MidAtlantic Events Magazine Sept/Oct 2023 Issue

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September | October 2023

A Site for the Eyes... Meetings in the Mountains and Events in the Museum

Chef’s Garden restaurant brings fresh and local dining to a whole new level, Grand Cascades Lodge, Sussex County, NJ


come discover what’s here and wow

Our luxurious new tower is complete, and our AAA Four Diamond hotel now offers:

• 552 lavish guest rooms including 50 suites, plus a glass-enclosed indoor pool with outdoor terrace, on-site luxury spa and more

• 60,000 square feet of flexible event space, including a 23,000 square-foot ballroom with 24’ ceilings

• Unsurpassed convenience with everything under one roof

• Conveniently located in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania


For further details or to submit an RFP, contact Rebecca Kim, Hotel Sales Manager, at (484) 777.7928 or Rebecca.Kim@WindCreek.com

casino | hotel | spa | weddings | conventions | shopping | dining

| ©2022 Kalahari Management Co. LLC KalahariMeetings.com | Call 855-411-4605 to learn more | Follow Us: SERIOUS MEETINGS WITH SERIOUS FUN POCONO MOUNTAINS,
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. › 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

You and your Meeting Planning Team are invited...

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Inn at Grace Winery

50 Sweetwater Road, Glen Mills, PA 19342

3:30pm - 5:00pm

Tours of the Meeting House, and Chocolate & Wine pairings

5:00pm – 7:30pm

Trade Show & Showcase

Special personalized gift for all registered Planners!

Visit Delco and Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine are pleased to announce the annual event showcasing Delaware County's finest venues, hotels, caterers, and restaurants. Meeting planners looking for unique venues, meeting space, hotel accommodations, and team building offerings will be invited to network with up-and-coming and established hospitality professionals from the Main Line to the Brandywine and discover the main reasons Delaware County is the first choice for successful meetings, events, and gatherings.


https://delco.ticketleap.com/ meet-me-in-delco-showcase-event/


Trade in the hustle and bustle of big cities and give your team a chance to kick back on the coast, get inspired and get to work. Just a short drive away for most of the Mid-Atlantic Region, over 10,000 accommodations and more than 250,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space await. Not to mention one of America’s Top 10 Beaches. Plan your next unforgettable event in Ocean City, Maryland – Somewhere to Smile About.
Where work feels like


416 Guest Rooms

90,000 sq. ft. Exhibit Space


"While planning your next big event, don't settle for anything less than everything."

Conveniently located in the heart of the historical city of Lancaster, the Lancaster County Convention Center allows visitors to explore everything downtown Lancaster has to offer.

From local shops, museums, and art galleries to a diverse culinary scene – enjoy big city culture at a small town pace.

DIRECTOR OF CONVENTION SALES PHONE (717) 207-4045 MOBILE (717) 344-7367 25 S. QUEEN STREET, LANCASTER, PA 17603-3918 LancasterConventionCenter.com
Jacyn H. Thompson


With an award-winning staff and an unmatched variety of dining and entertainment options, Resorts Casino Hotel is the one of a kind choice for your next event. Let us help you plan your own unique experience in our 64,000 square feet of flexible space, with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

All in one of the most acclaimed locations anywhere, the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk, and featuring the quality, service and style of a Mohegan property. Just minutes from two international airports.


1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ
8 September z October 2023 Chef’s Garden restaurant brings fresh and local dining to a whole new level, Grand Cascades Lodge, Sussex County, NJ PAGE 40
Chef’s Garden restaurant brings fresh and local dining to a whole new level, Grand Cascades Lodge, Sussex County, NJ A Site for the Eyes... Meetings in the Mountains and Events in the Museum CONTENTS FEATURES 10 Entertainment & Nightlife at Casinos Ideal destinations for incorporating excitement and fun 26 Unique Venues for Events Museums, attractions, and theaters for one-of-a-kind events 40 Meeting in the Mountains Offering plenty of space and recreation options for everyone 58 Winter Wonderlands Places offering winter activities and holiday happenings EVENTS EXTRAS 28 Embrace the Museum Experience! 52 Guest Experiences: Conference & Event Venues 56 A Check-In with Area Destinations 70 Dining Under The Stars 73 Location Report - Virginia Alexandria, Arlington, Charlottesville, Fairfax County, Hampton, Hot Springs, Richmond, and Virginia's Blue Ridge 86 Location Report - Washington, DC 90 A Cohnversation with Don Pleau, Kalahari Resorts 94 EventMakers 98 EventsWorthy-Barnes Foundation Summer Soiree 102 EventsWorthy-DICED Cooking Competition at NCC 104 Around The Region September z October 2023
PAGE 104 - Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA hosted their Topping Off Party as they placed their last piece of steel for their new Entrance Plaza. PAGE 40- The Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley, PA takes your breath away and rejuvenates your body. PAGE 58 - Holidays start at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, which is attached to the Convention Center complex and sits within the Historic District of Lancaster, PA.


Jim Cohn




Dana Kurtbek-MME Media

Lydia Young


EVENTS DIRECTOR Jennifer Johnson

CONTROLLER Robert Conrad

CONTENT CONTRIBUTIONS BY Brulee Catering, Feast Your Eyes Catering, Kalahari Resorts, Media Business Authority, Pocono Mountains CVB, Greater Wildwoods Tourism





1800 Byberry Rd Ste 901, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006 215-947-8600 editor@eventsmagazine.com

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

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

Mid-Atlantic EVENTS Magazine 9
of Sales, Catering and Conference Services. Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine (ISSN 0896-3967), is published bi-monthly by Tri-State Events Magazine, Inc. Copyright 2023 by Tri-State Events Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine 1800 Byberry Road, STE 901 Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006 215-947-8600 www.eventsmagazine.com - Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau - Discover Lancaster - Green Meetings Industry Council - Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International – Greater Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware - International Live Events Association – Greater Philadelphia, North Jersey & Washington DC - Meeting Professionals International – Middle Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Philadelphia & Potomac - Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives - National Association of Catering Executives –Greater Philadelphia/South Jersey - Ocean City, MD Convention and Visitors Bureau - Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association - Pennsylvania Society of Association Executives - PHL CVB - Pocono Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau - Professional Convention Management AssociationGreater Philadelphia - Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board - Visit Bucks County - Visit Delco, PA Connecticut Delaware Maryland New Jersey New York Pennsylvania Virginia West Virginia Washington, DC Vol. 36, No.6 Mid-Atlantic E vents
Follow Us On Facebook Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine See why meetings here feel more connected. Go to VisitSouthernDelaware.com/groups for our $300-for-30 group rebate and more. Southern Delaware Serene coastal landscapes and vibrant local culture elevate every meeting and group experience in Southern Delaware. Plus, enjoy premier accommodations, tax-free, state-of-the-art meeting and retreat facilities, Culinary Coast™ dining, and a host of memorable outdoor adventures.
Staf f



Pittsburgh is every cowboy and cowgirl's nighttime oasis, offering unrivaled entertainment for the ultimate night out

10 September z October 2023
(Professional Bull Riders) Pittsburgh at Live! Casino & Hotel


Casinos are all-in-one venues offering everything needed for a meeting or event (ample function space, excellent dining, planning assistance, overnight rooms, plenty of activities, and lots to do and see). They also are ideal places for incorporating excitement and fun, offering everything from gaming to shows to nightlife and more.

Throughout the region these destinations provide plenty of options. Planners and groups can enjoy the wide variety of offerings at these properties, whether by the ocean, in the city, or up in the mountains.

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Bally’s Atlantic City is home to a unique venue named The Yard - a beer garden-style venue offering live entertainment, a curated tap list featuring local and national brewers, craft cocktails, and a gastro-pub style menu all year long. Its modern, industrial design and open-air space captures seaside views from every angle and offers both indoor and outdoor space. The retractable roof easily adjusts to the weather in any season.

“With 83,000-square feet of meeting space, plus multiple restaurants and bars, Bally’s can offer unique experiences by utilizing our 5,000-square foot VIP Room overlooking the boardwalk, our indoor pool adjacent to our outdoor patio deck with breathtaking views of the beach and boardwalk, along with any of our gourmet restaurants. These venues can all be closed for private functions,” notes Peter Ciccone, corporate vice president of sales, Bally’s Atlantic City.


Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa offers an abundance of entertainment options to enjoy. The resort has a robust nightlife scene that caters to a wide variety of genres, whether looking for a laid-back atmosphere or something more energetic. At Gypsy Bar, groups will enjoy music from well-known local cover bands and an eclectic mix of over 100 tequila options, while Long Bar offers a more intimate atmosphere serving cocktails and light bites, and Premier Nightclub offers a nightlight experience featuring top DJs and a theatrical atmosphere.

Additional offerings include B Bar, centrally located on the Borgata casino floor, The Lobby Bar just steps from check-in, Bet MGM Sportsbook & Bar with its 40-foot-wide LED video wall, and Level One Cocktail Bar & Lounge.

Ongoing entertainment options are available at both The Event Center and The Music Box. Just this past summer, Borgata hosted big names like Counting Crows, The Goo Goo Dolls, Eric D’Alessandro and more. Legendary comic, Sabastian Maniscalco returns to Borgata’s Event Center this fall for 10 shows.

“Each of Borgata’s nightlife venues, restaurants and The Music Box provide a unique setting for large event gatherings or parties and can be rented out for private events and transformed to fit any needs,” says Alexandra Hennessey, director of communications, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. “Borgata’s versatile team has the resources and technology to make any event happen... We offer everything from multi-course tasting menus to cocktail and wine pairings, making sure groups are receiving an elevated experience.”

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This summer, Atlantic City’s iconic Warner Theatre was resurrected by Spiegelworld - producers of ground-breaking shows, including the Las Vegas hit Absinthe - at Caesars Atlantic City, as the city’s only permanent live entertainment destination: The Hook.

In 1929, the “Wonder Theatre of the World” - the Warner Theatre - became an east coast mecca for entertainment. Nearly a century later, guests once again are entering through the theater’s original façade to enjoy both a raucous live stage show and Spiegelworld’s signature interactive dining-entertainment experience - all part of a multi-milliondollar renovation at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino.

Opened since June and operating every week of the year, The Hook features an international cast of comics, acrobats, and circus artists who combine to create this world premiere residency show for the brand-new 400-seat venue. In addition, the venue serves as an East Coast home for the Italian-American-Psychedelic Superfrico restaurant, and several cocktail bars with an elevated cocktail program curated by award-winning mixologists.

Setting the stage for a dramatic transformation of the Caesars Atlantic City resort, The Hook venue is part of Caesars Entertainment’s $400 million investment in Atlantic City, including the region’s first Nobu restaurant and hotel project, the East Coast’s first Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, over 700 newly appointed rooms and suites, and a new rooftop pool experience overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Between Caesars’ three Atlantic City properties, including Caesars, Harrah’s and Tropicana, the resorts collectively offer an array of restaurants and nightlife experiences, plus plenty of meeting and event space, including The Pool at Harrah’s, and the 100,000-square foot Harrah's Waterfront Conference Center.

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


With the legendary Atlantic City boardwalk as its backdrop, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City has become a go-to entertainment destination in Atlantic City. The property features an award-winning gaming floor and a dedicated Sportsbook. Boasting more than 16 food and beverage offerings, guests can enjoy everything from fine dining to casual fare.

The music-inspired resort offers guests a glimpse into the world’s most valuable and largest music memorabilia collection, along with services from Rock Spa® & Salon, which includes rhythm and music inspired treatments like the Soul Survivor Massage. With more than 150,000-square feet of meeting and event space, Hard Rock Atlantic City can host everything from intimate board meetings to large-scale conferences.

The Euphoria Variety Show, live onstage in the Sound Waves theater at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, debuted in June - a high-octane and captivating production show that features top-shelf variety acts, singers, dancers, and an orchestra, all working in concert to create an entertaining, fun, and unique experience.

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Escape to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and LandShark Bar & Grill, a cool, casual place for anyone looking to have a good time, where guests can enjoy live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night.

LandShark Bar & Grill is inspired by the great “beach joints” that once dotted the Atlantic Coast, the venue features retractable walls to provide views of the ocean and places guests in the center of the action on the beach and boardwalk. Inside, guests will find surfing artifacts to honor the great Atlantic City surfing tradition. The deck at LandShark Beach Bar features weekly live entertainment. Enjoy frozen drinks, cold brews, or try a handcrafted margarita right on the sand, complete with a fire pit for nightly beach campfires.

Resorts Casino Hotel offers a number of special “extras,” private experiences and opportunities for corporate gatherings and events, such as private wine pairing dinners, yoga on the pool deck or beach, a reserved area for a night cap or after party at their seasonally-themed Pop Up Bar, custom Murder Mystery dinner and show, reserved tables on the casino floor, pasta making classes in Capriccio Italian Restaurant, oyster tastings at Dougherty’s Steak House & Raw Bar, and private drag events (including bingo and cabaret).

Groups also can book a section in the Superstar Theater for enjoying a variety of live entertainment. Also, AC Jokes will host a private event in the Screening Room or in a ballroom or classroom on property.

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“At Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland, the property holistically embodies the thrill of evening entertainment and nightlife,” proclaims Cindy Jones, vice president of sales and marketing, Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland. “As you walk across the casino floor and immerse yourself in the high energy atmosphere, restaurants and bars throughout the property offer their own unique entertainment. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, guests can enjoy live music from The Prime Rib piano player to the upbeat tunes at Luk Fu and RBar.”

On-site event planners and their support team members work closely with the planner to customize the event and the venues of The HALL and the Event Center to ensure that every group is properly accommodated and that their personalized interests are satisfied, Jones assures.

The HALL at Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland is 75,000-square feet and three stories of customizable concert and event venue space. It boasts 4,000 comfortable seats for music concerts and comedy show experiences in the region. The venue hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including conferences, trade shows, meetings, galas, fundraisers, concerts, sporting events and more.

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“Additionally, companies can host private events at most of our nine restaurants and bars for a delicious dinner or nightcap at the end of a long day of group meetings,” notes Jones. “As the only AAA Four Diamond Rated Hotel in Anne Arundel County, the Live! Hotel provides firstclass amenities and luxurious accommodations for all meeting and conference attendees, with the ability to book a floor to accommodate large groups.”

The flagship property in Maryland also offers private entertainment and nightlife experiences through its VIPexclusive experiences. Among its numerous amenities, Live! Hotel features Club 21, a private gaming area in the hotel. The property’s Asian fusion restaurant, Luk Fu, has a private Chef’s Table dining experience. For something more upscale, The Prime Rib provides a patio and private wine room for dinner before heading to the lounge for an afterdinner cocktail.

For team building, Live! offers sushi rolling classes, mixology demonstrations, wine, beer and whiskey tastings, and scavenger hunts with the famous artwork featured in The Cordish Art Collection in the hotel’s lobby. Within steps of the property, the Arundel Mills shopping center features special entertainment venues like Medieval Times, Dave & Buster’s, and Mission Escape Rooms, as well.

At Arundel Mills. Must be 21. Please play responsibly, for help visit mdgamblinghelp.org or call 1-800-GAMBLER. ©2023
every moment
maryland.livecasinohotel.com Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 17
Experience the magic of Live! Casino Hotel Maryland, your premier destination for next level events featuring AAA Four-Diamond amenities including state-of-the-art facilities, luxury accommodations, and exquisite dining options. Let us elevate your next gathering or business conference to unforgettable heights.
Sports & Social, Luk Fu, and The Prime Rib at Live! Casino Hotel Philadelphia are popular destinations for watching Philly Sports teams, singing karaoke, and enjoying great food every night of the week.


The Venue Live! is an entertainment destination that offers an array of shows, from “riveting tributes to mind-bending mentalists. As a one-stop entertainment shop, we're dedicated to delivering an exceptional night out for our guests,” says Doug Haniford, advertising and public relations manager, Live! Casino Pittsburgh.

Adjacent to the Venue Live! inside Live! Casino Pittsburgh is the PBR Pittsburgh Country Bar that features a mechanical bull, buckle bunnies, and a Southern energy. PBR Pittsburgh fuses that country spirit with nightlife and entertainment.

Just a few steps away, sports enthusiasts will enjoy Sports and Social Steel City, a sports bar, gaming parlor, and social lounge boasting a 40foot media wall for an immersive game-watching experience. Sports and Social Steel City offers several semi-private spaces for smaller parties and is available as a full buyout for larger events.

At Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen + Bar, a new menu brings the theme of #NewBigEats and comfort with a twist of Flavortown to Live! Casino Pittsburgh. Start with appetizers, such as

“grape jelly” barbecue meatballs and sizzlin’ sirloin steak tips. Big eats options include entrees inspired by comfort foods like roasted turkey, barbecue shrimp, and eggplant Parma-ziti.

“Are you ready to visit Flavortown? Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen + Bar’s new menu features the flavors to take you there,” says Sean Sullivan, Live! Casino Pittsburgh's general manager.

“At The Venue Live! we go above and beyond to make your corporate gatherings and events truly exceptional,” assures Haniford. “From meetings to banquets, private dining, birthday celebrations and holiday parties, we have options to create immersive experiences for small and large events. Elevate your experience with our VIP booths... For a unique touch, our bowling alleys and golf simulators in the sports and social area add an extra layer of entertainment to your event. With our versatile spaces and special offerings, we ensure your corporate event is unforgettable and tailored to your needs.”

“We specialize in seamlessly integrating special events and entertainment into your meetings and business functions,” Haniford adds. “Your event can seamlessly tie into the wide array of entertainment options we offer, creating a dynamic and engaging experience for all attendees.”

18 September z October 2023


For groups looking to unwind after a full day of meetings, Wind Creek Bethlehem has multiple on-site entertainment options including an indoor swimming pool and two of the property’s newest amenities, MIXX at Wind Creek and The Spa at Wind Creek.

Located just off the hotel lobby, MIXX at Wind Creek offers signature handcrafted cocktails and live entertain-

ment on select weekends - all inside a luxe, art-deco inspired atmosphere.

Spa at Wind Creek is a full-service salon featuring ultra-luxe amenities, including a cryotherapy room, relaxation pools, swinging chairs over a wading pool, infrared saunas, aromatherapy steam rooms, views of the city of Bethlehem, and more.

“Wind Creek Bethlehem’s on-site, dedicated sales team can work with meeting planners to create themed events, personalized group dining experiences, and additional on-site team building activities, including axe throwing at Angry Jacks Axe Throwing Club and - coming soon - indoor miniature golf, virtual indoor golf, and a sports bar at Twisted Tees,” says Amelia Tognoli, corporate communications manager for Wind Creek Hospitality.

