Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine January/February 2022 Issue

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EVENTS January | February 2022

Let’s Keep Events Cooking In 2022 Planners team building event at La Cucina at the Market, Philadelphia, PA


Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

Skytop Lodge

Camelback Resort

Make your vision a reality in the Poconos, where you’ll find the space you need to collaborate with your team and build a successful future. Up-to-date amenities and all of the latest tech make hosting your next event in the Poconos a breeze. After your meeting or conference, it’s time to enjoy all the perks the Poconos has to offer, from cruising down the ski slopes in the winter time to hiking up our mountains for a gorgeous view in the summer. Email meetings@poconos.org to learn more.




SERIOUS MEETINGS WITH SERIOUS FUN At Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, we give you everything you need to make your event a success. You and your attendees will enjoy ample event space, custom group and world-class dining experiences, a full-service spa and second to none service. Your attendance-increasing event at Kalahari is one your members will look forward to.

KalahariMeetings.com | Call 855-411-4605 to learn more | Follow Us:

› › › › ›

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

| ©2022 Kalahari Management Co. LLC

CaesarsMeansBusiness.com 855-633-8238

Delaware County, PA The perfect location for meetings, events, and team activities

Located just outside of Philadelphia,

Scranton, PA

Delaware County is easily accessible from Philadelphia International Airport,

New York, NY

Delaware County

major interstates I-95, I-276 and I-476 and public transit systems such as

Philadelphia, PA

Harrisburg, PA

SEPTA and Amtrak. With more than 4,200 rooms, Delaware

Baltimore, MD

Atlantic City, NJ

County offers a complete range of accommodations from full-service hotels to charming Bed & Breakfasts.

Washington, D.C.


Lou Marrocco, Director of Meetings & Events LMarrocco@visitdelcopa.com



Excitement is building for our beautiful new hotel featuring 550 rooms and 60,000 square feet of meeting space. To book your next meeting, call Rebecca Kim at 484.777.7928 or email at Rebecca.Kim@windcreek.com


Jan z Feb 2022

EVENT January | February 2022

Planners team building event at La Cucina at the Market, Philadelphia, PA Photo Credit: Mario Oliveto Photography


Let’s Keep Events Cooking In 2022

PAGE 10 - Cabana at Camelback Resort's Aquatopa Waterpark in the Pocono Mountains, PA



Planners team building event

, Philadelphia, PA

at La Cucina at the Market

Small Meetings and Retreats Small groups reinvigorating the hospitality industry


Great Travel Experiences Regional destinations and venues with much to offer


Unique Spaces and Places Properties with creative and unusual offerings for groups


Convention Center Update What's happening at large venues around the region


Managing Nutrition and Stress Tips on healthier ways to handle stress

PAGE 10 - Stone Tower Winery; photo courtesy: Visit Loudoun; credit: Neal Alfano Photography/Miles Partnership.

PAGE 28 - The Sagamore, a waterfront resort in Bolton Landing, NY; photo courtesy: Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce and CVB.


January z February 2022


19 Guest Experiences: Casino Resorts LoCATioN REPoRTS 54 New Jersey State overview 58 South Jersey Shore Region: Atlantic City; ocean City; Stone Harbor; Avalon; Cape May; and The Wildwoods 63 North Jersey: Hudson County and Morris County 68 EventMakers 70 Around The Region EVENTSWoRTHy 73 La Cucina at the Market 74 Expo! Expo! iAEE's Return to in-Person 75 MASAE Annual Conference 76 NACE Annual Holiday and Awards Party

Mid-Atlantic Events Staff PUBLISHER & EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jim Cohn MANAGING EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Rich Kupka DESIGN & PRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . .Dana Kurtbek-MME Media FEATURES EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lydia Young TRAVEL EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ken Alan EVENTS DIRECTOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jennifer Johnson CONTROLLER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robert Conrad CONTENT CONTRIBUTIONS BY . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Wendy Dickerman, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Elena Gaudino, Maggie Trabucco, Angela Tuell

ADVERTISING & SALES 215-947-8600 ad-sales@eventsmagazine.com

EDITORIAL OFFICES 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.

- Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau - Discover Lancaster

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

- Green Meetings Industry Council - Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association

Vol. 35, No.2

International – Greater Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware - International Live Events Association – Greater

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

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

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

Connecticut Delaware Maryland New Jersey New York Pennsylvania Virginia West Virginia Washington, DC

- Professional Convention Management Association -

• 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

Greater Philadelphia - Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board - Visit Bucks County - Visit Delco, PA

Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine is the bi-monthly, Mid-Atlantic publication, bringing information about the Hospitality and Meeting Industry to Meeting, Seminar, Trade Show, Overnight Accommodation, Special Event, Conference, Convention, for Association, Corporate, Group and Individual Planners along with Hotel, Resort, Conference Center, Attraction, Banquet Facility General Managers, Directors of Sales, Catering and Conference Services. Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine (ISSN 0896-3967), is published bi-monthly by Tri-State Events Magazine, Inc. Copyright 2021 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

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To schedule your next meeting or event,

800-992-9732 | WildwoodsCC.com

Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine

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Small Meetings & Retreats

Back deck seating overlooking the vineyards at Breaux Vineyards; photo courtesy: Visit Loudoun; credit: Aboud Dweck

As group functions gradually resume, smaller meetings, retreats and outings are playing a critical role in the hospitality industry’s continued recovery. Historically, smaller groups have been a great source of repeat business for meeting and event venues, acting as a consistent collective economic driver – not only for the properties who host them, but also for many of the surrounding restaurants, retailers and other businesses within their communities. Today, challenges presented by the pandemic have made smaller groups even more vitally important to these venues and businesses, and their return is providing a needed boost and forward momentum heading into the new year.

The Loft at Berrelli’s Italian Chophouse, Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains

"Meeting planners are looking for interactive experiences for their teams to reconnect and reignite the culture of their companies" Robin Lattinville, Director of Sales, Camelback Resort Pocono Mountains, PA

“Here at Camelback Resort, we are seeing more and more companies segmenting their meetings by hosting smaller groups for different departments,” observes Robin Lattinville, director of sales at Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. “This allows the attendees to personally reconnect - versus using Zoom - and, in some cases, meet and get to know their new colleagues. We also are seeing shorter booking timeframes, as meeting planners navigate the continued uncertainty.” Meeting planners are looking for interactive experiences for their teams to reconnect and reignite the culture of their companies, Lattinville explains. “We’ve seen a huge increase in requests for unique dining experiences. Meeting planners are wanting more than the traditional meeting room buffet and are looking for memorable experiences as a way to reward their employees for their countless hours of working from home.” With 540-acres, Camelback Resort can offer groups plenty of unique spaces with room to spread out and be comfortable. “A favorite dining venue is our loft at Berrelli’s Italian Chophouse,” Lattinville notes. “This beautiful room overlooking the Poconos holds up to 40 people and has its own bar and fireplace. From there we can take guests down to the restaurant’s speakeasy opening up to a patio for a game of pool, shuffleboard or axe throwing.” Over the summer, the property’s new UTVs were a popular way to transport guests to the Summit House for dinner. The Summit House is Camelback’s highest elevation restaurant that sits on top of Pocono Mountain and features spectacular views. “Many times, we would start with cocktails at Trail’s End Pub and Grille and then transport attendees to the Summit House for dinner. It’s such a memorable experience,” Lattinville adds. For something more casual, food trucks are available for functions either at Summit House, on the property’s event lawn, or by Trail’s End near the resort’s bonfires.

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Try Woodloch’s new team building activity: The Food Truck Challenge Test your design and marketing strategy skills in this timed event to win over a panel of judges. Each team will receive a food basket, a secret ingredient and access to a pantry to create a delicious dish for everyone to sample. It’s not all about the food however- you will create and design a food truck, business name, marketing plan and menu. Are you ready? Let the challenge begin!

