBURGH participated in the long-anticipated return of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC) Rooftop Terrace space, newly renovated and now open. The completely refurbished space was officially showcased at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Pittsburgh Opens Event in June. The DLCC Rooftop Terrace offers riverfront and city views, expansive walkways, curated rooftop gardens and flexible seating pods. The space can be customized for varying occasions, and features more than 35,000-square feet. pittsburghcc.com Mid-AtlanticEvEntsMagazine 81
EvEntM AKErs DELAWARE Dover - Alex Hannah has been selected as the new Chief of Marketing & Creative Services for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Division of Parks and Recreation.
NEVADA Las Vegas - CORT Events has hired Stephanie Byrd as their new Marketing Manager. Previously, Stephanie was a marketing specialist with Caesars Entertainment National Meetings and Events.
MARYLAND Annapolis - Historic Inns of Annapolis has announced the appointment of Kenneth White as the new General Manager for their three Annapolis-based Remington hotels. Historic Inns of Annapolis also is celebrating the 250th anniversary of its Maryland Inn, Governor Calvert House, and the Johnson House.
NEW JERSEY Cape May - Cape Resorts has announced the appointment of Dan Flannery as Chief Executive Officer. He will lead Cape Resorts’ operations and continue its strategic growth. Prior to this role, Dan was with Marriott’s EDITION brand. Edison - Dwayne King has been named Area Director of Sales & Marketing for the Friendwell Group of Companies.
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River Vale - Robyn Morgen has started a new position as Program Manager for the Creative Group, Inc. and will be based remotely. Robyn previously was with Viacom CBS.
NEW YORK Corning - Radisson Corning has appointed Marisa Thomas as General Manager. The historic hotel is embarking on a multimillion-dollar, property-wide renovation before converting to Hilton. New York City - PRA, a leader in the Business Events industry, announced that Ramel Kelly is now their new Global Sales Director.
PENNSYLVANIA Broomall - Kellie Mayrides has been named Client Success Manager at Event Strategy Group. Most recently Kellie was at CORT Events. Conshohocken - Lisa Cunningham has started a new position as Vice President, Head of Corporate Events at Hamilton Lane. Harrisburg - The Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association announced Joe Massaro as their next President and CEO. Joe most recently served in the dual role as the regional director of operations for Greenwood Hospitality and the general manager of the Hilton Harrisburg.
Howard - Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) Keystone announced the addition of Terri Confer as Regional Member Services Manager – Nittany Valley Office, and will provide support services for training and events in the area.
Philadelphia - Starr Butler-Jemison will join OVG360 as Senior Vice President of Content Development & Private Events, overseeing private functions, major corporate events, and content development across OVG360.
Lemoyne - Diane Langner has been promoted to Director of Meetings & Special Events for the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.
Tannersville - Terri Lutz has been named Vice President, Marketing for Camelback Resort.
VIRGINIA New Hope - Gina McGlone has been named Sales & Events Director for the Oldestone Steak House.
Leesburg - Kevin Blake has been appointed Director of Food and Beverage for Lansdowne Resort.
Philadelphia - Kevin McNellis has been named Senior Event Manager at ASM Global - Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Philadelphia - Brendan Morrissey was recently hired as the new Director of Sales for the Aloft Philadelphia Downtown. Philadelphia - Jim O'Donnell has started as Director of Enterprise Solutions, Meetings & Events, North America at American Express Global Business Travel.
Destinations International has announced the appointment of Gathan Borden as Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications. Geoff Freeman will rejoin the U.S. Travel Association as President and CEO after nearly a decade of association leadership, first as president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, and most recently as president and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association.
Philadelphia – Andrew Cifa has been named Area Director of Sales & Marketing for Hersha Hospitality Management. Philadelphia - The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia has announced that Rochelle L. Cameron will serve as the Chamber’s new President and CEO. Chellie most recently served as CEO for the Philadelphia International Airport and the Northeast International Airport.
COME TOGETHER IN ATLANTIC CITY Atlantic City is focused on the future as we continue to offer a variety of corporate social responsibility programs to diversify ourselves and lead the way in regenerative tourism. From offering the necessary and environmentally-responsible convention space, to combining it with sustainable action, a lucrative incentive program, and continuing education, Atlantic City provides an experience with you and the future in mind. We look forward to working with your group to establish meaningful meetings and conventions before, during and after your event. Experiences await here.
Contact us to plan your next meeting in Atlantic City! Incentive packages are available for new group business. Call 1-844-855-6338 or visit meetac.com today!