We’ v e G o t We’ve Got A l

T h e A c t i o n All The Action

Located in the Stadium District STEPS AWAY FROM FOUR MAJOR SPORTS TEAMS Book now at events@livecasinophilly.com 900 Packer Avenue, Philadelphia @LiveEventsPHL Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 19


Mount Airy Casino Resort, a AAA Four Diamond rated luxury property in the Pocono Mountains, features nearly 300 refined and stylish guest rooms and suites, concierge services, a full-service spa and salon, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool complex, multiple, upscale restaurants, and a 20,000-square foot convention center and ballroom.

Celebrating its 16th year this fall, Mount Airy Casino Resort boasts an impressive list of entertainment offerings, too, which includes an award-winning lakefront 18-hole golf course, some of the hottest slots and most popular table games, picturesque hiking trails on-site, and theater experiences like a rock concert or a night of comedy that includes a wide variety of big-name talent.

With Live Entertainment every Friday and Saturday night, The Glass Bar is the perfect place to meet in the heart of the casino. Order a round of cocktails, follow favorite teams on TV, and play some slots. Or kick back, relax and sip cocktails in an intimate setting at Pia's Lounge.

The Pool at Mount Airy is a heated, four-season swimming experience featuring an underwater passageway that allows guests to move continuously from indoors to outdoors between two adjoining pools.


The Hive Taphouse currently has 20 beers on tap, the most at Mohegan Pennsylvania, serving IPAs, Porter, Stouts, cider, ale, lager, rotating seasonal offerings and more. Home to a live music stage, this new venue features an entertainment calendar with some of the top musical acts across the region.

Embers Terrace at Mohegan Pennsylvania, located near Rustic Kitchen Bistro & Bar, features a 25-person outdoor bar and a partially covered dining area with a lite fare menu and hand-built fire pits. Embers Terrace is home to acoustic entertainment and an area with various outdoor lawn games and activities.

Breakers is a bar that offers an eclectic scene where guests can come in and watch their favorite sporting events or groove to live music from favorite local bands.

Top Golf swing suites inside the Hive Taphouse can be reserved by groups and built into an all-inclusive corporate package featuring food and drink specials, great for team building events.

20 September z October 2023


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

For more information, visit mountairycasino.com/meetings-weddings or call 570-243-5125.

The Premier Adult Resort



Whether it is an intimate group of 10 or a large corporate event, novelle, located in Casino of the Sky, offers four private salons for smaller groups and two raised areas in the main room for semi-private groups. With the ability to accommodate up to 500 guests, groups large and small can experience every luxury novelle has to offer.

TAO Asian Bistro & Lounge is a restaurant and lounge specializing in authentic Asian-inspired dishes. Guests can enjoy food, drinks, and DJ entertainment in its distinctive, 300-seat dining room or kick back pre-dinner or during late night hours in the luxury Ink Lounge.

There are 275,000-square feet of flexible meeting and function space at Mohegan Sun in all, including the 125,000square foot Earth Expo Center and the 38,000-square foot Uncas Ballroom. Located at the entrance to the Earth Expo & Convention Center, GAME ON features an interactive restaurant and 65-foot bar with craft beer on tap, an eightlane bowling alley, 15 hi-definition viewing screens, karaoke, games, live entertainment, and much more.

The former Summer Entrance has been transformed into a 2,100-square foot outdoor event space that is now known as the Sun Patio. The Sun Patio and many other spaces at Mohegan Sun are available to be booked for private sponsored events via the property’s meetings and conventions team.

In addition, the Mohegan Sun Arena features exciting entertainment acts including comedians, concerts and more.



Rivers Casino Philadelphia features monthly ticketed shows featuring the following upcoming performances: September 15, Everclear with The Ataris; October 7, The Concert: A Tribute to ABBA; November 22, DeRay Davis; and November 24, Brian McKnight.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia also features a large variety of slots and table games, and guests can reserve private gam-

22 September z October 2023

ing tables. For a more immersive experience, groups can enjoy the state-of-theart BetRivers Sportsbook that features a nearly 600-square foot high-definition central monitor. With baseball heading into postseason, football season underway and the basketball and hockey seasons starting, guests have plenty of chances to place wagers on their favorite teams 24/7.

Whether looking for a private dining experience, to incorporate a live performance into their itinerary, to enjoy a bonfire on the beach, or to relax in a luxurious spa, planners and their groups will find everything they need at casino properties throughout the region. These allin-one destinations offer a variety of choices for having fun, boosting morale, and bringing their teams closer together.

The Martorano’s Prime Experience

Philadelphia — Celebrity cook and South Philly native Steve Martorano opened Martorano’s Prime, an Italian-American Steakhouse at Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

Martorano’s Prime is the acclaimed cook’s first Philadelphia signature restaurant in over 30 years; it fuses the founder’s renowned Italian-American menu with high-end steakhouse staples. Rivers Casino Philadelphia will be the second Martorano’s Prime location after the concept successfully debuted at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh in 2021.

Unique to Martorano’s Prime in Philly is an exclusive chef’s table, located just inside the kitchen in full view of all the culinary action. This up-close, personal, and immersive experience will give guests an inside look at what makes Martorano’s a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

The chef’s table will feature a customized tasting menu, showcasing the restaurant’s signature dishes, seasonal ingredients and innovative techniques. The chef will personally present and explain each course, answer questions, and provide insights into the culinary creativity, technique, and artistry of the kitchen team as it prepares and plates dishes.

The Martorano’s Prime Experience

Martorano takes pride in providing a restaurant experience that hits all the senses — while guests enjoy richly flavored dishes, the smell of authentic Italian-American cooking fills the air, oldschool Hollywood movies are on screens throughout the restaurant and hip music plays in the background.

“I can’t wait for Philadelphia to taste home-cooked meals from my family recipes,” said Martorano. “From the second you walk in the door, you’ll know you’re getting old-school Italian cooking. It’ll be an experience you won’t forget, from beginning to end.”

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Restaurant Week returns to Atlantic City from October 1-6, 2023.

In addition, the newly opened Island Waterpark at Showboat Hotel boasts a $100-million waterpark featuring 11 slides, a 1,000-square foot surf simulator, first-of-its-kind nightlife entertainment exclusively for adults, and more.

24 September z October 2023

The ultimate dinner and a show experience (adults only) is now open at Caesars Atlantic City. Spiegelworld’s The Hook is Atlantic City’s only permanent, live entertainment destination housed in a new and bespoke 400-seat stateof-the-art theater. This splashy production features an all-star cast of acclaimed comedians, acrobats, and circus performers from nine countries spanning four continents. The venue also features Spiegelworld’s hugely successful Italian-American-Psychedelic restaurant, Superfrico, along with four cocktail bars, each offering its own “must taste” experience

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Museums, attractions, and theaters are more than great places at which to visit, learn, and be entertained. These venues also provide outstanding opportunities for those seeking unique spaces for events and meetings. Properties that serve as conversation pieces. That are a draw for attendees.

There is nothing “usual” about holding an event at a zoo or an aquarium, amid works of art, displays of historic artifacts, beneath and beside planes, helicopters, and space shuttles. Each of these places offer spaces and experiences that simply cannot be duplicated elsewhere.

26 September z October 2023
An outstanding location for hosting special events, the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA; photo courtesy: Smithsonian Institution

Independence Seaport Museum (ISM) is a unique, easily accessible location just off of I-95 in Philadelphia, PA that is available for hosting events and boasts views of the Delaware River and the surrounding area, and can accommodate intimate cocktails amid exhibits or hundreds of people in its Rooftop Ballroom and Terrace.

“At ISM, our staff can completely customize the planner’s - and guests’ - experience,” proclaims Alexis Furlong, director of marketing and communications for the Independence Seaport Museum.

The museum offers various spaces that can be utilized as part of a facility rental. Its award-winning exhibit spaces on the first floor make an excellent backdrop for a reception when ISM is closed to the public. A Concert Hall seats close to 500 people on the second floor and can serve as a breakout space during the day, or as the location to show a film or performance as part of the event.

“Our Rooftop Ballroom and Terrace provides the perfect opportunity as a mixed space, where you could easily fit a seated dinner and a dance floor or create a bunch of private spaces for miniature breakout locations. The attached terrace is available year-round to utilize so that everyone can enjoy the breathtaking views only Independence Seaport Museum can offer,” says Furlong.

When it comes to food and beverage for events, ISM works with preferred caterers who offer enticing menus. For a truly unique experience during warmer months, groups can climb aboard Cruiser Olympia, the oldest floating steel warship in the world, which is just a short walk from the museum.

There is no shortage of things to do in Lancaster, PA, with plenty of museums, theaters, art galleries, and more - there is something for everyone.

Lancaster is a destination rich with history, too. The city and surrounding area played an integral role in the operation of the Underground Railroad, and there is an official site of the Underground Railroad located on-property at the Lancaster County Convention Center. The Thaddeus Stevens & Lydia Hamilton Smith Center for History & Democracy is the historic site and former home and business of anti-slavery and pre-Civil War Congressman Thaddeus Stevens.

Currently in development, the historic site will transition into a museum sharing the story of these two remarkable Americans and the pivotal role that Lancaster played during that time.

Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 27

Embrace the Museum Experience!

- The National Constitution Center (NCC) is rooted in Philadelphia’s most historic square mile, providing tons of opportunities and visuals to infuse Philly-centric moments into your events.

- Local entertainment goes a long way. Local Schools and choir groups have great performances and are so impactful to both visiting groups and the performers alike.

- What better way to show off Philadelphia to outof-town attendees (and locals, too) than by choosing a menu that is unique to the region? Brûlée Catering offers a “Liberty” cocktail station that features cheesesteak sliders, roast pork sandwiches, hoagie bites, soft pretzels, and tomato pie.

- Embrace the museum’s identity. We often see guests posing with our statues in Signer’s Hall, and some past clients have hired historical actors to engage with guests as though they were walking into Old City in 1776.

- Think about and prioritize your budget. Map out what is most important to you. What about to your guests? Plan accordingly to make sure your budget is going where it is most valuable, whether it be food, entertainment, décor, or otherwise.

- Finally, use the museum's mission and exhibits as an enticement for your conference or event.

Carol Short, Director of Catering for National Constitution Center’s exclusive caterer, Brûlée Catering, and the NCC Event Sales Team

“A must-see attraction in downtown Lancaster is the Central Market, the country’s longest continuously running public farmer’s market dating back to 1730,” notes Hans Schreiber, director of sales and marketing, Lancaster County Convention Center & Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square. “With over 60 local vendors, a step inside the Central Market showcases everything Lancaster County has to offer, including produce native to the local landscape, locally sourced meats and cheeses, foods representing the cultural diversity of the area, and more.”

Lancaster’s Southern Market is another can’t-miss attraction, having first opened in 1888 as a farmers’ market, it began an exciting new chapter in early 2022, completely revitalized and officially back as a public space. The first-floor food hall encompasses 7,500-square feet, with seating for 250. In the middle is Bar 1888, a 30-seat bar operated by Willow Valley Communities, with award-winning mixologists at the helm.

“For those looking to catch a show while in town, the Prima Theater is a boutique organization offering fresh theatrical experiences, including exciting concerts and contemporary theater. Prima’s home is on the west side of Lancaster City at Culliton Stage and offers free parking, comfortable seating, and top-of-the-line audio and lighting,” says Schreiber.

Also located downtown is the historic Fulton Theatre, reportedly the oldest working

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theater in the U.S. Dating back to the mid-1800s, the building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.

Finally, exploring Pennsylvania’s Dutch County offers a unique glimpse into rural Amish experiences and the history of the people who live here. Enjoy a horse and buggy tour through the countryside, or explore hundreds of miles of rail-trails, nature preserves, hiking spots, and horseback riding trails.

Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 29 E VERY eventistheBIG event! AUDIO VIDEO LIGHTING VIRTUAL EVENTS VIDEO PRODUCTION (610) 431-8200 AdvancedStaging.com
The Terrace at The
Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

The Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA offers the option of renting the entire zoo for an event, allowing guests to enjoy all the animal exhibits in this 16-acre venue while choosing from multiple locations for food and beverage. These include two large, covered picnic areas, the Zoo Brew Beer Garden, and the indoor/outdoor Canopy Gardens Hall.

“Each of these spaces also are available for rent individually, depending on the group’s size and event style,” explains Jane B. Dempsey, director of sales, Elmwood Park Zoo. “Not only can we create a custom menu to suit all needs, from a picnic to a brunch to a full dinner, but we offer a wide variety of activities that can’t be found anywhere else in the area.”

Guests can feed giraffes, enjoy a meet and greet with one of the zoo’s ambassador animals (including the Philadelphia Eagles live mascot), ride a vintage carousel, or have a team building event at the Treetop Adventures Ziplining and Obstacle Course. Elmwood Park Zoo’s sales team will work with planners to create an event that meets their needs and budget.

Situated in Center City Philadelphia, the Barnes Foundation is an ideal place in which to hold a corporate event or all-day conference, declares Deirdre Maher, director of communications for The Barnes Foundation. “What distinguishes the Barnes from other venues is its incredible collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern paintings. Attendees can explore the galleries during breaks or throughout an event. One can make the most of this one-of-a-kind experience with a tour or docent station offering more information about the renowned collection.”

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Currents Ballroom at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ; photo courtesy: Serena Starr Photography

The Barnes’ experienced events staff and catering team will guide and help event planners every step of the way.

“The Barnes Foundation’s building is fully accessible. Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners, it boasts grand open spaces, multiple indoor and outdoor locations, comfortable meeting rooms, and spectacular garden settings,” says Maher. “With stateof-the-art audio-visual capabilities, the Barnes suits diverse needs and meeting requirements. The exclusive catering team provides food and beverage, including breakfasts, breaks, lunches, cocktail hours, and dinners. The Barnes is perfect for intimate gatherings for 10 guests up to receptions for 800 guests.”

In Chadds Ford, PA, the Brandywine Museum of Art is set in what once was a 19th century grist mill, offering stunning views of the Brandywine Creek. Large floorto-ceiling glass windows on all atria levels allow

guests to view nature outside and see it reflected in the landscapes and still-life paintings represented in the museum's art collection.

The art galleries are opened privately for invited guests. “One may either view the galleries at their leisure during their event or arrange for a guided tour,” notes Rebecca Bucci, senior events manager and volunteer administrator, Brandywine Museum of Art.

The Brandywine Museum of Art hosts private and corporate events in the evenings, after the museum has closed to the public. The rental includes access to all three floors of available galleries, which are open privately for the first two hours of the special event.

“Booking in early 2024, we will have a newly redesigned meeting space for day-time corporate rentals and retreats,” explains Bucci. “Brandywine Museum of Art has its own liquor license and exclusive in-house caterers.”

Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 31 GALAS | CORPORATE RETREATS | MEETINGS moar@brulee-catering.com | (215) 923-6000

unique venue can accommodate any type of event, large or small. With over 3,000-square feet of flexible space, including a state-of-theart theater, it is the perfect place to celebrate a party, corporate event, seminar, or gala.”

Adventure Aquarium is an enthralling event venue on the Delaware waterfront in Camden, NJ featuring views of Philadelphia and the Ben Franklin Bridge. “Our guests enjoy hippos, sea turtles, sharks, and stingrays, and opportunities to interact with aquatic animals, including our African Penguins,” observes Terry Hall, director of catering sales and marketing for the Aquarium.

“Our venue is pleased to offer services beyond expectations, from outstanding food and beverage service to one-of-a-kind animal experiences. We are dedicated to making events unique and memorable experiences for our guests,” Hall adds.

Currents Ballroom, the aquarium’s private event space, has floor-toceiling windows with views into the 550,000-gallon Shark Realm Exhibit. This space is both serene and exciting, and includes panoramic views of the Philadelphia skyline. Accommodating 200 guests for daytime meetings or 250 guests for dinner and dancing after hours, the

ballroom offers a one-of-kind backdrop for any event.

The South Seas exhibit allows guests to explore the aquarium in a private setting. “They can enjoy cocktails while exploring Sea Turtle Cove, Piranha Falls, Pirates Cove, and our 750,000-gallon Ocean Realm Exhibit, dance under a mobile of 1,000 fish, and take in the Delaware River and the Philadelphia skyline from the private waterfront balcony,” says Hall. The South Seas can accommodate up to 2,500 guests for a reception-style celebration. Catering and full-bar service is available throughout the aquarium.

Daytime events can participate in team building scavenger hunts. Evening events can include shark and stingray touch tanks, shark tunnel, shark bridge, virtual reality pods, and up-close encounters with African penguins and other encounter animals.

According to Paul Kahan, executive director of the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester, PA, “Our

Featuring a one-of-a-kind atmosphere in two event spaces, plus additional outdoor areas and optional add-on event experiences, the American Helicopter Museum offers the flexibility to bring in the client’s preferred caterer, entertainment, and rental provider, along with free on-site parking, wireless Internet on-site, a public address system, and a large theater for presenting. The museum offers private tours, too, along with age-appropriate, hands-on programs for visitors of all ages.

Gettysburg Beyond the Battle is the newest museum in Gettysburg, PA, featuring 12 galleries of immersive and interactive exhibits covering the history before, during, and after the Battle of Gettysburg. The museum specifically focuses on the civilian experience and includes the critically-acclaimed 360-degree experience, Caught in the Crossfire, which takes visitors into a recreated home of local citizens trapped in the middle of the battle.

“Visiting the museum is a great complementary option to booking an event or meeting in the Battlefield Overlook Event Center or Seminar Room, both of which are located in the same building as the museum,” notes Michaela Shaffer, director of marketing and develop-

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Exhibit gallery and event space at Gettysburg Beyond The Battle Museum in Gettysburg, PA; photo credit: Noel Kline

ment, Adams County Historical Society and Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum.

“The Event Center can accommodate up to 150 guests with tables and chairs and 200 guests with lecture style seating,” Shaffer adds. “The room has full AV capabilities and features sweeping views of the battlefield. The Seminar Room is perfect for smaller meetings and workshops. The room also has full AV capabilities and can seat up to 25 guests. As a bonus, the facility also features a patio, which can be used for small outdoor gatherings. Groups are welcome to provide their own food, bring in a caterer of their choice - subject to approvalor use our preferred caterer.”

Private tours of the museum, as well as the research room and archives, may be arranged upon request. Museum tickets also are available as an add-on to all group bookings.