“When it was time to leave the resort, it felt like I was leaving home, and I really didn’t want to go!” -Danielle, Google “I can’t say enough great things about my experience with Woodloch. Each year, our company plans an annual retreat to escape the day-to-day for a few days and enjoy activities and bond with our colleagues.” -Erin, SeatGeek WOODLOCHMEETINGS.COM | 800.453.8263

Event set up at Woodloch Resort in Hawley, PA in the Pocono Mountains

Another unique space on-site is Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark for afterhours events. “We open the park up just for the group and arrange corn hole, Jenga and other games for attendees to enjoy after dinner,” says Lattinville. “During the warmer months, we can do similar events at our Camelbeach Outdoor Waterpark. Meeting planners love hosting events at the Wave Pool after the park closes at 6:00 pm.” The options and opportunities are virtually limitless at Camelback Resort, which has so much land that nearly anything is possible. “While touring planners around the resort, I tell them any space is available and to use their imagination,” Lattinville explains. “We also offer hybrid meetings capabilities and many team bonding experiences, including an ‘ice carve-off,’ where we bring in an ice carving artist to demo a few techniques and then give teams a block of ice with a design to carve. It’s quite fun! We also host group mixology classes, health and wellness themed experiences such a gentle yoga and meditation, movie nights, gourmet s’mores roasting, chef interactive dining experiences and so much more.” Small meetings have been playing a very important role in the hospitality industry’s road to recovery in Loudoun County, Virginia, too. From corporate ­14 January­z February­2022

meetings to social gatherings, hotels here have been able to adjust and implement creative ideas to follow all CDC guidelines for safety. “Small meetings, retreats and events are helping fill the void left by the postponements of our larger conferences,” notes Ann Hayes, director of sales, groups and meetings for Visit Loudoun. “We also have seen an increase in staff retreats, due to the remote workplace culture, which always include an outside component, such as a visit to a winery, brewery or a walking tour of one of our quaint, historic towns.” Visit Loudoun has focused on promoting its small meeting capabilities and unique venue spaces through their “Branch Out” campaign, which has resulted in an increase of website traffic and bookings for their hotel partners. “Outdoor offerings continue to be an attractive alternative for meeting planners, and these requests have increased significantly since the pandemic,” explains Hayes. “Loudoun County offers many outdoor and unique venue options for our small meetings.” The diversity, culture and vibrancy of Loudoun County has been key in promoting DC’s Wine Country® as a destination for small meetings, as well.

Located just 25-miles west of the nation’s capital, Loudoun County soon will become the last stop on the Metro’s Silver Line, and it is within driving distance of many metropolitan East Coast destinations, yet it offers countryside views, over 40 wineries, outdoor spaces, and hidden historic properties that are ideal for small meetings. “Hundreds of Loudoun business owners have pledged their commitment to safely welcome you back to our hotels, vineyards, farms, stunning resorts and the rolling backroads that they call home. And, with a competitive incentive plan in place, now is the time to break away from traditional meeting settings and branch out in Loudoun,” Hayes urges. Visit Loudoun has a number of ways they can offer assistance to groups of all shapes and sizes, including small meetings and retreats. For example, planners who are interested in booking a program in Loudoun County could be eligible to receive a $3 to $5 per room night rebate on actualized room nights. Eligibility for this Visit Loudoun Meetings Incentive Program is based on the following: must be a new meeting or conference to Loudoun; groups must contract by June 30, 2022; meeting or conference RFPs need to be sent or

copied to Visit Loudoun and a minimum of 10 actualized room nights must be booked in a Loudoun County hotel, resort or conference center. Visit Loudoun also offers a number of complimentary services for groups though their Meetings Concierge Program, such as: Meeting Room Supply Kits included in Welcome Bags provided by Visit Loudoun (hand sanitizer, wet wipe, candies, and tissue packs); Wellness Breakouts that connect meeting planners with local business; and industry experts available who can combine live in-person events with virtual online capabilities and planning assistance to create hybrid conferences, trade shows, seminars, workshops or meetings with the most up-to-date technology and virtual platforms.

"The Annapolis Waterfront Hotel has multiple small meeting rooms on our ground floor, all with natural light, which allows our restaurant to service a la carte options as well as smaller banquet menus. Our Chesapeake Ballroom has three sections with corresponding tented outdoor space and full open patio space, which can be customized for many small meeting options. Additionally, we are in the heart of historic Annapolis, so meeting attendees have many food options available nearby." Chara Hutzell, director of sales for the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel, part of Marriott's Autograph Collection

In addition, Visit Loudoun can provide: exclusive Welcome to Loudoun Deals with

A One-Of-A-Kind Vantage Point From sailing the Chesapeake to strolling the historic streets of downtown, Annapolis Waterfront Hotel is your gateway to Maryland’s charming maritime town. With breathtaking harbor views, thoughtful services, and over 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event spaces, our hotel provides everything your group needs for your next meeting or event.

R E S E R V E Y O U R S TAY 800-393-0047 80 C O M P R O M I S E S T R E E T, A N N A P O L I S, M D 21401 A N N A P O L I S W A T E R F R O N T. C O M

Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­15

special offers by local businesses; VIP Amenity baskets featuring unique local selections customized for an enhanced experience; personalized social media posts and custom website landing pages; and attendee welcome bags containing information on local attractions, wine guides and the LoCo Ale Trail.

"Small meetings and events have been the savior of our hotel through the pandemic. Companies who were able to meet on a small scale - and that was sometimes a four-person meeting - kept us open and serving our clients. The need for in-person collaboration, research and brainstorming was never clearer than when we didn't have it." Chara Hutzell, director of sales for the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel, part of Marriott's Autograph Collection

Smaller meetings and events have been essential to the recovery of the hospitality industry in Bucks County, PA, too, as the pandemic has limited the number of larger meetings and events to this point as companies and individuals continue to feel more comfortable in smaller group settings that can spread out within a larger-sized room, observes Brian Shields, director of sales for Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, PA. “The requests from smaller groups have not changed too much. They are still looking for a nice environment, good food, and comfortable setting,” Shields notes. “Planners do ask for the cleanliness policy of hotels or banquet facilities.” Peddler’s Village is a great place for small group business because of the size of its hotel and meeting and event spaces. The Golden Plough Inn has 66 guestrooms that are spread throughout the Village. Also, its banquet space can host a meeting or event to accommodate between 5 and 180 people. “Our event space has dividers to separate the space and keep groups away from each other,” adds Shields. For dining, Peddler’s Village offers the Cock’n Bull Restaurant and Earl’s New American Restaurant for meeting and event groups. Both restaurants have private event space on the second floor. In Hawley, PA, Woodloch Resort in the Pocono Mountains has long been a popular host destination for meetings and retreats.

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According to Lisa Hugaboom, director of corporate sales, and Matt Butler, corporate sales manager for Woodloch, “We have found that many companies are calling to set up retreats to get their teams together face-to-face as many of them have been out of the office during the pandemic and working remotely. The demand is rather high at the moment, which is leading to many mid-week dates filling up early, which, in the past, might have been harder to fill. Many of those requests are still for smaller events, therefore not requiring large groups to gather and keeping everyone safe.” Over the past few months, the number of requests for booking smaller meetings has increased at the resort, they note. “Planners want to be assured that the facility is maintaining a safe environment for their team. Many planners are interested in what measures we are specifically taking to ensure their teams safety,” explain Hugaboom and Butler. Woodloch has been receiving many more inquiries about the size of meeting space and how their groups can spread out within the space, as well as wanting spaces with windows that open to allow for airflow, they observe. “We also have installed a new air purifier system in our large common areas through a company called Global Plasma Solutions. Their patented technology, called Neelepoint Bipolar Ionization, reduces airborne particulates, viruses, odors and pathogens. In short, this system pushes ions into the air that combine with particles, making them larger and easier to filter out. They also disrupt pathogens’ surface proteins and make them inactive.” Hugaboom and Butler also have observed a number of inquiries from groups and planners who are looking for locations to which they can drive. “Woodloch is an attractive destination to these types of groups for many

reasons. The size of our properties works in our favor, as one of our properties, The Lodge at Woodloch, consists of only 58 hotel rooms, which helps assure groups that they won’t be among thousands of people should they decide to book there. Our properties also are all located within a couple hours’ drive from all major Mid-Atlantic cities, yet guests feel like they are a world away.” Woodloch offers a wide variety of meeting rooms to meet the needs of planners. “We are, however, seeing a trend toward creative meeting spaces,” they note. “Since groups tend to be smaller, we can offer the main living space of one of our 6-bedroom Southwood Homes to be the setting for casual meetings. Here, groups can feel almost like they are in their own ‘bubble.’ Meals can be catered to the home, or we can offer a variety of other intimate dining options. The homes also provide a unique opportunity for evening relaxation to again avoid going to a bar or public area.”

A Drive to Destination IN OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND

Woodloch also can arrange for a campfire, lawn games, entertainment, wine tasting or late-night catering to enhance the overall experience for the group. At the request of planners, and to accommodate their level of comfort, service staff can be fully-masked. “Our goal is to provide a safe and comfortable place for groups to gather for their long overdue meetings,” assure Hugaboom and Butler.

Providing a safe and comfortable environment for small meeting, retreat and event groups will help to keep in-person functions flowing and growing, building back and strengthening hospitality in the weeks and months ahead.

“Road trip time... enjoy a scenic 2.5 hour drive to the Atlantic Coast from Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD & Philadelphia, PA”

Planning a meeting, conference, retreat, group block or social event? Why not consider Ocean City, Maryland! We would love to host you at one of our oceanfront locations. Our experienced sales team is right here to partner in the planning process and execute your vision. Our process is simple, one point person for all of your needs, and we give it 110% of our attention with one goal... to make our clients shine.


Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­17


Mount Airy Casino Resort offers a AAA Four-Diamond experience in the pristine scenery of the Pocono Mountains. With 30,000 square feet of meeting space that can accommodate groups from 10 to 1,000, plus over 1,000 acres of resort amenities, and the most exciting dining and entertainment in Northeast Pennsylvania, we’ve got everything you need to make your next meeting extraordinAIRY. For more information, visit mountairycasino.com/meetings-weddings or call 570-243-5173.



Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Rivers Casino in Philadelphia, PA

GUEST EXPERIENCES: CASINO RESORTS Casino resort properties throughout the region feature special programs along with plenty of offerings. Here is a sampling of what is currently available or being planned for individuals and groups. Bally’s Atlantic City Atlantic City, NJ With over $100-million in planned renovations, Bally’s Atlantic City features over 1,200 rooms and more than 83,000-square feet of gaming space. This beachside destination also offers 10 dining outlets, a sportsbook, live entertainment and more. Opened in 2021, the FanDuel Sportsbook at Bally’s Atlantic City features two large video walls and multiple betting kiosks. Bally’s also introduced 5 new restaurants in 2021. For large parties or when restaurants are at capacity, visit Dining On The Sixth and enjoy menu items for Guy Fieri’s Chophouse, Jerry Longo’s Martinis and Meatballs, or Red Bowl 88. In addition, the new Sportsbook Lounge features a curated food and beverage menu with modern, pub-style fare.

Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­19

Bally’s offers live entertainment from the area’s hottest DJs and favorite local bands in both intimate settings and large party atmospheres, including the seasonal Bally’s Beach Bar. In 2022, the property will unveil renovations to its hotel rooms, hotel lobby, lobby bar, and more. Also in 2022, Bally’s will introduce a new indoor/outdoor live entertainment concept - a beer garden-style venue offering live entertainment, a curated tap list from local and national brewers, craft cocktails, and a seafood-focused gastro-pub style menu.

Bally’s Dover Dover, DE Bally’s Dover boasts a 500-room hotel with full-service spa and salon, three outdoor gaming areas, more than 1,900 slot machines on site, and The Colonnade. Additionally, there is live harness racing from November through April, The Rollins Center® ballroom, over 41,000-square feet of event space, 13 restaurants, bars or lounges, and retail shops. To unwind, visit the Lobby Bar, Fire & Ice at Bally’s Dover Casino Resort or the Terrace Bar for a wide range of atmospheres and drink selections. For entertainment, Bally’s Dover offers live entertainment from the Rollins Center with 1,994 seats. Enjoy the new and improved GR8 Burgers & More or the new Royal Prime Steakhouse Lounge, a classic American steakhouse that brings a fresh new experience to Bally’s Dover.

Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa and The Water Club Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and The Water Club provides a creative environment to inspire and motivate attendees of any event. Function spaces can be tailored to what each meeting and event planner envisions. Examples include: creating an intimate sunset reception in the Immersion Spa space on the 32nd Floor of The Water Club; transforming the 30,000square foot Borgata Event Center into a large-scale themed gala accommodating colorful productions such as Wizard of Oz or Moulin Rouge; developing team building activities and open-air events at the Borgata Outdoor Pool and Borgata Beer Garden; and a reception at The Water Club Indoor Pool ­20 January­z February­2022

that includes covering the pool in Lucite for an illuminated dance-on-water effect while guests are surrounded by plants and palms and dramatic uplighting. Borgata has a variety of spacious venues for groups from 10 to 3,500 attendees along with the resources and technology to make any event happen. The 30,000-square foot Borgata Event Center features 10 venues with flexible space that can be divided to host an array of special events, such as large formal dinners, shows, training classes, business presentations, receptions and more. Features include built-in lighting capabilities and a full-sized performance grade stage built on hydraulics that allows for flexibility in stage height. The 18,000-square foot bi-level Central Conference Center is another highly-customizable space that includes five meeting rooms, a boardroom and a clear span ballroom outfitted with the latest tech. In addition, The Water Club boasts contemporary and inventive spaces of its own with nine meeting rooms and four boardrooms, plus a full-service business center. A number of Borgata’s public venues can be privatized, as well, including Premier Nightclub and Gypsy Bar that feature unique settings. Plus, each of the property’s restaurants, bars, lounges, outdoor venues, and even the Music Box Theater can be rented out and transformed to fit any need.

Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City, NJ Caesars Entertainment in Atlantic City has so much more than just the largest ballrooms in the Northeast (including Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center), they also have showrooms for up to 2,000 attendees, as well as celebrity chef restaurants and top-tier service alongside the picturesque backdrop of the Atlantic shoreline. Caesars’ three AC resorts – Harrah’s, Caesars, and Tropicana Atlantic City – offer tremendous flexibility and easy accessibility for attendees who live in the Northeast. Significant enhancements will continue through 2023 for Caesars Entertainment properties in Atlantic City. Notably, Caesars Entertainment and Nobu Hospitality will open Nobu Hotel Atlantic City within Caesars Atlantic City in summer 2022. The debut of Nobu Hotel Atlantic City will not just offer

The Showroom at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY; photo credit: ©2021 Hal Silverman

a new hotel experience for guests; Nobu Hotels and restaurants blend modern luxury with traditional minimalist Japanese style to create a unique and personalized hospitality experience, making this boutique hotel another great option for attendees who are well-acquainted with the exclusivity of the brand. Additionally, a multimillion-dollar deal between Caesars Entertainment and Las Vegas–based entertainment leader Spiegelworld will bring a brand-new theater and resident show to Caesars Atlantic City, slated to open the first quarter of 2023. Spiegelworld will resurrect the city’s historic Warner Theatre, incorporating the grand 1929 façade that has served as a centerpiece for the boardwalk at Caesars Atlantic City.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, NJ With 2,000 rooms and more than 150,000-square feet of meeting and event space, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City has a variety of event venues available to amplify programs for groups of all sizes. For the largest gatherings, Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena can stage general sessions of

7,000 people or 300-plus booth trade shows and expo events. Hard Rock Atlantic City is motivated by music and that is ingrained in their offerings for groups. With a vast collection of music memorabilia, often touted as one of the largest in the Northeast, they are able to offer unique music-centric activities such as trivia and scavenger hunts and self-guided tours. The legendary Hard Rock Cafe offers an indoor/outdoor dining option (including a private space for groups) with a sophisticated urban vibe and classic American menu. Additional outdoor dining options include the Hard Rock Beach Bar, Balcony Bar, Sugar Factory, and Fish & Co. Hard Rock Atlantic City’s "Safe and Sound" program was first introduced when the hotel reopened in July 2020 followed by brand standards for meetings known as "Meet Safe and Sound." Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City was the first casino resort in the destination to bring back live entertainment in 2020. Since then, the property has continued in a big way Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­21

and 2022 is set to be one of the biggest years yet. A few acts already set to perform include Ben Platt, Greta Van Fleet, New Kids On The Block, Rod Stewart, Sting, Sam Hunt, Alicia Keys, and more. In May 2021, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City announced a $20-million capital investment commitment, which includes suite renovations, additional slot and table games, a new dining outlet (Sandpiper Coastal Bar & Grill), the opening of a new Starbucks, and a refresh of beachfront amenities. In addition, market leading programming and sound enhancements are being made to both Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena and Sound Waves. Other improvements will be made to the resort’s meeting and convention space and the indoor swimming pool.

Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia is an all-encompassing entertainment destination for groups of all sizes that has transformed the city’s Stadium District into an integrated sports, entertainment and casino-resort destination combining top-notch dining and entertainment with world-class gaming and luxury accommodations steps away from the excitement of four major professional sports teams. The property includes a 208-room luxury Live! Hotel, ample on-site covered parking, gaming and nightly entertainment. It also features 11 dining destinations, including The Prime Rib, recognized as one of the Top Three Best Casino Restaurants in the country by USA Today’s Readers’ Choice, as well as customized banquet catering for all event needs, large or small. ­22 January­z February­2022

The new Live! Event Center is a 15,000-square foot multi-use meeting, event and convention space. Groups can choose from four purpose-built event spaces: the versatile Market Ballroom, featuring a high-tech performance stage and a maximum capacity of 1,000 guests; the Liberty Room, which offers a distraction free setting for breakout sessions and smaller meetings; the Rittenhouse Room, which pairs easy access with high-tech amenities for up to 100 people; as well as the Franklin, Roosevelt and Whitman Boardrooms that offer high-tech essentials in a distractionfree setting. Outside of the Market Ballroom, as well as the boardrooms and breakout rooms, is a stylish and contemporary Pre-Function Space. Additionally, private event space is available atop the property’s parking structure, where guests can experience one-of-a-kind outdoor gatherings that provide views of the Philadelphia skyline and Stadium District. “We offer an easy to access property right off of all the major highways as well as free parking for all guests, including our private events,” notes Kelley Maddox, vice president of sales for Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia. “Currently, we are offering a ‘2022 is Today’ package for groups who book early for 2022. This package includes suite upgrades per 20 rooms, 2 percent rebate to their master bill, 20 percent allowable attrition, 20 percent discount on AV, and much more,” Maddox adds. Live! Philadelphia also offers an assortment of bespoke team building opportunities, including learning table games such as blackjack, taking an art walk through the building, private chef tastings and more.

Mohegan Sun Uncasville, CT “At Mohegan Sun,” explains John Washko, VP of exhibitions and convention sales for the property, “we know what it takes to pull off spectacular events of varying sizes, scopes and styles. Every detail of our entertainment destination provides guests with incredible accommodations, outstanding service and serious entertainment all under one roof.” Mohegan Sun boasts more than 275,000-square feet of flexible, hightech, world-class function space, including the 125,000-square foot Earth Expo Center, located within the Earth Expo and Convention Center, one of two large-scale convention centers onsite. Earth Expo is column free, provides natural lighting, has ample load-in docks and pre-function space. The Sky Convention Center is anchored by the 37,000-square foot Uncas Ballroom. Mohegan Sun also features an outdoor terrace that can be set up for private events and galas, over 45 total conference and breakout rooms, more than 40 restaurant options that offer 16 choices of private dining rooms and the ability to offer hassle-free dinearounds, along with a variety of unique entertainment venues. The 18th annual Sun Wine & Food Fest (SWFF) returns to Mohegan Sun from January 27-30, 2022. This multi-day wine and food event brings together top chefs from across the country, putting on chef demos, Q&As and tastings. TAO Asian Bistro and Lounge opened in 2021 in the lobby of Mohegan Sun Sky Tower, specializing in authentic Asianinspired dishes influenced by Chinese, Japanese and Thai techniques and in-


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gredients.. Private dining rooms are featured in each wing of TAO Mohegan Sun, as well. Another newer venue at Mohegan Sun is GAME ON - a sports bar, restaurant, arcade, billiards and bowling alley, all in one. Both TAO and GAME ON are available for private parties and group buyouts.

Mohegan Sun Pocono Wilkes-Barre, PA Mohegan Sun Pocono has very unique venues for corporate outings and special events all under one roof. “With over 20,000-square feet of meeting space and customizable menus, our team will assist in creating the meeting that is out of this world,” says Sarah Farrell, director of sales and catering for Mohegan Sun Pocono. Mohegan Sun Pocono, located in Luzerne County, PA, is home to a world-class hotel, casino, on-site dining amenities and live entertainment. “Booking an event with MSP provides your guests all the fun - and business they can have under one roof,” Farrell explains. Currently, groups who purchase food and beverage catering of at least $500 are able to utilize a meeting room in the new Seasons meeting space at Mohegan Sun Pocono for free. Mohegan Sun Pocono recently opened the Seasons meeting space, adjacent to the casino gaming floor. Designed for hosting dinners, social gatherings, and breakouts, this venue incorporates the fun of the casino atmosphere into a newly renovated setting.

Resorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City, NJ Managed by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, Resorts Casino Hotel was the ­24 January­z February­2022

very first property to bring gaming to Atlantic City in 1978, and today features a state-of-the-art Conference Center, a major entertainment complex, the only year-round beach bar at Landshark Bar and Grill, the DraftKings Sportsbook, 942 luxury hotel rooms that are the largest on the boardwalk at 525-square feet in two world-class hotels, fine dining and more. The property also boasts a fully-revamped conference center that has added 12,500-square feet of tech-advanced space by way of 12 meeting rooms, part of the property’s more than 64,000-square feet of space, much of which features natural light and ocean views. Award-winning dining venues include Capriccio Italian Restaurant, Dougherty’s Steakhouse and Raw Bar, Eastwind and a variety of other options. “This winter and spring, planners can book a meeting for 100 guests or less and receive a 10 percent discount on the catering menu, 20 percent off audio-visual needs, and 10 percent of room block upgrades to suites,” notes Ritambra Verma, director of sales and revenue management for Resorts Casino Hotel. “There also is one complimentary room night with this package for every twenty utilized, cumulative.” Additionally, there is complimentary meeting space with a purchase of catered food and beverage. All function space will have wireless Internet and guests will receive access to a 24-hour cardio center and swimming pool. “Separately, planners looking to book something midweek can receive 150 to 250 room nights with a minimum $15,000 food and beverage purchase and receive a $500 credit to the master account,” explains Verma, “251 to 500 room nights are possible with a

$25,000 food and beverage purchase, and this package also includes $750 credit to the master account. And 501 or more room nights are possible with a minimum of a $35,000 food and beverage purchase, and this will include $1,000 credit to the master account.”