Surrounded by icons of aviation and spaceflight, the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA offers an impressive backdrop for events of all sizes, from intimate dinners to corporate events for hundreds and everything in between. This space features a massive Boeing Aviation Hangar and the equally impressive James S. McDon-

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Rendering of the second floor of the new SPACE exhibit opening at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA; image created by MDSX

nell Space Hangar, providing a network of walkways, overlooks and balconies on three levels for accommodating unique events.

“When hosting a reception or dinner, the entire facility is open, and event organizers may choose between many interesting sites,” explains Emily Chamberlin, director of special events, National Air and Space Museum. “For an out-of-this-world experience, host your event next to the Space Shuttle Discovery, the oldest and most accomplished orbiter; for a thrilling evening, host your event next to the SR-71 Blackbird, the world's fastest jet-propelled aircraft; if you dream of a supersonic intimate evening, then host your event near the Air France Concorde, designed to cater to firstclass passengers for whom speed was critical.”

The museum also offers several unique opportunities that can enhance any event. Private evening events can enjoy a 20- to 25-minute-long mission film in the Airbus IMAX Theater. Or arrange for the museum’s

highly-trained docents to be on-hand to offer special tours or just answer questions guests may have about the collection. Finally, Virtual Reality rides and Flight Simulators can be open for guests to enjoy, as well.

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia recently received a $3-million gift from The Boeing Company for the development of a new future-focused SPACE exhibit. The gift will enable the transformation and expansion of the existing exhibit into an immersive two-story gallery on space exploration, ushering in a new age of space science at the Franklin Institute as it approaches its 200th anniversary in 2024.

Home to the second oldest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, the Franklin Institute has a connection to space that has been central to its identity since 1824. Opening in the fall of 2023, the SPACE exhibit represents the first in a series of six topic areas the Institute will explore through a suite of innovative exhibitions developed and rolled out over the next several years to

Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 35 Impress at your next corporate gathering with stunning views, and world-class catering. Host your special event at one of the eight breathtaking spaces located in the Kimmel Center and the Academy of Music, complete with spectacular food and exquisite cocktails by award-winning Garces Events. • Corporate Meetings • Conferences • Weddings • Rehearsal Dinners • Special Events • Private Parties • Entertaining • Performances • Film Screenings For more information, visit KimmelCulturalCampus.org/Rent-Our-Venues or call 215-790-5323

support a bold vision that reimagines the Franklin Institute experience. These enhancements will enable it to transform the way it communicates information, tells diverse science stories, and delivers inspiring encounters with the latest in science and technology.

“This cutting-edge, dynamic, fully-immersive exhibit is groundbreaking. Involving all sectors of the community using an outside-in approach was an important part of this process to ensure that we created an exhibit that satisfies the desires of our many visitors,” asserts Larry Dubinski, president and CEO of The Franklin Institute.

This new addition further enhances the offerings of The Franklin Institute, a renowned and

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Elmwood Park Zoo Carousel

innovative leader in science and technology learning and a dynamic center of activity. Pennsylvania’s most visited museum, it is a popular destination for corporate and group events, as well, with a variety of venues on site able to accommodate groups of a wide range of sizes for all types of events.

These varied venues are just a sampling of the opportunities awaiting planners and their groups as unique, fun, and exciting spaces for events. Choosing unique spaces such as these adds to the experience, providing oneof-a-kind outings that can be enjoyed by all.


Feast Your Eyes Catering Steps into Next Era of Business

After nearly five years of leadership as Feast Your Eyes Catering’s General Manager and then CEO, Anthony Lehman has officially taken over as Owner of the company. This transition follows the retirement of Skip Schwarzman and Lynn Buono, the husband-wife duo and founders of Feast Your Eyes Catering.

Anthony brings more than two decades of experience in the customer service and hospitality industries. His varied background includes hotel and restaurant management, concert and venue operations, national event production, and multiday large-scale events. Anthony started with Feast Your Eyes Catering in the fall of 2018 and over the last five years he has made his mark in the catering community by partner collaborations and setting Feast on an incredible growth trajectory to outpace its previous multi-million-dollar success. A transition plan was 2 years in the making where Anthony worked with Lynn and Skip to make sure everything was seamless. His next step is to build Feast as the leader in custom-made culinary experiences for the Philadelphia region.

“I am excited to carry on the values, practices, and kindness Lynn and Skip have fostered in their many years in business,” said Anthony. “This is just the beginning of Feast Your Eyes’ new chapter, and I look forward to turning the page on the next four decades and beyond with our wonderful team of talented professionals.”

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Photo Credit: Rebecca Barger

“Everything about passing the Feast Your Eyes baton to such a passionate team feels great,” said Lynn. “The culinary journey we’ve charted to today has featured so much exploration and creativity, and I’m proud of Feast's innovation and commitment to excellence. Anthony is the right person to shepherd the company into the future.”

“It was time for Lynn and I to move on,” said Skip. “We didn’t get here alone, and after 40 years, there are many folks who’ve been a part of Feast's successes. We’re proud of the food, design, and hospitality we’ve provided, and of the top shelf talent Anthony is leading with the same dedication.”

Feast Your Eyes’ growing off-premise portfolio includes 60+ fascinating sites across the region along with the company’s exclusive venues –Front & Palmer and FAME and most recently the Vesper Boat Club and the Ardrossan Estate.


Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 39 DESIGNING EXPERIENCES CATERED TO YOU CORPORATE • SOCIAL • DROP-OFF info@feastyoureyescatering.com | 215.634.3002 REBECCA BARGER PHOTOGRAPHY
next step is to build Feast as the leader in custom-made culinary experiences for the Philadelphia region.



Spectacular views, fresh air, relaxed environs, opportunities for outdoor escapes, team building activities, and unique experiences await in the mountains of the MidAtlantic and Northeast Regions of the country.

Mountain resort destinations offer plenty of recreation, ample meeting space (both indoors and outside), delectable dining, rejuvenating spas, big time entertainment, and exciting adventures – with something for just about everyone. Whether seeking quiet solitude as part of a meditative retreat or energetic team building programs coupled with a family staycation filled with waterpark fun, planners will find a wide range of offerings and activities to meet their needs.

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Mountain destinations like The Omni Homestead Resort offer a complete change of pace, different weather patterns, and scenic views. A connection to nature creates a sense of tranquility, relaxation, and focus.

“We find that many of our groups see increased attendance overall, as well as better attendance at individual meetings or receptions as there are fewer outside distractions compared to a city location,” asserts John Hess, director of sales and marketing, Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA. “Mountain destinations also are great for converting some conferences to family events. Numerous associations invite their members to bring spouses and children to enjoy the resort’s many activities, improving attendance and reducing early departures. Many attendees choose to extend their stays so that they, too, may experience the resort’s amenities.”

“Our unique setting allows guests to unwind,” Hess adds. “This promotes more networking, spurs creative

thinking, and helps organizations get a better ROI on their meeting spend.”

Omni Homestead Resort offers a wide variety of both indoor and outdoor venues for hosting special events. Expansive lawns adjacent to the main hotel can accommodate groups from 20 to 1,000. The grand Casino Lawn is the largest and has three sections that can be reserved and tented for private functions.

“Our newest site, the Old Course Pavilion, offers 4,000square feet of indoor space with floor-to-ceiling windows and retractable doors with sweeping views of the resort and surrounding mountains,” notes Hess. “The pavilion also features a 6,700-square foot event lawn that includes a picturesque pergola. Other one-of-akind outdoor locations include the Shooting Club, The Cascades golf course, and our ski area.”

A multi-level brick terrace adjacent to the Grand Ballroom overlooks the South Lawn and is ideal for a memorable reception or dinner. Inside, Omni Homestead has over 72,000-square feet of newly renovated meeting space, many of which boast natural light and outdoor access. The resort has 483 guest rooms, including 88 suites, all of which recently underwent a complete renovation with extensive infrastructure improvements to enhance efficiency and comfort while also reducing the property’s carbon footprint.

Over 40 recreational amenities on-site include 36 holes of championship golf, a 28-treatment room spa with a

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The Overlook Restaurant at the Clubhouse at Woodloch Springs in Hawley, PA in the Pocono Mountains

private, adults-only Serenity Garden, the Shooting Club, Equestrian Center, ski area, falconry, the historic Warm Springs Pools, the popular Cascades Gorge Hike, a zip line canopy tour, mountain biking, a Virginia Wine Experience and more. The Omni Homestead’s culinary experiences range from fast-casual to elegant fine dining.

“Our groups indulge in truly one-of-a-kind experiences,” proclaims Molly Coneybeer, director of marketing, Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains. “These varied experiences are set against the backdrop of our stunning mountain landscape, which is situated at an impressive elevation of 2,133-feet. This exceptional combination is unparalleled in the Poconos Region.”

Camelback Resort presents a versatile meeting environment that spans more than 20,000square feet, encompassing everything from expansive conference spaces to smaller breakout rooms designed for intimate gatherings, all while on-site AV technology caters to every need.

Overlooking a picturesque mountain landscape, Camelback features 453 guest rooms, as well as up to 24 seasonal food and beverage outlets.

“From the delicious Berrelli’s Italian Chophouse to the elevated Summit House, our team is dedicated to tailoring every aspect according to your

preferences, ensuring a seamless experience from beginning to end,” says Coneybeer.

With each change of seasons comes an array of distinct activities that engage groups in exciting team building escapades. Mountain adventures offer zipping and zooming down the mountainside on expansive 4,000-foot ziplines, riding UTVs, or taking on Camelback’s legendary mountain coaster. In winter, options include skiing, tubing, and snowboarding.

For those seeking a more tranquil experiences, Aquatopia offers a lazy river and an indoor/outdoor hot tub for the ultimate in relaxation. As night falls, guests can enjoy the calmness and beauty of gathering around the firepits outside of Trails End Pub & Grille at the base of an imposing mountain.

An ideal mountain destination for meetings and retreats, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions and in the Pocono Mountains offers something for everyone, from entertainment to dining and relaxing at this picturesque resort. In addition to the many on-site amenities, Kalahari also features multiple on-property hiking trails for guests to explore.

In addition, Kalahari offers 205,000-square feet of flexible event space, including four ballrooms,

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Chambers of The Wine Cellar at Crystal Springs Resort in Sussex County, NJ

Berrelli’s Italian Chophouse at Camelback Resort in the Poconos, offering a memorable dining experience with both indoor seating and an outdoor deck for enjoying the fresh mountain air

33 meeting rooms and multiple hospitality suites. Planning and executing the perfect event is made easy with the resort’s dedicated conference service manager and full-service business center to help with any last-minute needs.

With 977 guest rooms, including one-, two-, three- and five-bedroom suites, Kalahari has accommodations to fit any sized group, as well. Comfort is a top priority, and all rooms come with a wide range of amenities along with admission to the East Coast’s Largest Indoor Waterpark.

When it comes to food and beverage, the resort’s talented culinary team can tailor group dining experiences, and guests have access to four on-site signature restaurants, as well, which include casual, formal, and buffet options. There is something for every taste.

Retreats become something for the whole family to enjoy at Kalahari. The 220,000-square foot indoor waterpark features waterslides, a lazy river, swim-up bars, indoor spas, kids’ areas, private cabanas and more. Pair it with the Big Game Room (escape rooms, blacklight mini-golf, laser tag, and hundreds of arcade games), and there are many entertainment options for the whole family to enjoy.

For those looking to pamper themselves, Spa Kalahari and Salon is a full-service spa that offers body treatments, luxurious massages, skin care and nail care services. The award-winning spa also includes a hydrotherapy treatment area with a spacious jacuzzi, dry sauna, an herbal-infused steam room, as well as a Halotherapy Salt room to detoxify the body and provide deep relaxation.

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Woodloch Resort’s locale in the Pocono Mountains draws companies seeking an idyllic retreat, away from the hustle and bustle, explains Erica Bloch, associate director of communications, Woodloch Resort. Encompassing more than 1,500-acres, its picturesque mountain backdrop provides an ideal haven for guests to reconnect with nature and find tranquility outdoors.

Woodloch offers an array of activities and amenities tailored to groups, all set across spanning acreage in the great outdoors. Whether it is hiking, biking, boating, fishing, snowshoeing, snow tubing, or ice skating, guests can relish in these outdoor pursuits. “Moreover,” Bloch states, “we offer a diverse selection of specialized classes, guided tours, outdoor adventures, and nature walks led by local naturalists, herbalists, and survivalists, to further enhance the Woodloch experience.”

Woodloch Resort consists of three unique and diverse properties. Each offers opportunities to create a memo-


rable experience, whether all business, strictly social, or a combination of both. “We pride ourselves on understanding the specific needs of each group and providing a detailed and inclusive package,” Bloch proclaims.

The Vacation Home concept at Woodloch Pines and Woodloch Springs can be utilized to keep attendees together, as small meetings can take place in the comfort of the home and catered meals can be delivered to the home. This opens opportunities for building team camaraderie and relaxing at the end of the day by the fireplace.

At Woodloch Pines Resort, groups will find a blend of rooms and homes along with ample meeting space and a full list of activities and amenities.

The Lodge at Woodloch is an all-inclusive, luxury destination spa resort offering complete spa programs, treatments, outdoor adventure activities, classes and

Make your vision a reality in the Poconos, where you’ll find everything you need to inspire and motivate your team. Up-to-date amenities and all of the latest tech enhance your experience for optimal growth, learning and connection. Enjoy delicious gourmet food at our top-of-the-line restaurants or connect with your team while having a blast during a team building adventure. Email sales@poconos.org to learn more.

Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 45
Woodloch Resort Camelback Lodge Mount Airy Casino Resort

packages located on over 400 wooded acres with a private lake. The 40,000-square foot spa retreat area includes co-ed soaking pools with waterfalls, an indoor swimming pool, and an outdoor whirlpool for yearround use, as well as a Himalayan Salt Sauna, Snow Room, and Tyrolean Bucket Shower. The property features 59 luxurious accommodations, gourmet farm-to-table cuisine, and top-notch service. The Lodge at Woodloch is dedicated to providing a transformative wellness experience for those seeking relaxation, rejuvenation, and personal growth.

When it comes to dining, there are a variety of options across the three properties, such as family-style dining, snack options, restaurants and bars serving upscale dining, and gourmet spa cuisine in a luxurious setting.

“Through a unique array of home-grown, team building type activities, a nostalgic, back-to-basics environment, pristine natural surroundings, and a truly unique brand of hospitality, guests leave Woodloch with a renewed sense of connection with their own group,” says Bloch. “We have over 30 daily activities and amenities that leisure and business travelers

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Wellness Spa Retreat at the Lakeview Summerhouse, Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY

alike can enjoy. Go karts, bumper cars, athletic and game show contests, boating, swimming, live music - we've got it. The options are endless.”

Selecting a mountain destination for a meeting or retreat has an array of benefits for group attendees, observes Michelle Abate, director of marketing, Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, NJ. “A combination of fresh air, memorable natural surroundings, and tranquil seclusion all play a role in why mountain settings are ideal locations for groups to gather.”

This environment stimulates fresh thinking and generates a more relaxed atmosphere, Abate notes, which can result in improved productivity and working relationships. “A mountain setting also is ideal for a variety of outdoor activities, and the resort offers many - including nature walks, hiking with goats, meditation, forest bathing and more.”

Crystal Springs Resort features an array of offerings for groups of all sizes. On-site space includes 30 meeting venues, from boardrooms to ballrooms, and outdoor spaces like terraces and pavilions.

“The resort is excited to debut its new Canyon Ballroom this fall, which will be one of the area’s largest available spaces accommodating over 500 guests,” says Abate. “Additionally, groups are enamored with the property’s glass-enclosed tropical Biosphere Pool Complex, a lush oasis with palm trees and foliage. It’s the ideal choice for a

Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 47
(610) 519-8000 | theinnatvillanova.com We Look Forward to Hosting your Next Lifetime Event! YOUR LIFETIME OF EVENTS BEGIN HERE Submit an Event Inquiry Today

memorable and unique social gathering, which cannot be replicated in the NY metro area.”

Amenities include two full-service luxury day spas (Reflections and Elements), Minerals Sports Club, multiple indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, plus six golf courses. State-of-the-art services include catering from an award-winning culinary team, 10 unique dining options, a full-service business center, in-house audio-visual, dedicated planners, and team building coordinators. Crystal Springs Resort is home to more than 400 guest rooms, with 250 at the AAA Four-Diamond Grand Cascades Lodge and 175 at the Minerals Hotel.

Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY is home to a wide range of amenities, as well. “Meeting space features natural light with access to the outdoors, and some with balconies,” explains Eric Gullickson, president, Mohonk Mountain House. “Wonderful outdoor areas overlooking the lake or mountains for cocktail receptions and dinners. Over 40 different team building events to suit every need and fitness level. Overnight rooms with balconies and many with working fireplaces. Full-service spa offering fitness and mindfulness sessions. A nine-hole Scottish-design golf course. Indoor and outdoor swimming.”

“What I love about our property is our guests can be as active as they want and go hiking, rock scrambling, horseback riding and many more activities, or be as relaxed as they like and enjoy the spa or relax on a rocking chair sipping wine on one our beautiful balconies,” Gullickson adds. “We offer an environment where guests can collaborate and brainstorm while de-stressing from everyday life.”

According to Mohonk’s spa director, Margaret Lora, from a wellbeing standpoint, the natural beauty of a mountain destination boosts motivation, lowers stress levels, and upticks cooperation. “The power of nature’s gifts impacts our bodies and mental health, which in turn boosts productivity and provides a perfect platform for team building, meetings, and retreats.”

Mohonk Mountain House is launching a new Wellbeing Program that focuses on groups and meetings guests. A highlight of the program is the Recharge Room. “Taking a few quality breaks throughout the workday helps you refuel and mentally recharge,” says Lora. “The human brain needs to take a break every 90- to 120-minutes to function at its best. The Recharge Room will provide mini sessions, such as guided meditation, assisted stretching, and energy-boosting aromatherapy massage available on a drop-by basis throughout the day. This will provide the perfect opportunity for meeting guests to take a quality break and some active rest to improve their mental health and performance.”

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Alternatively, Mohonk’s Wellness in the Wild Program is curated by their team of experts and is based around seasonal outdoor offerings to assist guests in being fully-present in a natural setting, allowing them to experience a deep sense of well-being: the sensation of breeze or stillness touching the skin; smelling the freshness of mountain woods; hearing calm stillness along with sounds; seeing nature with new eyesthese activities and events in a natural setting invite guests to discover how deeply nature can nurture, explains Lora.