Rivers Casino Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA "We take pleasure in being a destination for planners looking for a place to hold meetings and events that offers more than just a place for business,” states Paul Toennes, vice president of marketing for Rivers Casino Philadelphia. “Once the meetings are over, our casino's lively atmosphere makes for a great entertainment add-on for attendees to enjoy." Rivers is more than just a casino – it’s an experience for all guests. “Our property has something that appeals to everyone, from meetings to events and entertainment, everything we offer is conveniently located in one place. We're extremely flexible and always ready to tend to the needs of all our guests,” observes Dominique Frio, general manager, catering and events for Rivers Casino Philadelphia. The Event Center at Rivers Casino Philadelphia is a 10,000-square foot, configurable space offering different rooms to suit a variety of needs, waterfront views of the Delaware River, and catering by Gibsons Restaurant Group, which operates the casino's high-end steakhouse, Hugo's Frog Bar & Chop House. With floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the Event Center’s spacious ballroom has no columns, allowing it to hold large celebrations or to be configured for small, intimate

Aerial view of Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, PA

gatherings. The Event Center also features a private boardroom for smaller meetings, plus private lounge areas for seminars, classroom-style sessions and smaller groups that desire a cozier setting. Rivers hosts a variety of event spaces so that each event and meeting is customized to the group's needs and preferences. “At Rivers Casino, we’ll customize our first-class amenities to fit every occasion. Our dedicated team will work hand-in-hand with your coordinator, from the big picture to the smallest detail, to ensure success,” asserts Frio. “The Event Center is a blank canvas that can be transformed for a memorable experience.” Guests can treat themselves to various dining options on-site, from classic American or Asian cuisine to an award-winning steakhouse, and after dinner, they can try their luck on the

spacious casino floor. The property also offers free, on-site parking and free valet service, too. Jack's Bar + Grill at Rivers Casino Philadelphia unveiled a new lounge early in 2021 that includes a stage and a spacious dance floor, plus extra seating for great stage views. "The new stage at Jack's has been a great addition to our entertainment lineup,” notes Toennes. “Live music on Fridays and Saturdays makes the casino floor electric, and with a steady rotation of bands and performers, we have something for everyone."

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA The Event Center at Rivers Pittsburgh offers event planners and guests a customizable “black box” space. The floorplan accommodates up to 800 seated guests and 2,000 for stand-up

receptions. With unobstructed cornerto-corner views of the room, it allows meeting and event planners maximum flexibility for tailoring the space to deliver unique experiences. The Event Center also features an adjacent prefunction area, as well as a generous green room. Rivers’ Ballroom features floor-to-ceiling window views of the Ohio River. This 10,000-square foot space can be broken up into three areas for small or large gatherings. It also features a riverfront balcony and a pre-function space. For dining, there are 8 signature bars and restaurants, including the popular Italian-American steakhouse, Martorano’s Prime, Wheelhouse Bar & Grill, Mian, FLIPT, and Cíao. Music lovers can enjoy live DJs or bands every weekend in BetRivers Sportsbook, Drum Bar or Martorano's Prime. Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­25

“We take pride in offering each of our guests something different to enjoy here on property. Whether it’s grabbing a quick bite and a coffee at Ciao, or enjoying a sit-down dining experience at Martorano’s Prime, there is truly something here for everyone and every palette,” said Thor Kennedy, director of sales at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. Coming in summer 2022 will be the opening of The Landing Hotel at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, which will offer a luxurious experience with panoramic views of downtown Pittsburgh in the heart of the city’s North Shore District. The new hotel will offer quick and easy access to “The T,” and will be just steps from Heinz Field and PNC Park. Connecting directly to Rivers Casino, the hotel will be a new Pittsburgh destination for weekend getaways, weddings, holiday parties, corporate events and long-term stays.

Rocky Gap Casino Resort Flintstone, MD Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Rocky Gap State Park in the heart of Allegany County is a AAA Four-Diamond Award® and TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence-winning resort, offering a casino, hotel, conference center, Bonkerz Comedy Club, three restaurants, indoor and outdoor event spaces, the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course in Maryland, a spa, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, pro shop, individual parking, and several outdoor recreational activities. Rocky Gap’s spacious grounds offer oversized chairs and several firepits for lounging, as well as on-site activities including pedal boats, canoes and standup paddle rentals; a swimming beach, fishing and cornhole. Rocky Gap Casino Resort provides a picturesque setting for festivals, events, retreats, large gatherings, golf outings and other events. Found inside are the Allegheny Event Center and Golfview Pavilion. Outdoor spaces include the Lakeside Terrace and Lakeside Reception Area. The Allegheny Event Center offers two private dining rooms, outdoor space, an executive boardroom, meeting rooms, and a reception area that offers a full suite of technology and services. On the banks of the lake with views of Evitts Mountain, Lakeside Terrace can accommodate up to 200 guests to enjoy the pergola, Adirondack Chairs, fire pits, ample plush seating clusters, and a full-service bar offering beers on tap and frozen drinks. ­26 January­z February­2022

For entertainment experiences, the Event Center at Rocky Gap presents comedians, festivals, tribute acts and musicians or guests can check out great acts at Bonkerz Comedy Club. When it comes time to dine, Lakeside Grille is a premier, upscale steakhouse that features spectacular views overlooking the lake. Located just offshore from the lake, Signatures Bar & Grill offers views of Rocky Gap State Park in a clubhouse atmosphere, and the Lobby Lounge and Café serves coffee, freshly made baked goods, a variety of sandwiches, and a full-service bar.

Turning Stone Resort Casino Verona, NY “Our meeting spaces offer state-of-the-art features and a variety of format options to accommodate groups of all sizes, as well as hybrid-style meetings and interactive experiences for remote attendees. Throughout the last year, we have introduced new meeting spaces and expanded existing areas to offer a wider range of choices for in-person events,” notes Diane Centeno, VP of enterprise marketing and sales for Turning Stone. Leisure time remains a key aspect of successful group meetings and events, and Turning Stone offers a diverse selection of amenities, including year-round golfing, hunting, fishing, bowling, live entertainment, two spas, boutique shopping and several bars and cocktail lounges. “Event planners also can feel confident in the safety of their guests thanks to our Forbes Travel Guide VERIFIED Status, which identifies Turning Stone as one of a select group of hotels meeting the highest health and safety standards,” asserts Centeno. Over the last year, Turning Stone has revitalize its meeting spaces and enhanced its amenities including extensive updates to meeting spaces and a complete remodeling of the 650-seat Showroom. At the Lodge, Turning Stone’s Condé Nast Johansens and Forbes Four Star award-winning hotel, the all-new Executive Board Room offers floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Great Lawn and Kaluhyat Golf Course. When a session is complete, guests can adjourn to the Lodge’s atrium bar to enjoy drinks in an upscale setting.

Exterior of the Wind Creek Bethlehem expansion, Bethlehem, PA

Wind Creek Bethlehem Bethlehem, PA A true, integrated resort, Wind Creek Bethlehem affords planners and their guests with amenities that extend beyond the meeting room, including dining from Celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse, on-site entertainment, and a AAA Four-Diamond award-winning hotel. In Fall 2022, Wind Creek Bethlehem will debut its Tower 2 expansion, which will include the addition of three ballrooms, outfitted guest rooms, a high-end lobby bar, art installations, a rooftop swimming pool overlooking the city, a new spa, and an additional 35,000-square feet of meeting and event space. “Once the project is complete, our resort will boast over 60,000square feet of combined meeting space and over 550 hotel rooms,” notes Amelia Tognoli, brand marketing coordinator for Wind Creek Bethlehem, “making it a prime venue for larger corporate events and weddings.” Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­27

Fireworks at the Capital Wheel in National Harbor, MD; photo courtesy: Experience Prince George's

GREAT TRAVEL EXPERIENCES There are many adventures and experiences available for groups throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern Regions of the U.S. in a variety of diverse and unique locations and settings. Easily accessible by car, bus or train, these places and spaces may be a relatively short distance away, but each will provide groups with a refreshing change of scenery and a long list of things to see and do. For those looking to get away in the new year, these are just a few of the options available. Be sure to visit local CVB or DMO websites for updated information about current health and safety regulations and guidelines. Individual venues may have their own protocols, as well, so it’s always best to reach out before planning any trip.

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ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND Boasting 520-miles of Chesapeake Bay shoreline, Annapolis and Anne Arundel County offer a host of opportunities for getting out on the water. Outdoor enthusiasts will want to explore its 54-miles of biking and hiking trails. Art lovers can spend hours enjoying street-art creations and the work of local and nationally known artists on display at dozens of galleries and museums. In the performing arts arena, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Annapolis Opera, Live Arts Maryland, Ballet Theatre of Maryland, London Town Symphony Orchestra, Classic Theatre of Maryland, and others provide everything from classic and contemporary repertoires in intimate to grand settings. In Annapolis, history welcomes visitors at every turn. Home to more 18th century brick buildings than any city of comparable size in the nation, its Historic District truly is a “Museum without Walls,” where every step along the brick-lined streets is a reminder of what has been and what could be. Take a self-guided tour of the oldest State House in continuous use. Stroll through town and past the homes of Maryland’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Maryland’s official repository for African American culture and heritage. Tours of the U.S. Naval Academy depart the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center daily. In November 2021, Historic Annapolis Inc. opened a museum-wide permanent exhibition, Annapolis: An American Story, at the Historic Annapolis Museum. The exhibition shares the dramatic stories of Annapolis and its diverse people – revolutionaries, vi-

sionaries and champions of the nation’s continuing quest for liberty and justice – who helped to shape the city’s American story over more than 400 years.

offer the ultimate fan experience. Opened in 2020, the casino’s 4,000seat Hall at Live! is designed to accommodate the nation’s top touring acts.

A stroll across the Spa Creek bridge brings visitors to the recently renovated Annapolis Maritime Museum and its new permanent exhibition, Our Changing Waterfront. Reimagined exhibits invite visitors to experience the Chesapeake Bay and the area’s local history through interactive and immersive displays.

After enjoying gaming and live entertainment, guests can walk across a promenade to Maryland’s largest outlet and value retail shopping, dining and entertainment destination, Arundel Mills Mall. Nearby Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park is a premier sports and entertainment destination for world-class thoroughbred horse racing.

Art lovers will want to explore Gallery 57 on West Street. The nonprofit collective artist group, the Annapolis Art Alliance, opened the “fusion of the arts” in summer 2020. Local by Design on Main Street features the diverse work of 125 local artisans. Both businesses are part of a thriving visual arts community that includes nearly twenty galleries within walking distance of one another in downtown Annapolis. There’s plenty of great art on the streets of Annapolis as well. A 7,000square-foot Breonna Taylor mural was created at Chambers Park in July 2020. Another summer 2020 addition is a mural of the beloved Carlester “Walking Man” Smith. A new John Lewis mural at 95 West Street honors Lewis and other activists who led the Selma Montgomery marches over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965. In April 2021, Future History Now completed an Equal Justice Under the Law mural featuring equal rights champions, Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall across the street from the circuit courthouse. In the BWI/Arundel Mills region, one of the largest commercial casinos in the country, Live! Casino & Hotel, recently opened Sports and Social Maryland to

Groups and individuals can discover firsthand how Annapolis earned the title America’s Sailing Capital. Sailing, cruising, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking are among the possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts. The action begins at City Dock, the heart and soul of the city – a place to see and be seen. There are a host of ways to get out on the water – from riding the water taxi, to taking a 40-minute cruise of the Annapolis Harbor or Spa Creek. Two-hour sailing cruises aboard the newly refurbished historic Chesapeake Bay skipjack, the Wilma Lee; the Schooner Liberte; or the twin 74’ wooden schooners, Woodwind and Woodwind II, are popular choices. While many already know that guided tours of the U.S. Naval Academy depart from the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center daily, they may not realize they also are welcome to stop by the Naval Academy Museum following a formal tour of the “Yard.” The museum’s Gallery of Ships is home to one of the world’s finest collections of warship models from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The Rogers Ship Model Collection is another not-to-be-missed display. Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­29

The surrounding Anne Arundel County countryside offers its own allure in small villages like Mayo, Shady Side, Deale and Galesville. The 160-acre Honey’s Harvest Farm in Lothian offers farm workshops, farm-to-table events, nature walks and farm tours. The nearby Historic London town and Gardens highlights the region’s history, archaeology and horticulture on the South River in Edgewater. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center welcomes visitors to its 2,650-acre campus that spans forests, wetlands, marshes, and 15-miles of protected shoreline. For dining, Annapolis has a lively, everevolving culinary scene. Over the past two years, several new eateries have opened their doors, including the 28seat nano-brewery, Forward Brewing; Dangerously Delicious Pies; In Grano, a bistro-bakery that mills its own locallysourced grains; the coffee and wine bar, Curate Annapolis, with its homemade pastries and evening wine events; the coastal California-inspired kitchen and wine bar, Smashing Grapes; 1771 Grill and Taproom; and the health-centric eatery, True Food Kitchen. A host of al fresco dining and shopping opportunities await along the bricklined streets of Annapolis’s Historic District, or groups might opt for a wine tasting at a local winery or a beer tasting at one of the area’s popular breweries. Pherm Brewing Company in Gambrills opened in December 2020, where customers enjoy live performances by local artists, IPAs, barreled age brews, lagers and seltzers, as well as food from on-site food trucks. Learn more at: visitannapolis.org ­30 January­z February­2022

LAKE GEORGE, NEW YORK In the Lake George Area, less is more. With less traffic and less hassle than big-city destinations, both group travel and vacationers will find more scenic views and open spaces without having to sacrifice amenities. The Lake George Area helps to make a meeting feel more like a working vacation. Located in the Adirondacks in Upstate New York, Lake George features lodging options at a variety of price points that range from island camping to luxury lakeside accommodations. There are branded hotels and locallyowned establishments, historic downtown hotels and lakeside resorts. There are lodges with activities for the whole family, providing various experiences that include bike and kayak rentals to an indoor water park. There are a variety of camping experiences, too, including island camping on Lake George - home to numerous glamping establishments where groups can stay in rustic luxury. There are more than 50 restaurants, hundreds of attractions (many offering group packages), outdoor trails, rich history, factory outlets, boutique shops featuring locally-made products, and more. Explore charming upstate communities like Glens Falls, which has been nicknamed “Hometown, USA.” Take in the natural beauty of the Lake George Area, which remains the top attraction year-round, with a variety of trails and waterways including lakes and rivers. Groups can enjoy time on Lake George aboard cruise ships, private charters and rental boats. Or get even closer to the water with stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking on various waterways.

With more than 200-miles of trails and licensed guides available for hire, the Lake George Area is perfect for anyone who wants to reconnect with nature, whether a beginner or an expert outdoors person. Enjoy snowmobiling, snowshoeing, fat-bike rentals, skiing and more in winter. Attractions include something for everyone, from Six Flags Great Escape Theme Park to adventure courses and zip lines. Starting in 2022, Lake George will be home to the New York location of the seasonal attraction Ice Castles in the Festival Commons’ event space. Ice Castles is created entirely by hand, using only icicles and water as the building medium. Each castle is composed of about 25-million pounds of ice and stands between 20- and 35feet tall. This frozen attraction is an interactive experience for the whole family and features slides, tunnels, crawl spaces, fountains and towers. The area also is home to the oldest weekly family-owned rodeo in the U.S., with shows during the summer months. For those who like natural phenomena, check out the Lake George Mystery Spot that produces an unexplained echo when visitors stand at specific coordinates and speak. There is a rich history here, as it was the setting for James Fenimore Cooper’s novel “Last of the Mohicans,” site of events during the French and Indian War, and even some Revolutionary War history. Groups also can enjoy a variety of live music events and the most intimate professional dinner theater in America. There also are opportunities to learn about protecting the natural beauty of the area through programs such as the Floating Classroom, an educational boat ride presented by the Lake George Association.