Mohonk Mountain House is a National Historic Landmark resort and Historic Hotel of America in the picturesque Hudson Valley. Mohonk maintains over 85-miles of trails for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and crosscountry skiing, and offers earth-friendly activities and programs that preserve the land and educate guests about the surrounding environment. Mohonk also offers gardens, golf, tennis, an ice-skating pavilion,

horseback riding, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a glacial-formed lake.

Whether on the golf course, in a unique outdoor space, or at a conference center, mountains serve as the perfect scenic backdrop for any meeting, declares Kathryn Lucas, director of public relations for Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR), which represents the counties of Roanoke, Botetourt, and Franklin, and the cities of Roanoke and Salem.

“Attendees can relax among peaceful scenery or find an outdoor leisure activity only moments away. In the Roanoke Valley, mountains surround almost every attraction, accommodation, and restaurant, making it easy to find relaxation and scenic views without a grueling trek,” Lucas asserts.

Virginia’s Blue Ridge features outdoor activities for all comfort levels. With easy access to the Blue Ridge

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The historic Warm Springs Pools, part of The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA, reopened last December following a $4-million rehabilitation and preservation

Parkway, Appalachian Trail, and Upper James River, it is easy to enjoy the scenic beauty and peaceful surroundings. Located off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Explore Park has an aerial adventure course called Treetop Quest as well as 14-miles of multi-use land and water trails for hiking, biking, and paddling.

For craft beverage enthusiasts, the VBR Cheers Trail features 24 stops for local craft beer, wine, and spirits. History buffs can visit the nationally acclaimed Booker T. Washington National Monument and the National DDay Memorial.

Downtown Roanoke is home to nine museums within a one-mile radius of each other (five are located in Center in the Square) to satisfy all types of hungry minds. These museums range from art, history, and culture to

science, transportation, and fun and games. Elmwood Park is an outdoor amphitheater in downtown Roanoke that hosts live performances and festivals.

Outdoor adventure outfitters can help individuals or groups set up excursions from paddling and tubing to gravel and mountain biking for beginners and experts alike. Roanoke Mountain Adventures offers a “Views and Brews” e-bike tour that takes participants around popular spots in Roanoke, including the Roanoke Star, while also stopping for tastings at area breweries. Downtown Roanoke has seven breweries within a onemile radius.

Sports enthusiasts will appreciate that Virginia’s Blue Ridge is home to two minor league sports teams: the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs and the Salem Red Sox.

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Virginia Museum of Transp credit: Jennifer Griffin; court

There are sporting events in the Roanoke region every season, and Virginia Tech sports are only 40-minutes away by car.

“Learn about the history and culture of Roanoke while also enjoying its top-notch cuisine with the Downtown Roanoke Food & Cultural Walking Tour,” urges Lucas. “New for fall 2023, a Roanoke Architectural Walking tour will be offered by the Historical Society of Western Virginia.”

The Sullivan Catskills in New York is a mountain destination only 90-minutes outside of Manhattan. “We are so close, but far away from the hustle and bustle of traffic, sign pollution and high rises,” observes Roberta Byron-Lockwood, president and CEO of the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association. “Our rural viewsheds have remained intact for decades, creating a beautiful and peaceful destination that embraces its wildlife, fresh air, and pristine water.”

The Sullivan Catskills are home only to villages and hamlets in its 1,000-square miles of rolling landscapes and mountain terrain, says Byron-Lockwood. They serve as the backdrop to the area’s walkable main streets, outdoor adventures, arts and cultural attractions, and robust culinary scene.

“Our communities and locals are very passionate about preserving our green spaces. As a result, we have primarily family-run businesses that focus on sustainability, smart growth, and merchandising or utilizing locally sourced products,” Byron-Lockwood notes. “We are a progressive destination mindful of our sense of place - embracing creativity and diversity. Our event spaces are like our communities, they are thoughtfully and mindfully created bringing in outside elements indoors, inspiring a balanced and restorative atmosphere that produces clear thinking and ingenuity.”

Meeting venues are diverse and include: the Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark - the largest indoor waterpark in New York State; Resorts World Catskills, a gaming and event center; Villa Roma Resort & Conference Center; Callicoon Hills; The Eldred Preserve; Foster Supply Hospitality; The Roscoe Mountain Club; and Bethel Woods Event Center.

The Sullivan Catskills offer unique experiences, such as: river adventures on the National Park Upper Scenic Delaware River; the Museum at Bethel Woods, the only museum dedicated to the 1960s and located on the grounds of the 1969 Woodstock Festival (a National Historic Site); Broadway in the Woods, where Forestburgh Playhouse produces performances with Equity actors that would typically be found only on Broadway in NYC.

Visitors also can enjoy traditional cabaret performances with internationally renowned comedians, dancers, and musicians, fly fishing, and the Fly-Fishing Hall of Fame, as well as an award-winning craft beverage trail.

Meeting in the mountains provides planners and their groups with a wide range of options for doing everything from relaxing and recharging to enjoying the great outdoors and partaking in a host of recreational opportunities. Diverse destinations, the mountains truly offer a unique and refreshing setting that is far removed from urban living.

Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 51
portation in Roanoke, VA; photo tesy: Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge


Latest Offerings at Regional Conference/Event Centers

Hotels, conference centers, and convention facilities are featuring some special offers, outstanding services and more. Here are a couple of examples of what is happening and available to groups and individuals.

The Drexelbrook and The Holiday Inn & Suites

Drexel Hill, PA

As we head into the fall months, The Drexelbrook and The Holiday Inn & Suites are offering some exciting promotions and getting you ready for the holidays. Whether planning a corporate meeting or searching for the perfect venue for an end-ofyear company party, we can do it all.

Running from now until March 31, 2024, this promotion is designed to make every meeting or event experience truly memorable. Enjoy complimentary parking, a discounted room rate, plus one of the following as a bonus: Double IHG Rewards Points; Complimentary team building event for up to 100 people; and Complimentary Wi-Fi in the hotel and meeting space. For this promotion, the event must actualize and have at least 10 room nights.

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Contact Director of Sales Sharon Goodspeed at 484.461.9822 or sharon@thedrexelbrook.com for more information.

With the holiday season fast approaching, The Drexelbrook is ideal for hosting holiday or end-of-the-year parties. Located in a picturesque setting in Drexel Hill, The Drexelbrook offers a welcoming ambiance and a range of facilities and amenities that make it a preferred choice for celebrations of all types. From a variety of spaces to delectable catering options, The Drexelbrook prides itself on leaving a lasting impression on both planners and their guests.


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Blair County Convention Center Altoona, PA

To assist in the influx of event and meeting inquiries, the Blair County Convention Center recently converted its Lower-Level exhibit area of Halls F, G, & H into versatile meeting room space that can accommodate a general session of up to 225 people with four breakout rooms. The 6,500-square foot space has seen new carpet installation, new screens and projectors, and automatic window covers.

Complemented by the center’s attentive staff, its new phone system takes communication to a new level. With the push of one button on special phones in every room, planners can directly reach whoever they need during their event (i.e., Facilities Director, Event Planner, Executive Chef). This eliminates the need for any “middle man,” allowing for fast support and immediate response.

To help enhance the ambiance of the newly remodeled rooms, with the assistance of the convention center’s community partners, another project is underway. This eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing project includes large standoff pictures along the wall featuring local attractions, experiences, lodging, culinary destinations, and other community partners, helping to promote the experiences that await while in Blair County.

Constructed and sponsored by Burchfield Landscaping and Terrascape, the Lower-Level Lobby has been updated with a floral waterfall landscape - a popular spot for taking event pictures and enjoying breaks. The peaceful waterfall can be heard from the UpperLevel, inviting guests to take a look. This integration on the Lower-Level space brings beautiful scenery and energy to the space to connect the other upgrades and projects at the center.


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Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 55 CENTER We’re conveniently located off I-99, US 22 and US 220; just 2 hours from Harrisburg and Pittsburgh! WWW.BLAIRCONVENTIONCENTER.COM WHY HERE?


Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine asks area destinations and resorts how their summer went and what they are looking forward to this fall.

How was the summer season in the Pocono Mountains this year?

The summer season went very well in the Pocono Mountains. We continue to see strong visitation in most areas. The weather has played a factor here and there with some of our outdoor activities, but we have had some great events bringing in visitors this summer, like the NASCAR races at Pocono Raceway in July. 2023 was the first year Pocono Raceway sold out for the Sunday NASCAR race since 1999. We also have had some great festivals, and our county fairs are doing very well, too.

What do you have going on for the fall months?

The fall season looks like it is off to a great start, too. We are seeing strong advanced bookings and searches for fall getaways, and our weekly fall foliage report will begin September 7, 2023, allowing visitors to track the peak times to see fall foliage in the Pocono Mountains. We have got some fun things going on with our free Pocono Beverage Trail digital passport, and we will be launching a new museum trail, too.

Fall is a fantastic time to get away with your significant other, family and friends. It also is a great time to work remotely and sprinkle in some vacation time. Our restaurants will have some terrific seasonal items coming out, and you can dine outside or inside at many locations. We have many fun fall events and festivals coming up to enjoy.

How was the summer season at Kalahari this year?

We had a fantastic summer! With the gorgeous weather, many of our groups took their events outside. Whether it was roasting s’mores on our gorgeous River Veranda, utilizing the on-site hiking trails, or hosting a mid-day coffee break outside, our groups did it all and took advantage of the season.

What do you have going on for the fall months?

We always love working with our clients to customize a package that works best for them. Fall is a great time to explore our on-site activities, including the ropes course, zip lining and minigolf, but for those looking for other options, our spa and culinary experiences are always a huge hit.

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What do you have going on for the fall months?

Fall in the Wildwoods brings idyllic weather, serene beaches, outdoor activities, and fun-filled events. The island resort is the perfect fall vacation destination – with minimal crowds, vast beaches, a fun-filled boardwalk, prime hotel and motel locations at money-saving rates, and great restaurants. Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls on the award-winning beaches or bike on the island's scenic 12-mile route along the boardwalk and beach. Fall flavors come alive in local restaurants, wineries, breweries, and distilleries. Signature events and festivals keep the season alive well into November, making it a perfect time for a fall escape.

One of the primary missions for the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority is to extend the Wildwoods’ tourism season and keep the resort destination active year-round by funding and promoting winter events during what might otherwise be a slower part of the year. The Wildwoods Convention Center provides the perfect venue to attract signature events all winter long, giving the community a muchneeded boost in the off-season.

Tourism Authority


From corporate retreats to big time concerts to antique car shows, and everything in between, it’s no wonder year after year meeting and event planners choose the Wildwoods Convention Center!

• 75K square foot exhibit arena, a 12K square foot Ballroom and 10-Meeting Rooms

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

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

• Full in-house Catering/Concession services

• Adjacent to the world-famous Wildwoods Boardwalk and 5 miles of FREE white sand beaches

• On-site parking for over 700 vehicles

• 30K square feet of pre-function space

• Free Wi-Fi for attendees

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

Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 57
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Atrium at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD; photo credit: Deanna Yi; courtesy: Marriott International


As the heat of summer wanes and brisk autumn nights begin to roll in, preparations already are underway for the coming winter throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the U.S.

Numerous destinations attract locals and visitors from far and wide to enjoy and partake of a wide range of seasonal offerings. Transforming annually into winter wonderlands and offering a host of activities and holiday happenings, these places and spaces delight and entertain while spreading good cheer and making spirits bright.

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THE WILDWOODS, NJ wildwoodsnj.com

With so many festive activities and holiday events planned in the Wildwoods, there are plenty of ways to experience the spirit of the season and create new holiday memories with lower room rates available, milder temperatures, less crowds and plenty of things to do.

For relaxation, there are plenty of “chill” activities to enjoy here. Be awed by a mesmerizing sunrise and morning stroll along the beach; grab binoculars wander through a local nature preserve; or enjoy a relaxing bike ride on the famous Wildwoods’ boardwalk. End the day at Sunset Lake in Wildwood Crest.

Enjoy local wineries, craft microbreweries and distilleries in the Wildwoods, which offer seasonal wines, beers, and spirits not found anywhere else.

For the holidays, this year’s lineup of events takes place over five weekends in the Wildwoods. Starting on November 18 with Gratitude Fest, an outdoor festival featuring creative works from local and regional artists as well as crafters, creatives, and other vendors.

From November 24-26 is the Christmas in North Wild-

wood Weekend Celebration. Enjoy outdoor fire pits, hot chocolate, festive lights, decorations, and music. On November 25, celebrate Small Business Saturday during the Wildwoods Outdoor Holiday Shopping Village presented by Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce. This outdoor shopping experience will feature jewelry, handcrafted items, holiday decorations, baked goods, gifts, holiday music, and more.

On December 1, celebrate the season at Byrne Plaza in downtown Wildwood at the Wildwood Business Improvement District Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, as well as the Wildwood Crest Tree Lighting Ceremony at Sunset Lake.

Additional events include Greater Wildwood Jaycees Downtown Wildwood Christmas in the Plaza on December 1-2; Wildwood’s Winter Wonderland at Holly Beach Park December 8-9 and December 15-16 with lights and decorations on display nightly through January 13, 2024; Holiday Lights Walk is an intricate holiday and Christmas light display around Sunset Lake on December 18; and on December 9 at the Wildwoods Convention Center is a Family Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Ceremony with holiday-themed vendors, movies, photos with Santa, activities and entertainment.

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Celebrating Christmas at Southern Mansion in Victorian Cape May, NJ; photo courtesy: Cape May County Tourism



Each year at summer’s end, the pace in Cape May County, situated at the southernmost tip of New Jersey, becomes an unhurried coastal paradise with wide-open spaces and plenty of opportunities for relaxing.

This idyllic winter getaway is just a short drive from many East Coast cities. The charming City of Cape May, the nation’s oldest seaside resort, is filled with outstanding examples of Victorian architecture, shops for antiques, clothing, candy and more at the Washington Street

Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 61 • Ample meeting space • Elegant 66-room inn • 60+ shops • Multiple restaurants & eateries • Beverage tasting rooms • 14-passenger shuttle • Indoor entertainment center For inquiries, contact Brian Shields at 215-794-4062 or bshields@peddlersvillage.com PeddlersVillage.com Bucks County, PA Meet in an extraordinary Village. Now Booking • Holiday Partie s •

Mall, and is home to the Emlen Physick Estate, as well as trolley tours of the city.

In The Wildwoods, enjoy wide beaches, visit the Historic Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, and step back in time to view its Doo Wop Architecture, the largest concentration of mid-century commercial architecture in the U.S.

“America's Greatest Family Resort,” Ocean City is home to Asbury Avenue - the resort’s downtown shopping district is lined with quaint restaurants and eclectic shops. At Christmas, the Asbury shopping district becomes a “Miracle on Asbury Avenue,” celebrating the holidays with free horse and carriage rides and a First Night celebration that kicks off the new year.

Planning a getaway in the fall and winter has many perks in Cape May County, including lower off-season rates, the uncrowded beach, fireplaces and firepits at area resorts, restaurants, and breweries, colorful gingerbread laced B&Bs, and gas lamps that light some of the streets in Victorian Cape May.

Warm up with libations as Cape May has seen the growth of new beverage tourism hubs, including six wineries, 16 breweries and three distilleries that welcome guests year-round. Most of the new businesses feature tasting rooms and live entertainment topped off with tasty spirits and brews.

By November, the Jersey Cape is ready to trim the tree and sip a cup of wassail as the fire crackles and Christ-

mas carolers stroll the streets. Ocean City has its Miracle on Asbury Avenue, an old-fashioned downtown Christmas that kicks off Thanksgiving weekend and lasts through December with horse and carriage rides, music, and shopping specials. Santa takes center stage for photos at the Music Pier and breakfast with the big guy on weekends.

There are concerts, Ghosts of Christmas Past trolley tours, the Physick Family Christmas House Tours, craft shows, hospitality nights and more. Stroll the streets of this Victorian seaside resort or head out to the West Cape May Christmas parade, a holiday event for more than 50 years.

A robust special events schedule in the fall leads into a busy holiday schedule beginning in November and ending January 1st. It is the most wonderful time of year in Cape May County as fall turns to winter and the holidays add an extra special feeling to New Jersey’s Southern Shore Region.



“The sheer number and variety of things to do here in the winter sets Southern Delaware apart from other coastal destinations that go radio silent from Labor Day to Memorial Day,” proclaims Tina Coleman, communications manager, Southern Delaware Tourism. “Southern Delaware is a fabulous destination in winter with chilly, but rarely downright cold, weather, some years with no snow and others with just enough to make everything look magical. Anyone who has never witnessed frost-sparkled dune grasses is really missing out.”

All of Southern Delaware’s natural beauty and many outdoors activities like hiking or biking on miles of spectacular trails through coastal forests, farmlands, and coastal marshes remain available and appealing year-round.

For planners seeking indoor activities for clients, nearly all indoor attractions, including team building venues, museums, theaters, live music venues, art galleries,

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Holiday festivities at The Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwoods, NJ

breweries, wineries, and more remain open all year.

Boutiques, antiques, vintage shops, and outlet stores are available for shopping year-round, as well. As a bonus, shopping, dining, entertainment, and meeting space all are tax free in Delaware.

Finally, Culinary Coast™ restaurant chefs create dishes with local delicacies from the land and sea all year round, too.

Holiday magic in Southern Delaware includes Winter WonderFest, a drivethrough light display in Milton; Schellville’s Enchanted Winter Celebration in Rehoboth Beach; Lewes Lights returns in Lewes; tree lightings and Christmas parades in towns throughout the area; and the Fire & Ice Festival in Bethany Beach takes place in late January with 2024’s theme being “Into the Wild.”

Southern Delaware is an easy road trip from anywhere in the region and offers hiking and biking trails, museums, galleries, theater performances, concerts, tours, breweries, restaurants, and more.

WINTERTHUR, DE www.winterthur.org

“Winter is a time of gathering and resetting. With our Yuletide tours, social programs, and trails, Winterthur offers unique opportunities to do both,” proclaims Reggie Lynch, director of interpretation and engagement at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. “Through tours and programs, families and friends can come together to experience the

- Hans Schreiber, director of sales and marketing, Lancaster County Convention Center & Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square


Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 63
Looking for a unique location that accommodates your team on and off the clock? Lancaster County provides both small town affordability and charm as well as high capacity meeting spaces, fine dining, and downtown nightlife. What are you waiting for? Come see why we’re everything you expect, and everything you didn’t. 1 million sq ft OVE R COMBINED MEETING SPACE 2 CONVENTION CENTERS ROOMS
“Located right in downtown Lancaster and just steps from all the main attractions, the Lancaster Marriott is the perfect accommodation for your stay.”

magic of the mansion and grounds dressed in their best.”

This year, the historic rooms will be filled with elegant contemporary fashion designs and trees inspired by the designer Ann Lowe, and there will be light and floral installations scattered throughout the grounds. All of this to celebrate the exhibit, Ann Lowe: American Couturier.

Winter is a wonderful time to stroll the grounds, as bare trees and fields offer stunning views across the estate, especially when covered with fresh snow.

Winterthur’s Yuletide tour is a Delaware tradition, and this year’s fashion theme includes the most substantial installation of contemporary artists in the house in Winterthur’s history. It will offer visitors the chance to see the historic rooms and collection in brand new ways.

Another addition this year is the expansion of the Yuletide footprint to include some of the garden paths in the festivities, and there will be lit trees, a model train display, and staff-decorated trees along the trail that leads to the main house.

Wonderful Wednesday also offers visitors the chance to visit the grounds and home in the evening while enjoying jazz, fire pits, workshops, and various specialty drinks and food.

Winterthur is the premier museum of American decorative arts, with an unparalleled collection of nearly 90,000 objects made or used in America since 1640.

The collection is displayed in the 175-room house, much as it was when the family of founder Henry Francis du Pont called it home.

Winterthur is also 1,000-acres of protected meadows, woodlands, ponds, and waterways. The 60-acre garden, designed by du Pont, is among America’s best, with magnificent plantings and massive displays of color throughout the year. Its graduate degree programs and extensive research library make Winterthur an important center for the study of American art and culture. A variety of on-site and virtual programs and events held here annually include lectures, concerts, and live performances.


Kennett Square, PA longwoodgardens.org

For many, an annual trip to Longwood Gardens during the holiday season is tradition. Each year, A Longwood Christmas features a holiday display that includes festive trees, imaginative artistry, and more than a halfmillion lights throughout its outdoor displays.

“From carolers singing holiday favorites while strolling throughout the gardens to crackling firepits that add warmth to cozy winter evenings, the merriest activities can be found daily during the holidays at Longwood Gardens,” observes Jourdan Cole, public relations manager at Longwood Gardens.

Both young and old delight in the holiday Garden Railway as it travels past miniature Longwood landmarks decorated for the holiday season. Nearby, the Beer Garden and Café offer festive food options.

A Longwood Christmas runs November 17 through January 7. Admission to the holiday display is by Timed Admission Ticket, with tickets purchased in advance for a specific date and time. Members require free, timed reservations every day. Gardens Premium Members and Innovators do not require reservations.

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Dazzling light display at A Longwood Christmas, Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA

Those looking for a winter daytrip can seek out the lush sanctuary of Longwood’s Conservatory, where a variety of plants from around the world bloom during the Winter Wonder Exhibit, which runs January 20 through March 24, 2024.

The recently restored Orchid House bursts with colorful standouts from Longwood’s expansive collection daily. With nearly 300 blooming orchids, the display is changed throughout each week as new orchids come into brilliant flower.

Not to be missed, guests can expand their musical horizons at Longwood with tickets to see performances ranging from classical music to jazz or theater, as well.

Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 65
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Lahaska, PA peddlersvillage.com

Starting in mid-November, Peddler’s Village becomes a magical winter wonderland. The 18th-century Village is festooned with colorful lights, holiday decorations, and the joyful spirit of the season. Sipping hot beverages, guests stroll winding brick pathways to find unique gifts at dozens of locally owned specialty shops and boutiques. Restaurants offer varied dining options and seasonal food and drink specials.

In addition, Peddler’s Village presents an enticing array of holiday-themed events. This year, after the Grand Illumination Ceremony on November 17 when a million lights are illuminated for the season and Santa arrives at Peddler’s Village, there will be a Holiday Kickoff Weekend, November 18-19; the annual Gingerbread Competition and Display goes from November 17 through January 14; the Santa Family Brunch is on December 16; and photos with Santa take place on weekends at Giggleberry Fair.

Peddler’s Village is a year-round attraction where visitors can enjoy unique shopping at 60+ specialty shops and boutiques, dining in eight restaurants on-site, staying in the 66-room Golden Plough Inn, and creating memories at the indoor family fun center, Giggleberry Fair.

Special events throughout the year include a variety of festivals, murder mystery dinners, comedy shows, food truck evenings, outdoor movie nights, and more.



Affectionately known as The Sweetest Place On Earth, the town built on chocolate transforms into a winter wonderland full of holiday cheer with lights, rides, Santa and all nine of his reindeer at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane; two-miles of illuminated, animated displays at Hershey Sweet Lights; decorated trees, holiday activities, and hot cocoa by the fireplace at the Official Resorts of Hersheypark; and more.

Guests also can experience a variety of holiday-themed concerts and shows and even holiday spa treatments inspired by the season.

As visitors walk along quaint downtown streets lined with Hershey's Kisses-shaped lights or take in the 360degree view of the town from the Kissing Tower standing 330 feet up in the air, they are sure to feel like they are in a holiday wonderland.

The holiday season kicks off in Hershey on November 10 with the opening of the Hersheypark Christmas Candylane holiday attraction and Hershey Sweet Lights drive-through attraction on select dates. Daily operations run from December 1 through January 1 (closed December 25). The year 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of Hersheypark Christmas Candylane.

Hershey boasts the most lights in Pennsylvania, with more than five-million, including a NOEL light show with more than 250,000 dancing lights synchronized to Christmas music. TREEVILLE is a walk-through experience with more than a dozen decorated trees sharing the stories of The Sweetest Place On Earth.

Hershey is a small town rooted in the world's love of chocolate and the philanthropy of Milton S. Hershey. It is home to the largest amusement park in Pennsylvania, a North American zoo, three distinctly Hershey resorts, live concerts and shows, 15 unique and award-winning dining options, two chocolate spas, and chocolate around every corner.

Hersheypark is open from April through December, which includes select guest-favorite seasonal celebrations after Labor Day, such as Hersheypark Halloween, Dark Nights immersive haunt experience in September and October, and Hersheypark Christmas Candylane in November and December. LANCASTER,

Lancaster is a perfect holiday destination – its bustling downtown center coupled with the smalltown charm for which it is known. The holiday season kicks off here

66 September z October 2023
www.lancasterconventioncenter.com www.discoverlancaster.com

with the Mayor’s Tree Lighting in Penn Square on November 24, and the celebration of Hanukkah in Lancaster with Menorah Lightings from December 7-14.

For last-minute holiday shopping, there is no shortage of amazing stores, boutiques, and more in Lancaster, with something for everyone. Be sure to check out all the local spots on Small Business Saturday on November 25, and get some late-night shopping done on December 8 during Lancaster Shops Late. And don’t miss out on a visit from Santa who will be coming to town on December 9 and 16.

For those traveling with children, Dutch Wonderland transforms into Dutch Winter Wonderland with thousands of lights, fun rides, and attractions, and more from November 19 through the end of December.

“And the Lancaster Marriott is the perfect accommodation for your stay,” says Hans Schreiber, director of sales and marketing, Lancaster County Convention Center & Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square. “Located right in downtown Lancaster and just steps from all the main attractions, it’s ideal for every type of traveler –solo, business, families, and more.”



Connecticut is a state of four seasons, transitioning from the dazzling colors of fall foliage to picturesque snow that covers its countryside, shorelines, and quaint New England town greens, explains Robert Murdock, president of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTMEETINGS).

Known for holiday films such as 1945’s Christmas in Connecticut starring Barbara Stanwyck, the state serves as a popular wintertime setting for the production of Hallmark and Lifetimes movies.

Downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, offer something for snow lovers and winter sport enthusiasts alike, from beginners to the experienced. Mohawk Mountain, Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort, Ski Sundown, and Mount Southington are popular Connecticut ski destinations, with still others in nearby Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, and New Hampshire.

Ice hockey is big in the state, too, with two American Hockey League teams (Hartford Wolf Pack and the Bridgeport Islanders) and one women’s Premier Hockey Federation franchise (Connecticut Whale).

Attractions across Connecticut feature unique holidaythemed events and displays – many in beautifully decorated historic sites that include the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford and The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme. There are on-board train and trolley experiences with Santa for all ages, and even a SharkDiving Santa at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. Many hotels offer special seasonal packages.

Connecticut boasts an expansive list of seasonal and holiday events, activities, and unique experiences. Glow at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford is an indoor festival of lights with dazzling light gardens, glowing activities, seasonable treats, and live entertainment.

Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 67
NOEL Light Show at Hersheypark in Hershey, PA

Celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, and Three Kings Day during the New London’s “Holiday Celebration: A Multicultural Countdown.”

At the annual “Holiday Magic” celebration at the historic Florence Griswold Museum, the entire museum campus features holiday lights, trees, wreaths, and décor - decked for a 1910 Christmas, celebrating Miss Griswold’s December 25 birthday in high style.

At the “Fire & Ice” Chanukah celebration in West Hartford, a giant ice menorah will be carved live and illuminated. Ghosts of Christmas Past Tours in Mystic recounts tales of scary Christmas creatures, the most spine-chilling Christmas games and spirits, and the true meaning of the spirit of Christmas. WinterFest in Bushnell Park in downtown Hartford, from late November through early January, is a festival with free ice skating, free skate rentals, learn-to-skate classes, entertainment and more.

“A Charles Dickens Christmas” at the Lyman Homestead at Lyman Orchards in Middlefield offers an outdoor lighted attraction, and an indoor walk-through of the family home of the Lymans decorated for the holidays.

Addition activities include the 14th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa's Workshop in Greenwich, Polar Express at the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat in Essex, the Connecticut Trolley Museum’s Winterfest & the Tunnel of Lights in East Windsor, the annual Mystic Holiday Lighted Boat Parade in Mystic, and more.



National Harbor, a waterfront destination located close to Washington, DC and Old Town Alexandria, offers a host of holiday amenities and attractions. The same great offerings for groups, conferences, and special events during the rest of the year are amplified over the holidays when National Harbor gets dressed up with more than two-million lights.

The 60-foot RGBtree has a nightly light show every half-hour from sunset to 9:00 pm. The light show is ac-

companied by holiday music recorded from the U.S. Air Force Band.

ICE! returns to the Gaylord National from November 19 to December 31. Using more than two-million pounds (1,000 tons) of ice, the classic 1994 animated special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will be brought to life by a team of 40 ice artisans that create a nearly 20,000-square foot frozen attraction.

MGM National Harbor features special concerts and performances in its state-of-the-art theater. Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up the stage with a holiday spectacular from December 15-17. MGM National Harbor also presents atrium décor for the holidays.

The waterfront orientation of National Harbor is enjoyable year-round, whether through boating, The Capital Wheel, Movies on the Potomac (waterfront movies that run from April through end of December), and tree lighting.

National Harbor is unique in the fact that it was designed, built, and is managed by one company—Peterson Companies. Because of this, the entire 350-acre property has consistency and a walkable layout. With more than 8 hotels, 40 restaurants and a wide array of entertainment, special event venues and team building options, there are so many entertainment options for groups, from Topgolf to Bobby McKeys Dueling Piano Bar to waterfront concerts.



Nestled in the center of Colonial Williamsburg, the world’s largest living history museum, the Colonial Williamsburg Resorts are decorated with wreaths and other holiday décor in this unique and historical setting. Carriage rides, holiday teas, tavern dining and more add to the experience.

Just minutes from the Historic Area, the Colonial Williamsburg Resorts offer five unique hotels, including: the iconic Williamsburg Inn; Williamsburg Lodge (Autograph Collection); the Griffin Hotel; unique Colonial Houses in the Historic Area; and the family-friendly

68 September z October 2023

Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel and Suites. The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg features a state-ofthe-art fitness center, access to both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, daily group fitness classes.

Colonial Williamsburg Resorts guests exclusively can kick-off the holidays at the annual Williamsburg Inn Lighting Ceremony and witness the illumination of thousands of lights at the Inn.

The Grand Illumination is a special event that includes a presentation of an original holiday story, music, and an appearance by Father Christmas, culminating in simultaneous Grand Illumination fireworks displayed over the Governor's Palace and Capitol building.

The Merchants Square Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and a Celebration of the Yule Log bring guests together with the community of 18th-century and present-day Williamsburg as the Yule log is hauled by wagon from the Capitol to Market Square in a celebration of the season accompanied by music. Guests will have an opportunity to make a wish and toss a sprig of greenery into a bonfire.

There are plenty of holiday shopping opportunities at Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square, too, with over 40 shops and restaurants, plus pop-up markets for securing the perfect gift while supporting local business owners.

We can customize any event to your preferred theme, outcome, or charity. Contact us to book your event! hello@teambonding.com 1.877.472.2725 | teambonding.com SPOOKTACULAR EVENTS Let the ghoul times roll! Treat your team to one of our 50+ in-person and virtual Halloween-themed activities.
Better teamwork. Happier teams.


Large and eye-catching wayfinding signs welcome you to Media, the county seat of Delaware County, PA, and let you know you’ve entered America’s First Fair Trade Town. It is also proudly known as Everybody’s Hometown. In addition to these titles, Media is also well known for Dining Under the Stars, or DUTS as many call it. DUTS, now in its 16th season, takes over four contiguous city blocks of State Street, the main street in the borough, which is closed to vehicular traffic that event filled evening.

A festive atmosphere emerges as more than two dozen restaurants move their tables and chairs into the streets, multiple musical performance areas are set up and children decorate the streets and sidewalks with chalk art.

Many towns do monthly or seasonal festivals and dining events. Media does Dining Under the Stars every week from May through the Autumn. How do they do it? How did the idea get started? With lots of collaboration from public and private partners.

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Anthony Bellapigna, owner of Ariano restaurant shared that while visiting Barcelona, he had a great experience dining in the streets. At first, Media and Barcelona may not seem to have much in common, but he notes that “Media having more narrow streets helps with the success in (street) dining, (as) diners enjoy close-knit spaces and the way our streets are situated gives you that sense of intimacy." Ariano’s General Manager, Rocco Mongelli, echoes this: “Another key to Media's successful dining is the abundance of restaurants within a few blocks of one another. This event would not be possible with 1, 2, 3 or even 4 restaurants, you need a lot of participants to gain interest from the public and that's what makes it so unique. Media is truly a restaurant town!” Noticing this unlikely similarity gave Bellapigna the idea that he then “pitched to Mayor Bob (McMahon).”

The Mayor says he remembers visiting a Dining Under the Stars event in Philadelphia in 2006 with Bellapigna.

They then coordinated a meeting with all the restaurateurs in the borough. Two years later was the first season of DUTS. According to the Mayor, “Our first season in 2008 got off to a bad start with many visitors walking the streets with open bottles. It got much better each year.”

Bellapigna credits the Mayor and the Media Business Authority with getting DUTS on track. “Promoting from them early on helped kickstart Dining Under the Stars in the right direction, working hand and hand with local media and getting this small town on the map. With that, we were able to reach a larger demographic.”

DUTS is now a beloved tradition and runs smoothly each week, featuring elements such as a highlighted non-profit, and organized tents and signage for vendors. This year, the Media Business Authority, which oversees the logistics, added a Merchandise Tent on the last Wednesday of each month to raise funds and

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allow visitors to take a piece of Media home with them. The Mayor notes that now the event averages 2,000 visitors each week.


An integral part of making this large-scale event run safely and effectively is public and private partnership. Borough Manager Brittany Forman explains that “from a governing perspective this event showcases our collaboration across the public and private sectors. The administration provides logistical support through the Public Works Department and safety through our Police Department. In combination with the MBA, Media Fire Company, our local businesses, and the restaurant community – we all work together to pull off a signature event for the community weekly.” Public Works as well as volunteers from the MBA and other community groups assist with opening and closing the streets with barricades as well as posting a variety of signage to alert residents and visitors to alternative traffic and parking arrangements during the event.

Police Chief Matt Egan agrees and notes the benefits to the whole community that comes from this kind of broad cooperation: “Safety at all our special events is a top priority. To plan Dining Under the Stars takes a lot of collaboration between all the interested parties. The police need to coordinate with the EMS/fire department, code enforcement and the Business Authority so that we all are working together. After years of trial and error and reevaluating our plan and resources, the Dining Under the Stars event has become a very successful and enjoyable event for everyone that attends and works at the event. Unlike some other events in town, Dining Under the Stars has officers walking along the closed street among lots of residents and visitors. Officers are looking for problems but also have an opportunity to engage the public in a more relaxed atmosphere. People will ask questions or engage the officers in general conversations unrelated to police work. Almost all the contacts at Dining Under the Stars

are positive for both the officer and the public. Events where the police engage the public in a positive way may not receive the most “likes” on social media, but it does let everyone know that the Media Police are very dedicated, professional, and great ambassadors.”

Zach Schauerman, Manager at Spasso Italian Grill says, “DUTS has definitely brought the restaurant community together. We all work together every Wednesday during the summer to put on an event that the local community loves. There are a lot of moving parts and it would not be possible without compromise, hard work, and dedication from everybody involved. From a business standpoint, it has just been fantastic, because it gives us a night during a slower time (May-September) when restaurants get to be a lot busier than normal. DUTS has become not just a local event, but a destination for people to come out and enjoy dinner, walk the downtown area of Media, and really get a feel for what the town has to offer.”

There are benefits to other businesses beyond the restaurant community. Heather LaPorte Arata is the Chair of the Media Business Authority and Co-Owner of Earth & State, a retail boutique on State Street. She shares that “it’s been great to see the event grow over the years, and we enjoy being involved as a retail business. The growth and success of Dining Under the Stars is directly attributable to the support from our Borough, its businesses, and residents alike and the many people who generously donate their time and energy to make this event a success.”


Coming out of the last few difficult years for restaurants and retailers, DUTS is going strong and providing a vital and vibrant resource for the entire borough community and beyond. It will continue to evolve and innovate and serve as a North Star for other communities looking to put on similar, signature events.

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ALEXANDRIA visitalexandria.com


Slated to open in the heart of Old Town in spring 2024, Hotel Heron is Aparium Hotel Group’s flagship adaptive-reuse development and is just steps from the bustling King Street mile. On the site of the former George Mason Hotel, the new property will boast 134 guest rooms, retail and meeting space, including a ballroom and junior ballroom.