Lake George restaurants have been featured on national television, including the Foy family establishments on the show “Summer Rush.” And there’s always the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail, which features 17 producers of beer, wine, cider, hard seltzer, distilled spirits and soda. Learn more at: lakegeorgechamber.com

LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA Lancaster is an ideal destination for vacationers and business travelers alike. With everything from farmland and family-style fun to nightlife, worldclass dining and contemporary art, it offers something for every traveler. This unique destination boasts the best of both worlds - a bustling city as well

as the laidback experience of Amish Country. The Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County are America's oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old "Plain" lifestyle. Arriving in Amish Country allows visitors to step back in time to enjoy a slower, more peaceful pace – one where the horse and buggy remains a primary form of transportation, and where windmills dot the landscape providing power harnessed from nature. The Amish are a vital part of Lancaster’s culture, and visitors can tour the Pennsylvania Amish countryside – including by horse and buggy. Afterward, there are many Amish-themed attractions and events to explore, op-


portunities to shop for handmade Amish crafts, and plenty of places in which to dine on authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. Visitors can shop at the Central Market Lancaster, the country’s longest continuously running public farmer’s market, which started way back in 1730. While in town, they can catch a show at the historic Fulton Theatre, reportedly the oldest working theatre in the U.S. The building dates back to the mid-1800s and it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964. Sports enthusiasts can cheer on the Lancaster Barnstormers minor league baseball team at state-of-the-art Clipper Stadium, just north of Lancaster City. The stadium was awarded the

in the Lake George Area

Get Away and Get Together in the Adirondack region of Upstate, New York With over 200,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and 7,000 guest rooms, the Lake George Area offers all the luxuries & amenities of a large city without sacrificing the beauty & charm of a small destination.

meetlakegeorge.com The Lake George Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau | 518.668.5755 Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­31

distinction of Independent Ballpark of the Year in both 2020 and 2021 by Ballpark Digest. Pennsylvania’s Dutch County also is full of history, rural Amish experiences, and even boasts a growing downtown, offering exceptional dining and diverse shopping in a bustling city atmosphere. Alternatively, explore hundreds of miles of rail-trails, nature preserves, hiking spots and horseback riding trails. Encounter living history at James Buchanan’s Wheatland, an 1828 federal mansion that President Buchanan called home in Lancaster City. Now owned and operated by LancasterHistory, visitors may tour the grounds and learn of Wheatland’s tangible connection to the U.S. presidency, antebellum and the Civil War, and the American political process.

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For group functions and accommodations, the 416-room Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square marries the city’s rich history - literally built around a shelter in the iconic Underground Railroad with upscale accommodations, sweeping views of downtown, and unique onsite dining experiences. Renovated in 2019, the $39.4-million East Tower brings to the Marriott a transitional architectural design that strengthens the city skyline with its rooftop bar that adds to the vibrancy of Lancaster’s downtown. Just steps away, guests can explore over 90 art galleries, a burgeoning food scene, shopping and historic landmarks, including one of the largest National Historic Register Districts in the country. The hotel is uniquely integrated with the world-class Lancaster County Con-

vention Center, offering 90,000-square feet of meeting space as well as impressive architectural and historic features. On the ground floor of the Lancaster Marriott, Plough features a menu that simultaneously celebrates Lancaster’s rich cultural roots while embracing a new era of modernity. Led by Executive Chef Ryan McQuillan, the dining experience at Plough brings the heart of the countryside to the city. “Take the elevator up and you’ll find the highest rooftop in Lancaster City The Exchange, bringing a vibrant social experience to the Lancaster skyline,” says Hans Schreiber, director of sales and marketing for the Lancaster County Convention Center and Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square. “Open year-round, the rooftop features a

REIMAGINE | REINVENT RECONNECT floating bar to accommodate the open air during the warmer months. In the colder months, the space is enclosed to create warmth, along with plenty of heat lamps and fire-top tables to go around.” The Exchange’s extensive beveragedriven menu spotlights creative twists on the classics and quirky, creative cocktails alongside thoughtful local and seasonal wine and beer selections. Fare is inventive small plates, using only locally sourced ingredients from Lancaster farmers. The Lancaster County Convention Center’s facilities combine the best of new world sophistication and oldworld charm, with dedicated space for meetings from 5 to 5,000 attendees. The historical centerpiece of the facility is the Stevens-Smith Site, containing an excavated cistern in a preserved section of the Underground Railroad. Learn more at: discoverlancaster.com www.lancasterconventioncenter.com

OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND Ocean City is a popular resort town with something for everyone, from ten-miles of white sand beaches to quiet coastal bays. Leisure group travelers have found this to be a versatile destination with organized tours of local cultural spots like the Life Saving Station Museum and in neighboring Dorchester County, the Harriet Tubman birthplace and Visitor Center facilities. Tied into a beach resort, these are unexpected educational and historical finds to explore. Vacation goers have literally enjoyed Ocean City by the millions for generations. “Our exciting boardwalk holds three-miles of arcades, eateries and

fun,” notes Norma Dobrowolski, destination sales, marketing and CVB manager for the Ocean City, Maryland Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Many families gather here each year at their favorite beach resort. Meeting and convention planners can execute their event knowing that attendees always will want to bring the family to Ocean City to enjoy the outdoors as well as the fun spots.” Of course, just about everyone who comes here visits the boardwalk - a trip to Ocean City just wouldn’t be the same without it. Even in the shoulder season, it is a great place to stroll, run or bike. Any time of year there are open shops to explore and eateries at which to grab a bite - all while enjoying the sights and sounds of the Atlantic Ocean.





2 1 5. 886. 0202 e ve ntr i city. n e t

Nearby Assateague Island is a place where wild ponies roam free and the environment is teeming with wildlife. Full of folklore, the story of the ponies and how they came to arrive on this barrier island is debatable, but what is not is their value to the area and the enjoyment they bring to visitors who observe these majestic animals. Worcester County, the county in which Ocean City resides, is home to at least ten small museums and cultural sites. Popular among groups are Furnace Town and the Delmarva Discovery Center, two intimate facilities that provide a history of early rural life along the Eastern Shore of Maryland. From Native American history to the steamboats packing essentials to early ironworks, these spots hold educational value and enriching experiences. With 11,000 hotel rooms and 28,000 condos, the Ocean City area offers an array of oceanfront hotel suites, smaller retro properties and expansive condominiums for rental. Almost any Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­33

type of accommodations can be found midtown, oceanfront or bayside. Fullservice hotels with large dining and meeting rooms are represented as well, as Ocean City is known as a regional meeting destination. For those seeking just a simple room, there are many family-owned motels, too. Ocean City has long been known for its large restaurants but there also are more intimate, chef-inspired dining places such as Marlin Moon at the Doubletree, and Longboard at the Town Centre. Seacrets remains incredibly popular as a Jamaican flavored bar, restaurant and dance stage. It is iconic with its own distillery offering tours. Where else can visitors sit IN the bay and enjoy a craft beverage? “Whether you are in Ocean City for leisure travel or a convention, you will experience the atmosphere of a tropical getaway right here on the East Coast,” Dobrowolski proclaims. Learn more at: ococean.com

POCONO MOUNTAINS, PENNSYLVANIA The Pocono Mountains is a great place for a getaway, whether as an individual, couple, family or group. With numerous attractions, outdoor activities, shopping destinations, and enticing restaurants, the Poconos offers something for everyone. Unique team building challenges indoors and out are available year-round for any size group. Winter is the perfect season to get everyone out on the slopes for skiing, snowboarding or snow tubing. Or, enjoy a day of pampering at one of the region’s world class spas, or warm up at an indoor waterpark resort. ­34 January­z February­2022

“Our quaint downtowns are popular destinations offering one-of-a-kind boutiques, culinary discoveries, and a wide variety of cultural and historical attractions,” explains Valerie Case, sales manager for the Pocono Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau. “From Stroudsburg to Hawley, Honesdale to Milford, Jim Thorpe and beyond, get out and about in Pocono small towns. Sip a freshly-roasted cup of joe on the Pocono Coffee Trail, take a ride on a train or trolley tour, catch a show at a local theater, or dive into local history at area museums.” Groups can step back in time and experience farm life at Quiet Valley Historical Farm, or spend an afternoon exploring Pocono Organics, one of the largest Regenerative Organic Certified Farms in North America. The Dorflinger Glass Museum offers one of the world’s largest displays of exquisite Dorflinger crystal and glass. The Pocono Mountains CVB offers an online events calendar that is kept up-to-date with unique seasonal adventures, festivals and things to do in the area, as well. The Poconos features a wide range of lodging options that include first-class and four-star resorts (some on the National Historic Register). There are accommodations for every group and visitor, from all-inclusive properties to couples-only resorts to family-friendly cabins and campgrounds. “We’re all about exploring great trails in the Pocono Mountains, and the Pocono Beverage Trail is no exception,” proclaims Case. “This trail leads you to delicious, locally-crafted brews, wines and spirits sure to please any palate. The atmospheric breweries, vineyards and distilleries are perfect settings for a relaxing evening. Guests will find a wide variety of dining options, with many different food styles and experi-

ences. The Pocono Mountains features top-rated and classically trained chefs, and our team can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.” “Don’t forget to add a sweet treat at one of our delicious bakeries,” Case adds. “If nightlife is what you crave, take a spin at Mount Airy Casino or rock out at a concert at local venues.” Learn more at: poconomountains.com