This summer, Hotel AKA Alexandria opened its doors and ushered in a new wave of luxury to Old Town Alexandria. One of world-renowned architect Piero Lissoni’s first U.S.

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along with additional sources.
Hilton at The Key in Arlington, VA; photo credit: Hilton 2023; courtesy: Arlington Convention and Visitors Service
has been provided by the Convention and Visitors Bureaus, associations, organizations
properties listed (denoted by website)

hotel projects, the 180-room hotel features dramatic design elements including a floating staircase in the lobby. The property will add a ballroom that is set to open in November.


This summer, the Senator John Warner Maritime Heritage Center debuted as a permanent home for tall ship Providence. Providence is a replication of the first ship commissioned for the Continental Navy, once helmed by legendary naval Captain John Paul Jones. The new floating visitor attraction hosts immersive dockside tours and serves as the launch point for weekend sunset sails. Meeting attendees can also book their own private charter.

Partners of The Leadership Collection at Alexandria™ offer an exclusive collection of executive leadership and team building opportunities.

Building Momentum, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB), offers everything from halfday experiences to immersive week-long “Innovation Boot Camps” to fun evening activities like “Wine and Welding,” while the George Washington Leadership Institute offers leadership programing at the George Washington Presidential Library at Mount Vernon, as well as whiskey tasting and dinners in the Mount Vernon Distillery and Gristmill.

Fall is a great time to explore outdoor offerings, including Alexandria Colonial Tours’ Ghost and Graveyard Tour or the newly launched Southern route of the selfguided Alexandria African American Heritage Trail, which highlights the people, places, and neighborhoods from the time of Alexandria’s founding through the 20th century and was developed as a volunteer community initiative with support from the Office of Historic Alexandria.


The Westin Alexandria Old Town is the largest hotel in Old Town Alexandria. The property provides groups of up to 400 people with meeting space options that include natural light and views of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.

The Mary M. Gates Conference Center, just minutes from the Ronald Reagan National Airport, covers two stories with more than 8,000-square feet of meeting space, six river view meeting rooms, and ample video conferencing and broadcasting capabilities.


Al fresco dining options abound along Alexandria’s waterfront, from BARCA Pier and Wine Bar and Ada’s on the River in the Robinson Landing development to newly rebranded Jula’s on the Potomac in Old Town North.

Recently-opened restaurants span a wide range of cuisines from Italian at Thompson Italian and Michael’s on King to Parisian fare at Josephine to modern Mediterranean cuisine found in Alexandria, Egypt at Elaine’s.




Arlington just launched its new brand, All in Arlington, which aims to inspire awareness and enthusiasm about Arlington among travelers and meeting professionals located outside the national capital region. It highlights the vast array of visitor attractions and activities throughout this 26-square mile urban county, from historic discoveries to cultural experiences to unexpected adventures.

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Pasta dish at Thompson Italian in Alexandria, VA; photo credit: Steve Vilnit; courtesy: Visit Alexandria
Mid-Atlantic EvEntS Magazine 75 THEOMNIHOMESTEAD.COM 888-796-5838 Reintroducing the South’s grandest destination. Make your next meeting anything but conventional. Discover The Omni Homestead Resort, a destination unlike any other, recently revitalized with an extensive $150 million investment. Special rates available for January - May 2024. An American ENCORE.

Amazon HQ2 opened Phase 1 with twin office towers and a 2.5-acre park at its Metropolitan Park location in National Landing in June. The campus includes more than a dozen new local restaurants and service businesses, as well as three public art installations.

Amazon’s arrival is spurring quite a bit of redevelopment and new activity around the National Landing neighborhood, which encompasses Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Potomac Yard. Opening in September is Crystal City Water Park, an urban greenspace with several water features and a unique indoor/outdoor restaurant called Surreal. There also will be the Water Park Food Hall with nine outdoor kiosks for local women- and minority-owned eateries.

Also on the horizon is Hilton at The Key. This 331-room property is surrounded by numerous corporate headquarters based in Rosslyn’s business district and minutes from the riverfront Fort Bennett Park and Palisades Trail. The hotel is under development as part of The Key, a project that includes a destination restaurant, street-level retail, and luxury apartments. Once completed, Hilton at The Key will feature approximately 28,000-square feet of meeting space, including an event space on the 36th floor with sweeping 360-degree views of the Washington, DC skyline, Potomac River, and Arlington.


ArtJamz can provide everything needed for an artsy group event. They bring paints, art materials, easels, smocks, canvases, and artistic guidance to create an upbeat social art studio setting that brings out the creative genius for 15 or more people.

At Muse Paint Bar, whether it is scenic landscapes or animal portraits or hilarious meme paintings, a variety of guided painting sessions are available.

Food Trucks at the Rosslyn Jazz Fest in Arlington, VA; photo courtesy: Arlington Convention and Visitors Service

Get competitive in a contest for best cooking squad. Cookology can provide an engaging Mystery Box competition where teams create a dish out of a surprise ingredient.

Kingsbury Chocolates & Confections offers private classes in truffle-making and chocolate tasting, demystifying how to make ganache and temper chocolate. Taste a variety of chocolates and confections while learning about the history of cocoa. They also have wine and chocolate pairings.

Arrange for Capital Area food trucks to stop by an event. These food trucks serve an array of savory and sweet items. Some options include: Arepa Crew; Captain Cookie & the Milk Man; Cocinana Tamales; Chix N Stix; Crepe Love; D.C. Pollo; Herat Kabob; Urban Poutine; Ricksha Indian; and Killer Tomato wood fired pizza, to name a few.

Get everyone moving with a dance lesson from Arlington Ballroom - learn how to Salsa, Waltz, or Bachata.

Movement offers more than an acre of climbing, yoga, and fitness to the active and creative community in Crystal City. This gym has more than 350 routes spread out on 35,000-square feet of climbing walls.

Arlington Cinema & Draft House is available for a private showing with unlimited popcorn.


In addition to its many hotel meeting spaces, the Observation Deck, and other favorites, Arlington has an array of alternative sites for meetings, receptions, and special occasions and features a host of venues with amazing views.

Arlington’s Tony-winning Signature Theatre in Shirlington can accommodate groups of up to 650 when the theatre is dark. Gallery Underground in Crystal City with its rotating art exhibits is available for everything from cocktail parties and fundraisers to corporate networking events. Nearby, Synetic Theater offers its Crystal City Theater and Studio Violet for rent for both private and public events.

The Military Women's Memorial, located at Arlington National Cemetery, is an affordable and accommodating

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venue with 197-seat theater, reception, conference and meeting areas. Or, the Hendry House at Fort C.F. Smith Park in North Arlington is a historic home that accommodates board meetings and receptions for up to 100 guests.


Astro Beer Hall is expected to open in the coming weeks in the Shirlington neighborhood. The longplanned two-level bar and coffee shop is spacethemed and features a wide variety of beer, pool, arcade games, and the company’s famous chicken and donuts – which are created by a donut-making robot!

Nighthawk Pizza in National Landing is the newest brewpub in Arlington. It is a large, group-friendly space serving multiple styles of pizza, but specializing in Midwest Tavern pies that are thin and crispy, great with Nighthawk’s extensive beer list that is all brewed on-site.

WHINO in Arlington’s Ballston neighborhood is a sleek half-restaurant, half-art gallery concept in the popular Ballston Quarter complex.

With residents from all over the world, Arlington boasts countless opportunities to enjoy authentic dining from every corner of the planet.

Ambar blends tradition and heritage with creativity and modern design in Arlington’s Clarendon neighborhood. The result is an unforgettable visitor experience that reaches all the senses with cuisine from Eastern Europe, served with drinks in an atmosphere that blends comfort and high-style reminiscent of being in the Balkans.

Lebanese Taverna has been serving diners at two Arlington locations (plus its neighborhood market) for more than 40 years. Lebanese Taverna Group owns and operates 12 locations around the Washington, DC Metro area, and has been recognized as a staple in the local region for the best Mediterranean cuisine.

Ruthie’s All Day routinely has been listed in top dining spots since it opened, and chef/owner Matt Hill is a James Beard semifinalist. Ruthie’s offers casual family dining and some of the best BBQ around.

Sfoglina in Rosslyn features handmade pasta from Italian tradition, reflecting classics and regional specialties from throughout Italy.

In Ballston, Bronson Bierhall is a lively hangout with seating for up to 500 people, while CarPool is an automobile-themed sports bar with retro signs, a patio, and a variety of games.

In Crystal City are traditional favorites like McCormick & Schmick's, Ruth's Chris, and Morton's The Steakhouse. Portofino Restaurant serves fine Northern Italian fare here, too.

Skydome Restaurant is a revolving rooftop spot in the Double Tree hotel in Pentagon City.


Kimpton The Forum Hotel opened in the spring adjacent to the Darden School of Business at University of Virginia. In addition, Virginia Guesthouse Hotel and Conference Center at the University of Virginia has an anticipated 2025 opening.

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The Wool Factory, an industrial event venue in Charlottesville, VA; photo courtesy: Visit Charlottesville

Omni Charlottesville Hotel, located on the historic pedestrian Downtown Mall, has been undergoing a $15-million renovation to increase its meeting space to 14,000-square feet.

By end of this year, the Courtyard Charlottesville will be receiving an exterior facelift. In addition, the interior will be updated and will include a new lobby and Bistro restaurant. Guest rooms will be modernized, as well.


Proximity to Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway (just a 30-minute drive from downtown Charlottesville), plus miles of trails running throughout the city and surrounding Albemarle County provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. Two rivers wind through the destination, the James and the Rivanna, perfect for kayaking, tubing, paddleboarding, and even fly fishing. Or enjoy a ride through a vineyard on horseback or see the area from up above in a hot air balloon.

The Charlottesville area is one of the top wine-producing regions in Virginia and on the East Coast. Home to the Monticello Wine Trail, the region boasts more than 40 wineries, many of which are producing award-winning wines of national and even international acclaim. Many of the wineries are ideal for corporate meetings and retreats. Additionally, the area boasts a selection of craft breweries, artisanal cideries, and even a few distilleries.

Local historic sites include Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Monroe’s Highland, the University of Virginia, and the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. At the city center is the historic pedestrian Downtown Mall – a vibrant pedestrian avenue filled with restaurants, shops, and options for entertainment and the arts.

Throughout Albemarle County are plentiful options for live music, art galleries, performing arts, murals, and even the state’s first immersive art exhibit, The Looking Glass, at the Ix Art Park near downtown Charlottesville.


Albemarle County is home to a wide variety of venues for hosting meetings and events. Some of the top options in the area include: Boar’s Head Resort; DoubleTree by Hilton; Kimpton, The Forum Hotel; Omni Charlottesville Hotel; and the Holiday Inn Charlottesville University Area.


Some of the top places at which to enjoy group dining experiences in the area include: Historic pedestrian Downtown Mall; Dairy Market (Central Virginia’s first food hall); The Wool Factory; Marigold by Jean-Georges at Keswick Hall; and Midtown along West Main Street between the Downtown Mall and University of Virginia – a true culinary hot spot in Charlottesville.




The highly anticipated Metrorail Silver Line extension finally opened in November 2022, connecting the Northern Virginia region and Washington, DC directly with Washington Dulles International Airport. The extension not only added a station at the airport, but also three other additional stops in Fairfax County and two more in neighboring Loudoun County. The maximum fare between any two points on the Metrorail system currently costs only $6 one-way.

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Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Fairfax County, VA; photo courtesy: Visit Fairfax

Capital One Hall in Tysons Corner, VA; photo credit: HGA ©Alan Karchmer; courtesy: Visit Fairfax

More experiences have been added to the new Capital One Center campus at Capital One’s corporate headquarters. This lifestyle entertainment complex, open to the public, is already home to a state-ofthe-art performing arts center, Capital One Hall (with seating for up to 1,600), a 2.5-acre Skypark called The Perch located 11 stories above The Hall that is home to a miniature golf course, a Biergarten, amphitheater, public art, and the 300-room all suites Watermark Hotel.

The campus also recently welcomed Capital One Ballpark, which hosts college baseball and other tournaments. In the coming year, more dining concepts will open, including a larger Starr Hill BrewPub and other innovative restaurants.

George Mason’s Gunston Hall offers 550-acres of landscape in addition to tours of this founding father’s home. New this year will be the unveiling of its restored 18th-century riverside garden.

Patriot Park North, a six-diamond baseball/softball facility, has opened on a 67-acre lot in Fairfax and is already attracting travel tournaments and visitors to Northern Virginia.

Fairfax County is home to two Archer Hotels, a growing boutique brand. Archer Tysons is a new build with an industrial chic atmosphere, a large ballroom, and a terrace overlooking the city. Archer Falls Church is the anchor hotel for the bustling and trendy Mosaic District.

Several properties have undergone renovation projects, including the Sheraton Reston, the Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park, and the Hyatt Regency Dulles. In 2025, Fairfax County will welcome Virginia’s first-ever J.W. Marriott to Reston with 300 guest rooms and 15,000-square feet of meeting space.


Fairfax County is home to world-class attractions like George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, the National Museum of the United States Army, Great

Falls National Park, and Tysons Corner Center shopping.

Fairfax County’s proximity to Washington, DC – just across the Potomac River – also makes it a big draw for meeting planners and attendees, and provides added value when it comes to affordability and accessibility.

Dozens of inexpensive (or free) family-friendly attractions in Fairfax County and nearby make the area an ideal destination for meeting attendees looking to add to their trip. Museums, zoos, water parks, mini-golf, fishing, zip-line courses, and concerts are free (or very reasonably priced), and the county features countless family-friendly restaurants.


Prime venues include Capital One Hall for its theatrical quality concert hall and atrium space, Dulles Expo Center for its 100,000-square feet of exhibit space, key hotel properties like the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner Center (28,000-square feet of meeting space), the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles (nearly 60,000square feet of space), Hyatt Regency Reston (32,000square feet of space), and many more.

For more unique experiences, planners can check out CrystalView, or an out-of-this-world historic experience at top attraction sites like George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.


Fairfax County has an array of authentic global cuisine offerings due to the variety of diverse cultures found in

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the Capital Region, home to everything from traditional Alsatian cuisine to Uyghur to Singaporean to Greek and more.

Access to the Chesapeake Bay also makes for a variety of great crab and seafood options, while being the Gateway to Virginia Wine Country makes the county a prime destination for access to Virginia vineyards and award-winning wines.




The Embassy Suites by Hilton Hampton Convention Center in Hampton has completed a six-month, multimillion-dollar makeover. Featuring newly renovated guest suites, the 295-key hotel is operated by Atrium Hospitality. The hotel’s open-air atrium lobby and corridors have been refreshed, as well.

The Hampton Virginia Aquaplex, the largest aquatic facility in Virginia, and one of the biggest in the entire Mid-Atlantic region, opened in October 2022. The Aquaplex’s splash park opened in May 2023. SplashDown Park offers 26,000-feet of fun and includes lounge chairs by the pool, rides down massive slides, a lazy river, and more.


The Sea to the Stars ticket is a combination ticket that mixes history, adventure, water recreation and fun.

Virginia Air & Space Science Center, located in downtown Hampton, offers spacious galleries. The new Space Explorer Gallery showcases artifacts in innovative and exciting ways.

Leisurely explore 21 unique sites full of history, architecture, and nature on a self-guided walking tour of Fort Monroe, the largest stone fort in the U.S. The 400 Years Forward Tour explores Black history in Hampton starting at Fort Monroe, the site of the first African landing in 1619, and continuing to the Emancipation Oak, Hampton University Museum, and Hampton History Museum.

Hampton Roads Harbor Tours aboard the Hampton Queen are top-rated, exceptional sightseeing cruises for enjoying the picturesque beauty of Hampton Roads Harbor and leaning about one of the busiest ports on the East Coast.


The Hampton Roads Convention Center and other venues offer a flexible mix of facilities for meetings and conventions, exhibitions, special events, and corporate entertainment. The Hampton Roads Convention Center alone has 344,000-square feet of meeting space with 25 flexible rooms.

The iconic 84,000-square foot Hampton Coliseum features an arena setting for large gatherings such as conventions and exhibitions with full-house seating for 11,000 and a total capacity of 13,800. The Stars Theater configuration allows seating for 6,200. Banquet facilities can accommodate up to 2,000.

The Virginia Air & Space Science Center is available for cocktail receptions, sit-down dinners, social events, and corporate functions. With suspended aircraft that seem to soar overhead and hands-on exhibits that trace the innovations of air and space at every turn, the Center is a unique venue.

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The Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA; photo courtesy: Hampton CVB


The Phoebus neighborhood in Hampton is an up-andcoming food paradise. The streets are filled with delicious delights from fresh seafood and creole to juicy burgers and hard ciders.

Drexler’s Wood Fired Grill offers prime cuts of beef, game, and fowl, as well as local seasonal products to promote a sustainable community. The chefs prepare local seafood sourced from local fishermen.

Mango Mangeaux is Hampton’s home of French, Creole, and Neo-Soul cuisine. It honors culinary heritage in a neo-jazzy way with a touch of gourmet mango preserves.

The Baker’s Wife Bistro + Bar serves French and American-style cuisine, from au gratin to French fries and filet mignon to NY strip.

Fuller’s Raw Bar serves up oysters, fish, fries, and other classic seafood dishes in a cool, industrial-style eatery.

Phoebus also is home to the first Black-owned brewery in Coastal Virginia. 1865 Brewery is steeped in history and features a broad selection of small-batch craft beers as well as seltzers and alcohol-free versions.


Welcoming travelers since 1766, The Omni Homestead Resort is one of America's most storied resorts, offering hospitality and southern charm in a 2,300-acre setting within the Allegheny Mountains of southwestern Virginia.

It is home to 483 luxurious guest rooms and suites, 72,000-square feet of meeting space, eight fine and casual dining choices, and more than 30 recreational amenities, including a two-acre water park, The Spa at Omni Homestead with its exclusive, adults-only Serenity Garden, two championship golf courses and more.

Recognized by Historic Hotels of America with its Best Historic Hotel (over 400 guestrooms) Award for preserving and maintaining its historic integrity, architecture, and ambiance as one of the finest hotels and hoteliers anywhere. The Omni Homestead Resort has invested $140-million into an extensive, resort-wide revitalization to restore this historical treasure.

The surrounding Hot Springs area boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, as well. Recognized as a top ski resort in Virginia, it offers trails fit for both beginners and advanced skiers. Whether looking for skiing and snowboarding, zip lining or horseback riding, Omni Homestead offers plenty of indoor and outdoor activities. In addition, its comprehensive wellness services include the award-winning spa, a full-service fitness center, and all-natural mineral springs and sparkling pools.

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The Omni Homestead Resort Hot Springs, VA




The Richmond Region is a dynamic location for travel in business, sport, and family fun. To help accommodate all of them, downtown Richmond recently welcomed a new hotel to its ranks, the Moxy. This art-forward boutique hotel has murals designed by local artist and Emmy-winning documentarian, Hamilton Glass.

The Park RVA opened in late 2022 - a massive new indoor entertainment facility that features the longest bar in Virginia, six in-house restaurants, duckpin bowling, mini golf, and event space.

Chef Michael Lindsey has expanded his culinary arsenal with ML Steak Modern Chophouse, a fun and fresh approach to the traditional steakhouse, which opened last fall.

The Ram’s House, is a new sports bar close to VCU for game time comfort food. Other new local eateries and bars have opened in unique spots, too, such as Nokoribi, a yakitori-inspired Japanese eatery inside The Veil Brewing Company in Scott’s Addition. One of the city’s

first urban wineries, Gramophone Winery, opened in August on the site of a former dry cleaner.

Plans also have been announced for a new 7,000-seat Riverfront Amphitheater, expected to open in spring 2025.


Head out to the James River for whitewater rafting during the warmer months.

The newly updated Richmond Beer Trail is a collection of nearly 40 craft breweries, wineries, meaderies, and other beverage destinations across the region.

Richmond is home to a variety of state museums, too, including the world-renowned Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, most famous for its Faberge Eggs. Its neighbor, the newly renovated Virginia Museum of History and Culture, has an array of artifacts from the pre-colonial period up to modern day social justice movements.

For shopping, Short Pump Town Center features national chains and boutique businesses for all audiences mixed with some of the region’s top local cuisine. Or shop the “Mile of Style” among Carytown’s local shops and restaurants.

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The Moxy Richmond Downtown is a new, art-forward boutique hotel in Richmond, VA; photo courtesy: Richmond Region Tourism


Greater Richmond Convention Center is one of the largest expo centers in Virginia - a 700,000-square foot facility that can host sporting events, conventions, and dozens of meetings all at once in the center of the city.

Henrico Sports and Events Center is a state-of-the-art convocation and championship complex, scheduled to open in fall 2023 that will house multiple basketball and volleyball courts and will include four meeting rooms in addition to its 115,000-square feet of contiguous court space.

Historic Main Street Station from 1901 is home to many annual Richmond celebrations, such as the Craft and Design Show. This Amtrak train station can hold over 3,000 guests and was featured on a U.S. postage stamp this year.

Colonial Heights has one of the country’s largest collection of cars, trucks, and other autos at Keystone Truck and Tractor Museum. There’s space for meetings and more at its in-house café.


At Alewife, try dozens of seafood dishes from the Chesapeake Bay with an extensive wine list. Experience tastes from the Alpine right in Scott’s Addition at Brenner Pass, Richmond’s growing district for foods, brews, and music.

Lemaire, the in-house restaurant of the five-star Jefferson Hotel, features Southern classics with modern twists.

Southern Living named 21 Spoons in Midlothian as one of the South’s Best Local Restaurants. Visitors can pick a seating time to experience a home-grown, cozy dinner with local foods, wines, and great conversation with the owner.

ZZQ Texas Craft Barbeque is Richmond’s premier spot for down-home barbecue staples, set amid some of the city’s top breweries.

Jewfro is an African-Jewish fusion restaurant with a flair for savory appetizers and African spices across both their food and drink menus.

Hatch Local Food Hall, Richmond’s first food hall-style facility, has six different stalls filled with unique local restaurants, with one rotating every few months.




Downtown Roanoke saw Fire Station One (a sevenroom boutique hotel) open in 2023, and Liberty Trust, a 54-room boutique hotel, open in 2022. Both are housed in repurposed early 20th century buildings (the latter, a bank, the former, a fire station) and retain many of their original elements.

The Rowland Hotel, a 16-room boutique hotel in downtown Salem, opened at the end of 2022. Two new restaurants also opened in Salem. Frankie Rowland’s Steakhouse is the steakhouse’s second location, and it is located below The Rowland Hotel. The original restaurant is in downtown Roanoke with the

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The 1882 Lobby Bar at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center; photo courtesy: Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge

same name. The other new restaurant in Salem, Brood, is an upscale restaurant that opened this summer, featuring an upscale menu of inventive, seasonal small plates.

Scheduled to open this September in downtown Roanoke near The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center will be a new rooftop bar and restaurant. Six and Sky will be perched atop Center in the Square, a nonprofit arts and cultural organization that is home to five museums, a theater, and a symphony. Six and Sky will be able to host receptions with panoramic views of downtown, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Roanoke’s 100foot-tall neon star atop Mill Mountain.

For history enthusiasts, Hidden in Plain Site is an interactive, augmented reality tour that shows participants five sites that were essential to the African American experience in Roanoke and were later affected as part of urban renewal policies. In October 2023, a life-sized statue of Henrietta Lacks will be unveiled downtown as part of the project, as she was born in Roanoke.

A nearly 15-mile stretch of the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, “America’s Favorite Drive,” has reopened in Roanoke after being closed for three years, as slope repairs are now complete.


The Roanoke Star and Overlook is a must-see for any visitor to the Roanoke Valley. It can be reached by car, bike or hiking trail and offers an aerial view of downtown and the surrounding Valley. The Roanoke Star is a 100-ft tall neon star that has served as a welcoming symbol to the region since 1944.

Virginia’s Blue Ridge is very popular among outdoor adventure seekers. Over 35-miles of paved Greenways run through local neighborhoods, along a river, past restaurants, breweries, ice cream shops, and breweries, and can be accessed easily from downtown Roanoke. Just a 20-minute walk and attendees will feel transported from the metropolitan area of downtown to relaxing riverside stroll.

An abundance of public art (murals, sculptures) can be explored within the main blocks of downtown for an

artsy outdoor adventure, too. Avid hikers likely will want to hike McAfee Knob, often called the most photographed spot on the entire Appalachian Trail. In fall of 2022, Roanoke County unveiled a shuttle that will take hikers from a Park and Ride off I-81 to the trailhead of McAfee Knob.

Outfitters like Roanoke Mountain Adventures and Twin River Outfitters can set attendees up for paddling and tubing excursions. For two-wheeled adventures, Cardinal Bicycle and Roanoke Mountain Adventures can provide everything needed for a road, gravel, or mountain biking outing.

Black Dog Salvage is a 40,000-square foot architectural salvage warehouse and attraction that is home to the hit TV show Salvage Dawgs who specialize in reclaiming and reselling industrial fixtures. Enjoy a day full of shopping and stay in the Stone House, a fully renovated, upscale guest house and special event venue originally built in 1911.

The Roanoke STARCADE is a new facility just a short walk from the Roanoke Pinball Museum on the second floor of Center in the Square, which features classic and new arcade systems and activities for gaming, competition, private engagements and fun.

The free VBR Savings Pass app allows visitors access to discounts for local attractions, restaurants, and shops in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Sent via text or email, these discounts can be redeemed immediately.


The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center is the largest place to hold meetings in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, boasting an IACC-approved conference center, 330 sleeping rooms, 63,000-square feet of meeting space, 1882 Lobby Bar, and Pine Room Restaurant.

Going through full historic renovation, Liberty Trust Boutique Hotel, a member of Preferred Hotels & Re-

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sorts, offers 54 guest rooms, meeting space, an upscale food and beverage concept, an original walk-in safe converted into tasting room, while repurposing classic design elements like original copper doors.

The Preserve at Crooked Run in Botetourt County boasts 475-acres of recreation, including an Orvis-designed sporting clays course, a five-acre lake, an Infinity pool, and an overlook pavilion.

The Grand Lodge provides indoor seating for up to 150 guests, or 250 on its patio, and is fullyequipped for multi-day corporate retreats, meetings, gatherings with a full kitchen and variety of cabins and cottages.


Virginia’s Blue Ridge is home to a plethora of farmland for both meat and produce, which means that most local restaurants source their ingredients from farms around the region, resulting in fresh and inventive plates that often change seasonally, including popular restaurants such as bloom, Lucky, Local Roots, and Brood.

Collaboration among local restaurants is another trend on the Roanoke food scene. Popular downtown bakery, Bread Craft, provides a wide variety of breads and pastries for diverse menus at local restaurants across the valley. RND (Roasters Next Door) Coffee, whose canned nitro cold brew won a Garden & Gun “Made in South” runner-up award, can be found at many local brunch spots, such as Crystal Spring Grocery Co. and Bread Craft. Scratch Biscuit Company is the perfect place for stomach-filling, Southern biscuits piled high with more fresh ingredients.

Restaurants also are beginning to pop-up as companions to boutique hotels in restored historic buildings. The Vault is located at The Liberty Trust, while Stock Café, a Nordic-inspired restaurant, is located below Fire Station One.

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The Liberty Trust Hotel in Downtown Roanoke, VA; photo credit: Jennifer Griffin; courtesy: Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge

WASHINGTON, DC washington.org


“Great leisure destinations make for great meetings destinations, and Washington, DCwith all that it offers - elevates the overall experience for meeting attendees,” observes Elliott L. Ferguson, CEO and president, Destination DC.

Ferguson continues, “There’s the world-class museums, monuments and memorials, many that are free and all within walking of the Walter E. Washington Conference Center. There are two rivers with lively nightlife and waterfront activities, Michelin-rated dining, cuttingedge performing arts, and music. Our walkable neighborhoods offer street cafes, breweries, speakeasies, and slices of local culture.”

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Newly renovated Crystal Room venue space at the Willard Hotel; photo courtesy: washington.org

The Wharf Recreation Pier; photo courtesy: washington.org


Royal Sonesta Capitol Hill Washington DC, the second Royal Sonesta in the District of Columbia, is set to open near Union Station this September. Part of a mixed-use complex, the contemporary 274-room hotel offers an additional rooftop conference center with views of iconic landmarks.

The 235-room Washington Marriott Capitol Hill opened in January 2023 and features a glass-enclosed twostory lobby, ballroom, outdoor terrace, on-site restaurant, rooftop bar, event space, Marriott’s M Club and more.

The Morrow Hotel Washington, DC Curio Collection by Hilton opened last November. A 203-room upscale brand from Hilton, it includes outdoor event space, indoor and outdoor F&B, and rooftop views of the city.

its historic building. It is the world’s first major museum solely dedicated to championing women artists and now will be able to present more ambitious exhibitions and programming.

Folger Shakespeare Library and Theater will reopen in 2024 as home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and the ultimate resource for exploring Shakespeare and his world. Event space will be available on-site.

Capital Jewish Museum opened in June and explores the Jewish experience in the national capital region, inspiring visitors to connect, reflect, and act on behalf of their values and communities.

Several properties have rebranded, as well, including the Salamander Washington DC (formerly Mandarin Oriental) and the Waldorf Astoria (formerly Trump Hotel).

The Willard Hotel has undergone a renovation to its Crystal Room, Peacock Alley, and other spaces, while Capitol Hilton Hotel is renovating its guest rooms. The Renaissance Hotel is undergoing a renovation and rebrand and will become The Westin Washington DC Downtown this October.

National Women in the Arts will reopen in October after a two-year, top-to-bottom, transformative renovation of

Phase two of the Southwest Waterfront development opened last October, adding more luxe residences, office space, a 131-room Pendry Hotel, new restaurants, a 1.5-acre park at the Marshall Park Landing, boat slips at Wharf Marina, retail space, and two garages with over 1,000 parking spaces.


The redeveloped Wharf neighborhood has added many new restaurants, including Phillipe Chow, which brings luxury dining to the area, and, in the coming months, Lumini and Kinfolk Southern will debut also.

Some of the latest local trends include the addition of new food halls and rooftop dining in DC. The latest is

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The Bazaar by José Andrés has opened in the rebranded Waldorf Astoria. New Morrow Hotel guestroom; photo courtesy: washington.org

Love Makoto - a Japanese market offering concepts from Ramen to sushi and more. Beer gardens also are popular here, and in the fall offer firepits and outdoor seating.

Georgetown is set to gain the popular Osteria Mozza from the Los Angeles area, as Michelin star chef Nancy Silverton is partnering with Stephen Starr, who is behind some of DC’s most coveted restaurants (Le Diplomate and St. Anselm). Starr will also duplicate New York City’s Meatpacking District’s scene-y bistro, Pastis, in DC’s Union Market in 2023.

A New York City art-nouveau-styled brasserie, La Grande Boucherie is opening an outpost in the historic Federal-American National Bank building near the White House.

Restauranteur Emil Stefkov of The Group NYC also will open a Japanese restaurant called Washoku Room and an indoor/outdoor Italian trattoria called Olio é Piu at the same location.

An ambitious 25,000-square foot culinary marketplace, The Square is located inside International Square, the complex above the Farragut West Metro station. The chefs behind The Square, Richie Brandenburg and Rubén García, bring years of hospitality experience to this venture.

Clyde’s is planning to open a new restaurant in the Union Market district next summer - Cordelia Fishbar will serve dishes made over a charcoal flame grill. The restaurant is expected to seat 250 guests and will have a private event space.

Maryland-based 2Fifty Texas BBQ is planning to open a location in Mt. Vernon Triangle. The restaurant was ranked the “#1 Best BBQ Joint in the DC Area” by the Washington Post.

Amparo Fondito, a contemporary Mexican restaurant, opens late summer using locally sourced ingredients to create dishes inspired by Mexico’s coastal regions.

Indian restaurant Bindaas’ Cleveland Park location soon will be transformed into a wine bar named Little Black Bird with an expected opening date in early September. Guests can choose from over 100 different wines by the bottle. Food pairings include entrees like lobster and lamb loin.

Vegetarian and vegan options are available throughout DC and represent a wide range of choices, while farmto-table restaurants are quite popular in DC, too. The Summit at Conrad serves dishes with locally sourced ingredients from providers that use eco-conscious practices.

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Vue Terrace at Hotel Washington;

Vue, located atop the newly rebranded Hotel Washington, is an upscale restaurant with views of the White House and Washington Monument.


According to Melissa A. Riley, senior vice president convention sales and services for Destination DC, “… we’re able to elevate meetings and add value to events with expert speakers, policy-makers, and influencers. With our Connected Campus, meeting planners can draw on the city’s unique venues beyond the awardwinning Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Connected Community connects programs to legacy projects in the city that align with the values of an organization and impact the local community.”

One of the city’s most popular museums, International Spy Museum moved from Penn Quarter to L’Enfant Plaza and features 140,000-square feet, more than double the space of the original building, and new interactive exhibits. The indoor-outdoor event space offers sweeping city views.

Reopening in phases, the National Air and Space Museum began a major renovation of its building on the National Mall in December 2018. The revitalization of its exterior and infrastructure, and the transformation of all 23 exhibitions and presentation spaces is anticipated to be completed in 2025. The first refurbished exhibits debuted in 2022.

Nationals Park is in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood is more than just a baseball stadium – it is one of the largest venues in DC, boasting the ability to accommodate from 40 to 40,000 guests. On non-game days, attendees can access exclusive spaces such as the field, clubhouse, and dugouts. Meeting attendees can try their hand at batting practice in the Nationals’ cages or compete with the Racing Presidents on the warning track, a fan-favorite. With over 55,000-square feet of indoor spaces and more than 250,000-square feet

of outdoor space, Nationals Park one of DC’s most flexible venues.

The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is a leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability initiatives, which include a color-coded recycling program, water efficiency, green product purchasing and more. The building boasts a long list of energy-reducing features, from low-emission glass to computerized HVAC systems. The center is Metro accessible (Green and Yellow lines) with a dedicated Mt. Vernon - 7th StConvention Center stop, and it is within walking distance to a booming restaurant scene and downtown's museums and nightlife, as well as the National Mall.


While here, visit any of the world-class Smithsonian museums (most are free). Or head to the U.S. Botanical Gardens, which are free and boast a tropical oasis any time of the year.

Rock Creek Park can be accessed from multiple points throughout the city and offers hiking trails, tennis, and golf. Twice the size of Central Park in NYC, Rock Creek is a National Park with fall foliage that draws visitors from all over.

Visit the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world (and a great venue for meetings and events). A variety of music venues and theaters offer nightly performances, and have event and meeting spaces, too.

Library of Congress in Washington, DC; photo courtesy: washington.org

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A COHNversation with Jim



Todd and his family visited Africa for the first time in the mid-‘90s and were immediately inspired by the culture and spirit of the continent. The beauty and artistry he saw inspired him to build his first resort, which opened in May of 2000 in the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” Wisconsin Dells, WI. Knowing he wanted to harness the experience he felt during this trip, he sought to create an authentically African-themed resort that would have everything a guest would need in one location. He wanted this theme to not only be a façade for the resort, but be part of the overall business DNA.

Founded on the African principle of “Ubantu,” meaning togetherness, the goal was to create a resort that encourages belonging and spending time with family. Wanting to be genuine and authentic, the family continues to make yearly trips to Africa to experience the magic of the continent, magic they bring back to Kalahari.

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Don Pleau, General Manager, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, Pocono Mountains, PA Todd and Shari Nelson

The all-under-one-roof waterpark resort concept quickly resonated with guests and Kalahari was able to expand into new markets. First, in Sandusky, OH, then in the Pocono Mountains, and most recently in Round Rock, TX.

The Pocono Mountain location was Kalahari’s first property on the East Coast, and the massive resort was built in phases. The first phase opened in July 2015 and featured Pennsylvania’s Largest Indoor Waterpark. Phase two was completed in 2017, and expanded the indoor waterpark to 220,000-square feet, making it America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark. Additional rooms were added, bringing the total to 977, and signature dining experiences also were incorporated.

To celebrate, Kalahari also founded National Waterpark Day in July of 2017. The third phase was completed in 2019 and doubled the size of the convention center, bringing the total to 205,000-square feet, including four ballrooms, 33 meeting rooms, and multiple hospitality suites.


When the Nelson family first began bringing their vision to life, they wanted to bring the authenticity of the African experience to the Wisconsin Dells community, and now to the additional three locations to which Kalahari has expanded. They found inspiration there, especially in the African art, customs, and culture, and endeavored to weave those elements into the resort. From handcrafted Mozambique souvenirs to the rhythms of Cape Town to the artwork throughout the resort, every element is inspired by Africa.

One can see this inspiration throughout the Pocono resort, but especially in the large fireplace adorned with sculpted African animals in the main lobby, in the "Ndota Kujenga” (meaning dream create) Tree of Life near the grand staircase in the convention center, and in the murals that decorate the walls on the exterior of the resort.

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It was also important to the Nelson family to give back to African communities in the process, so they have made it a priority to support artists, not only as they design the resort spaces, but also through projects like Sculpting the Future, where they have supported African artists, and through the Nelson Family Life Foundation, their nonprofit through which they strive to bring clean water to African communities and artists.


We pride ourselves in our company mission to provide guests with experiences that go “beyond expectations” and thread that commitment into everything we do. Additionally, with 205,000-square feet of space, our convention center is able to accommodate large and small groups.

We also have seen an uptick in groups wanting to bring families along for their conferences. With 977 guest rooms, including one-, two-, three- and five-bedroom suites, we easily can accommodate any size group. Admission to America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark is included for all registered guests, so while a parent is attending that conference, another parent can entertain their kids at the massive indoor waterpark or Big Game room. Additionally, the resort features world-class dining options and a full-service spa, so guests never have to leave the property.

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We take great pride in seeing many local, regional, and national trade shows, special events and conferences return year-after-year to Kalahari. Part of our success is in our team’s ability to curate the specific requests for each group. We strive to cultivate wonderful relationships with our partners and are grateful to have them. We look forward to seeing them each year at the resort.


The Poconos are the perfect destination to reset, and we get many visitors from New York and Philadelphia. One of my favorite selling points is that, after a short car ride into and through the beautiful Pocono Mountains, your group can simply park and stay at the resort.


Kalahari is always evolving with the goal of giving our guests the best experience possible. We continue to look at new ways to grow, whether that be in opening in new locations or by renovating and expanding at our four resort locations. At the Pocono Mountain resort, we have seen new improvements to the guest check-in process, as well as our new Emerald VIP Lounge. In recent years, we have expanded offerings at the property to include new restaurants and attractions.

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BETHANY BEACH - Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Residence Inn by Marriott announced the appointment of Christina Swan as General Manager of their new signature restaurant, Via Sophia by the Sea.

WILMINGTON - The Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau has promoted its long-time marketing director Scott Ciancio to Deputy Director, and social media manager Jessica Horstmann has been promoted to Digital Marketing Manager. In his new role, Scott will help manage the day-today operations of the office while maintaining a leadership role in the Bureau’s marketing efforts, and Jessica will expand her responsibilities beyond social media management to include involvement in digital content development, digital advertising, and digital campaign development.


BALTIMORE - Visit Baltimore has hired Jen Dwyer as their new Director of Sales.

BETHESDA - The Hyatt Regency Bethesda has hired Michael Levine as their new Director of Sales and Marketing.

CAMBRIDGE - Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina has reopened its popular eatery, Blue Point Provision Company, and also has appointed a new Chef de

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Cuisine, Nicholas Aspenleiter. To celebrate the reopening, Blue Point Provision Company also has brought back their popular Deck Parties.

COLLEGE PARK - The Hotel at the University of Maryland has expanded its executive team with the hiring of Taryn Fontenette as Director of Catering and Conference Services.


ATLANTIC CITY - Golden Nugget Atlantic City announced that industry veteran Jim Ziereis has joined the property as their new Vice President of Hotel Sales.

CAPE MAY - La Mer Beachfront Resort has hired Liz Santoro as their new Director of Sales & Catering.

PENNSAUKEN - DeAnna Lucas has taken the role of Executive Assistant at The Honickman Companies.

SHREWSBURY - MedForce announced the promotion of Kathy Grau to Executive Director of Operations.

WESTWOOD - Robyn Morgen started a new position as Senior Event Experience Manager at Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.


NEW YORK CITY - BNY Mellon Wealth Management has named Katie Lockett to a new position as Regional Marketing and Events Manager, New York TriStare and Mid-Atlantic.


HERSHEY - Jason Heath has been promoted to Vice President, Resort Operations at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.

MEDIA - Visit Delco has hired Rob MacPherson as their new Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer. Rob’s new role is to increase tourism and hospitality activity in Delaware County. Prior to this, Rob spent 25 years within the Philadelphia Phillies corporate sponsorship and marketing office.

PALMERTON - Blue Mountain Resort has named William McPartland as their new Food and Beverage Director. William will oversee operations, menu development, as well as supervise all catering events and oversee special culinary events.

PHILADELPHIA - The Bellevue Hotel Philadelphia has hired Eric Pittfield as their new Director of Sales and Marketing.

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EvEntMAkErS cOntinuEd

PHILADELPHIA - Kathryn Epps Roberson has started a new position as Chief Executive Officer at The Fund for The School District of Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA - The National Constitution Center has promoted Kristina Marinello to a new position as Senior Director of Museum Experiences.

PHILADELPHIA - Jazz Pharmaceuticals has promoted Libby Reap to Senior Manager, Meetings & Conventions.

PHILADELPHIA - The AAMP Tourism Marketing Agency has hired Randi Berman to a position in Senior Business Development.

PHILADELPHIA - The Barnes Foundation announced the appointment of Maryanne Murphy as their new Chief Financial Officer. Maryanne most recently served as CFO at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

PHILADELPHIA - Roberts Event Group welcomed Grace Cosgrove to their team as an Event Coordinator.

PHILADELPHIA - Kathe Archibald has started a new position as Director of Penn Alumni Regional Clubs at the University of Pennsylvania.

PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society welcomed Rob Feinberg as their new Chief

Marketing, Communication and Sales Officer to grow brand recognition for both PHS and their annual Philadelphia Flower Show.

PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau announced the appointment of Jennifer Nagle as Vice President of Special Projects. With over 20 years of executive experience in the fields of marketing, tourism and hospitality, Jennifer will play a pivotal role in leading strategic initiatives related to the PHLCVB’s focus on citywide conventions, sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup 26™ and 2026 MLB All-Star Game, and international tourism in the lead up to and throughout 2026. Her background includes a previous position with the PHL Sports division of the PHLCVB that preceded her most recent roles as interim president and CEO and executive vice president of the Philadelphia Visitor Center Corporation.

PHILADELPHIA - Janet Binswanger has been promoted to the new position of Events and Experience Lead at Vynamic.

PITTSBURGH - VisitPITTSBURGH announced that Emily Hatfield has joined the region’s official tourism and convention promotion organization as Director, Communications and Public Affairs.

TANNERSVILLE - Camelback Resort welcomed back Elaine Leies as their new Group Sales Manager.

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WILLOW GROVE - Lauren Trevorah has been hired in the new position as Project Coordinator at Innovation Partners.

YORK - Anne Druck has started a new position as Corporation and Foundation Relations Manager at York County Libraries.


ALEXANDRIA - Adriana Molina has joined Meeting Priorities as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. Adriana had served as vice president of association sales at Teneo Hospitality Group for over five years and previously spent over 20 years at Starwood Hotels & Resorts leading their global sales office.

ALEXANDRIA - Mental Health America has announced that Susan Cairnes started in a new position as Associate Vice President, Meetings and Events.

MIDDLEBURG - The Salamander Collection has hired Erica Gillis Schoenly as their new National Sales Manager.


The National 4-H Council announced Jill Bramble as its new President and CEO.

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Molina trevorah nagle MacPherson Grau reap ciancio Pittfield Berman Horstmann


July 26, 2023 – Philadelphia, PA – The Barnes Foundation came alive as Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine co-orchestrated its highly anticipated annual Summer Soiree. Over 375 event professionals attended the fete, which featured pop-up experiences and creative displays from the region’s premier events vendors. Culinary delights took center stage, orchestrated by the masterful hands of Constellation Culinary Group. The gastronomic journey took inspiration from cultures of artists within the Barnes’ collections, encompassing a French-inspired station in honor of Van Gogh replete with Duck Rillette, Pâté de Campagne, and Salmon Mousse, a Polynesian-themed delight for Gaugin featuring Tuna Tartare Coconut Poke Bowls and Grilled Tropical Fruit Skewers, and an American Surf and Turf haven as a nod to Demuth offering Hanging Lancaster Tomahawk steaks and seafood skewers alongside grilled summer vegetables. Guests were invited to explore the Barnes outdoor terrace to enjoy summer cocktails and bask in the beauty of the evening. The evening was set to live music from the Philadelphia String Quartet and other sponsors DFW Event Design/Kuzo Event Furnishings, Vision Furniture, Party Rental, LTD, Beautiful Blooms, Petals Lane set the styling and Renault Winery, Two Robbers, Insomnia Cookies, Tap Snap, Sarah DiCicco Photography, Impresso Coffee and Philly Ice fostered connections against the backdrop of The Barnes Foundation's refined elegance.

Photo Credits: Sarah DiCicco Photography

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Milanee Benaouadj and Meredith Dickinson from Renault Winery Tara Justice and Courtney Bell, Hard Rock Café Philadelphia Sarah Duffin with Constellation Culinary Group
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Diane Farina, STARR Restaurant Group and Lisa Bass, Metropolis Passenger Logistics
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Franzi Petermann, Frappe Events and Ronnie Anderson, Ronnie Anderson Events


August 15, 2023 – Philadelphia, PA – The Brulee Catering team at the National Constitution Center is always striving to maintain excellent relationships with event planners, clients and vendors. One unique way they achieve this is hosting outof-the-box networking events. Just this past month, the team hosted their 2nd Annual DICED Cooking Competition, a spin on the popular Food Network show ‘Chopped’. Event guests and museum staff teamed up to create dishes with mystery ingredients while Executive Chef Ron Brello and his team acted as consultants to help the competitors complete their dishes which were then judged by a panel of their peers. The event concluded with a social hour where participants could try each other’s creations and celebrate their successes. “We wanted to build relationships with new clients and further create a bond with our existing clients by inviting them behind the scenes for some friendly competition!” said Carol Short, Director of Catering.

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Ross Wilson, National Constitution Center, Jennifer Nagle and Maria Grasso, PHL CVB, Faith Halfmann and Rose Perez of Brulee Catering Denise Ronayne with Brulee Catering Patty Wynne from Citizens Bank, Bill Armstead of Two Labs and Lynn Armstead, New York Life
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Jhona Ireland, Center City District and Donielle Warren, Elegant Events Planning & Design

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Norristown, PA - Elmwood Park Zoo hosted a Topping Off Party on August 16th when they laid down their last piece of steel for their new Entrance Plaza. As Elmwood Park Zoo continues its expansion, they also will be celebrating their 100th Anniversary in 2024.


EATALY: Beloved Italian Dining Destination to continue North American Expansion

King of Prussia, PA - Eataly, the largest Italian marketplace and dining destination worldwide, has signed a multi-year lease with Simon to open at the King of Prussia Mall in 2025. Eataly is focused on providing high quality, sustainable products and has transformed the way consumers enjoy Italian food, beverage, and culture through markets, counters, cafés, restaurants, and educational offerings.

The addition of Eataly further strengthens and solidifies King of Prussia Mall as a top dining and retail destination offering residents and visitors more options while shopping the over 450 stores throughout the center.

Eataly currently has 46 shops in 15 countries, including Italy, the U.S., Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, France, Sweden, and Brazil.


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he Region


Dennis Township, NJ - Clermont Lodge will become home to 120 luxury, off-island accommodations, including: 56 well-appointed hotel rooms; a luxury spa oasis with indoor/outdoor infinity pool; entertainment lounge and restaurant celebrating local fare; a sustainable produce farm; provision store; private event barn and chapel for up to 250 guests; and a community of 24 cottages and 40 retro bungalow units.

Ron Gorodesky, owner of Refined Hospitality announced, “We could not be more excited to, once again, provide our expertise in creating yet another signature hospitality environment for guests and the community to enjoy. Working with developer Brickstone Realty has been incredible.”

Developer John Connors, President of Brickstone, shared, “We recognized Refined Hospitality’s direct experience creating and executing notable destination brands. Together, we agreed that our collective credentials, passion for hospitality development and interest in expanding tourism in Cape May County aligned, forging a synergetic partnership.”

Refined Hospitality was recognized for their conception and management of The Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor, NJ and the River House at Odette’s in New Hope, PA, in addition to their ownership of The Grove at Centerton in Parvin State Park, NJ.

Executive Vice President and Brand Creator for Refined Hospitality, Julie Yeager, stated, “More intimate, locally connected properties full of charm, history, art, and culture are thriving. Community collaborations, wellness, entertainment, and programming activations all are part of creating that immersive experience that emotionally connects guests to the brand.”


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Photo Credit: DAS Architects

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The Wildwoods, NJ – This fall, experience the quieter side of the shore with a visit to The Wildwoods. Fall in the Wildwoods offers everything vacationers could ever want in a seasonal getaway – mild weather, minimal crowds, quiet beaches, a fun-filled boardwalk, prime hotel/motel accommodations at money-saving off-season rates, great restaurants, and uniquely fall activities, including exciting weekend events and festivals.

Fall in the Wildwoods also means signature events and exciting festivals. Much anticipated fall events include: The Wildwoods ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s Weekend; Morey’s Piers’ Oktoberfest; Seafarer’s Festival; Boardwalk Classic Car Show; and more.

Boardwalk amusement piers are open weekends and closing for the season on October 8, but there is still plenty to do along the 38-block wooden way. Retail businesses throughout The Wildwoods remain open during the fall.



Atlantic City, NJ – The Greater Atlantic City Chamber, Visit Atlantic City, and David Schultz Airshows presented another successful Visit Atlantic City Airshow, which took place in August. Celebrating 20 years in Atlantic City in 2023, the Visit Atlantic City Airshow continues to be the world’s premier midweek beachfront airshow. This year, the event drew 485,000 people to Atlantic City.

“The 2023 Visit Atlantic City Airshow was once again a major success. This free, signature event continues to be the most important event of the year for us in Atlantic City. The economic boost the Airshow brings to the destination is incredible and our casinos and businesses truly look forward to this week. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership and premier sponsor title in 2024,” said Larry Sieg, President and CEO of Visit Atlantic City.


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Dallas, TX – The global business travel industry has rebounded at a more accelerated rate than expected just a year ago and is now expected to surpass its pre-pandemic spending level of $1.4 trillion in 2024 − and grow to nearly $1.8 trillion by 2027. In 2022, global business travel spending rose 47 percent to $1.03 trillion, with strong gains continuing and 32 percent growth expected in 2023.

These robust gains were fueled by pent-up demand after the pandemic, more favorable global economic conditions in 2022 and 2023, and recession risks that have yet to happen. These are the central findings from the latest 2023 GBTA Business Travel Index™ Outlook – Annual Global Report and Forecast published by the Global Business Travel Association in collaboration with Visa.



The Wildwoods, NJ – Offering an idyllic backdrop for indulging in a one-of-a-kind seasonal beverage while relishing the freshest catch of the day, The Wildwoods are home to a diverse range of establishments. These beloved landmarks of the Wildwoods embrace the essence of the local atmosphere, offering distinctive and exclusive creations inspired by the Jersey Shore.

The area’s finest wineries are located just minutes from the famous five-mile island. The sandy soil, along with Southern New Jersey’s mild climate, makes the area surrounding The Wildwoods ideal for grape growing and wine making. A quick tour of these vineyards illustrates that New Jersey lives up to its moniker as “The Garden State.”

For those in search of cold brews, craft beer, and growlers, in the heart of Wildwood both MudHen Brewing Company and Anglesea Aleworks offer locations for sipping brews exclusive to the five-mile island. Alternatively, visit Lazy Eye Distillery in Wildwood, which produces vodka, gin, and rum that can only be found at the Jersey shore.

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Southern Delaware Tourism (SDT) is collaborating with Sussex County arts and entertainment and history and heritage tourism partners to promote Arts Around Our Towns and Fall for History, a three-month celebration of Sussex County’s vibrant arts and history offerings to take place through November.

These promotions are aimed at encouraging visitors to extend their fall weekend stays in order to take advantage of the many arts- and history-focused festivals and events, tours, and attractions during the autumn months.

“Our area has a rich history dating back to well before the colonial period that visitors and even many locals are not aware of. Our Fall for History promotion gives us the opportunity to collaborate with our partners to highlight this history and all the heritage assets that we’re so fortunate to enjoy throughout Sussex County," says Scott Thomas, Southern Delaware Tourism’s Executive Director.

In conjunction with tourism partners, SDT has consolidated arts and entertainment-related events and history-related events scheduled for the fall months into the Arts Around Our Towns and Fall for History webpages allowing visitors to mix and match festivals, concerts, events, performances, tours and more when planning their visits.



Philadelphia, PA – The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (PCCA) renewed its contract with ASM Global as its venue management company with the convention center poised as the launch location for a dramatic series of innovations in ASM Global’s convention and conference portfolio.

It will be the first in a program creating unique environments such as immersive LED moments, speed-action offerings to accelerate business strategies, elevated VIP lounges, and quiet spaces for business connectivity.

“ASM Global's innovative leadership and commitment to delivering an unmatched customer experience have positioned the center, globally, as an industry trailblazer and venue of choice, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration as we take the Pennsylvania Convention Center to the next level,” said John J. McNichol, President and CEO, PCCA.


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Sussex County, NJ - Crystal Springs Resort announced two new unique team building activities: Rage Room and Make-Your-Own Bordeaux Wine Blending classes.

Rage Room is a place where attendees and planners can vent their rage by destroying objects. The resort's mobile option can be set up indoors or out. Modeled after an office cubicle, the Rage Room features a desk, computer, printer, coffee mug and those "annoying motivational posters." Guests get dressed up in head-totoe protective gear and select the weapon of their choice.

Make-Your-Own Bordeaux Wine Blend is where guests become a winemaker for the day as they taste single varietal wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec before blending them with their team-

mates to create a Bordeaux blend with balance. Participants will experiment with different portions of varietals and create their team blend to present to the judge. The resort’s sommelier will be on hand to guide guests through the blending experience.



Cambridge, MD – River Marsh Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina has added a state-of-the-art virtual golf simulator, "The Cove," for yearround play in the comfort of the River Marsh Clubhouse.

“We look forward to welcoming players of every skill level to experience our top-of-theline golf simulator,” said Abby Messick, director of golf at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay.

“Equipped with realistic graphics and an augmented reality analysis of each shot, ‘The Cove’ provides players with an unforgettable, immersive experience.”

The golf simulator, developed by TruGolf, has an extensive library of courses and gamemodes to ensure competitors are challenged, ranging from Bandon Dunes in Scotland to Pebble Beach in California.

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