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MARYLAND Prince George’s County is home to National Harbor, an alluring waterfront destination that is an open-air gateway to grand hotels showcasing over 12,000 guest rooms and more than 850,000-square feet of meeting and exhibit space. “The county also offers an eclectic Gateway Arts District with galleries and eateries; a vibrant Big Ten university town amid scenic parks; and a wine country featuring a trail of four familyowned vineyards that create perfect settings for an array of meetings, conventions, events and group activities in spaces that are uncommon and cutting edge,” says Rhonda L. Walker, interim director of sales and marketing for Experience Prince George's. “This suburban-urban destination is an ideal getaway adjacent to Washington, DC, making it a bonus for groups of all sizes and interests.” When it’s time to unwind and connect, there are multiple ways to have limitless fun here. Travelers enjoy experiencing the 180-foot Capital Wheel that boasts spectacular views of the Potomac River and the lively atmosphere at the acclaimed MGM Casino. Game time brings out the competitor in everyone, and visitors will enjoy chal-

With opportunities for both excitement and relaxation, there’s a lot to discover in the 2,400-square miles of the Pocono Mountains. lenging one another at popular entertainment venues such as Topgolf. Six Flags America is a great place to try new thrills. Beloved attractions include College Park Aviation Museum, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, National Wildlife Visitor Center, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and sporting events at Prince George’s Stadium, FedExField, and The Show Place Arena.

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When it comes to accommodations, the county features two AAA Four-Diamond hotels - Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, and the MGM National Harbor, along with a collection of charming properties that include bed-and-breakfasts, upscale hotels and countryside retreats, as well as budget and family-friendly accommodations. For dining, Maryland is renowned for crab cakes and seafood, and chefs in Prince George’s County showcase their culinary skills from one menu to the next. The talent that fuses flavors, techniques and ingredients into mouthwatering dishes is a reflection of each chef’s epicurean journey, collectively adding up to a delectable dining scene. Learn more at: experienceprincegeorges.com Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­35

Meeting space at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in the Pocono Mountains, PA

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Unique Spaces & Places Planners in search of unique venues for their upcoming meetings, events and group functions will find a wealth of options throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. From an urban site with dozens of sports cars to a rural farm show complex consisting of 1,000,000-square feet to a food purveyor with multiple locations featuring Italian specialties to an African themed resort with an indoor waterpark in the mountains, here are just a few of the very unique choices available to planners for their group functions.

A World Away in the Pocono Mountains Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in the Pocono Mountains, PA is one of the region’s largest convention resorts with 950 guest rooms and over 200,000-square feet of function space. Home to a world-class culinary team and several on-site restaurants, guests will find much to do at this unique Africa-inspired property.

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Topgolf connects people through virtual experiences and innovations, combining technology with sports entertainment. Since opening its first Topgolf venue in 2000 in the U.K., they have brought their unique brand of experiential entertainment to over 60 locations around the globe, including several throughout the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region. These venues collectively serve millions of guests each year and welcome people from all walks of life to enjoy high-tech games, climate-controlled hitting bays, a chef-inspired menu, hand-crafted cocktails, event spaces, music and more.

Activities include an on-site spa, miniature golf, an outdoor adventure course and other team building opportunities, as well as a climate-controlled indoor waterpark and more. Its recently expanded convention space offers built in AV in pillarless ballrooms, pre-function space filled with natural light, and, of course, genuine African Art throughout making Kalahari feel like it is a world away; its unique backdrop inspiring attendees and providing planners with a creative setting and unique environment in which to host memorable event experiences.

“In choosing a destination like Kalahari, you are giving your attendees the opportunity to have an experience,” explains Bann. “From the moment you step foot in the doors, you'll feel the incredible hospitality, see the amazing collection of art, attend a conference with outstanding food, and when not in meetings, there's something to do for everyone. Relax with a massage in our spa, soar down a waterslide, enjoy an incredible meal at one of the Pocono Mountains' top restaurants, or check out many of the other activities this destination has to offer.” Nearly Limitless Flexibility

Menus can be customized as part of creating unique experiences for guests, as well. “Whether it's an authentic Indian dinner, a walking lunch or a themed reception, our team loves not only a challenge, but to ensure that each and every vision a client has can come to life. In addition, Kalahari owns all of its AV equipment, which makes the planning process seamless and the technology aspect one that you can count on,” notes Stephani L. Bann, CMP, assistant director of sales for Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in the Pocono Mountains. Groups can add to their experience by working with various vendor partners at Kalahari, including African Dance groups, team building facilitators, drayage and production companies and more. ­38 January­z February­2022

The PA Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is another unique venue. Located in the Hershey-Harrisburg Region, it offers over one-million square feet of space. It features eight fullywired halls that vary in size from 16,500-square feet all the way up to 172,000-square feet, as well as three arenas that boast seating for 900, 1,600 and 7,300 respectively, allowing planners flexibility to choose the right size and fit for their groups’ needs. Boasting almost limitless options for events, this premier facility’s versatile accommodations play host to everything from livestock shows to corporate meetings to trade shows to black-tie events and more with a skilled team that works with planners to assure successful events.

The complex's flexible floor plans make it easy to host everything from intimate gatherings to large exhibitions, concerts, and sporting events, too, with versatile seating options, as well as ample guest parking. “Our region features city amenities with the quiet charm of a family destination,” notes Sharon S. Meyers, executive director for the PA Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. While food and beverage are offered on-site by an exclusive partner provider, event planners and promoters are welcome to bring in third-party vendors for other services to help enhance their attendees’ experience. The PA Farm Show Complex and Expo Center offers a mix of newly renovated, accessible and green features all in a venue that boasts historic charm, varied and flexible function space, ease of accessibility, affordability and highlevel customer service. Feeding the Need… for Speed In Philadelphia, PA, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is home to one of the world’s greatest collections of racing sports cars. Through the theme “The Spirit of Competition,” the museum celebrates the history and evolution of these magnificent machines.

Assembled over 50 years by Dr. Frederick Simeone, the museum contains over 75 historically significant cars, including: Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Mercedes, Jaguar, Bentley, Porsche, Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford, and others. At 78,000-square feet, the museum is one of the few event venues in the Philadelphia area that can comfortably accommodate groups of 1,000 seated or 2,000 for receptions. Its space is very adaptable and partitions are available to section-off areas. Whether for a corporate event or social function, attendees can have full use of the entire museum with its world-famous car collection as the backdrop and a team dedicated to making the event special. On-site features include free Wi-Fi, free onsite parking for approximately 350 cars, and valet parking service that is available for an additional cost. With a multitude of catering options, the Simeone Foundation Museum’s team can help plan out the menu for any occasion, from light fare to wholesome cuisine. Mille Miglia Cafe is the most intimate space at the facility - a unique venue with an Italian-style piazza setting and outdoor café tables. The Andretti Conference Room is a large, open conference space with an outside window wall and a boardroom table. The Bugatti Room is a large, private meeting space that is Internet and AV ready, perfect for video presentations. Expert docents are available to take guests on an unforgettable journey through the museum’s outstanding collection of racing sports cars. The museum conducts private guided tours by reservation, and can custom Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­39

tailor tour experiences for groups. Tours last between 90-120 minutes, and are an informative, educational and entertaining experience. Inspired Culinary Experiences Di Bruno Bros. proudly offers six retail locations in and around the Philadelphia area, as well as multiple bottle shops and an outdoor piazza in the heart of the city’s iconic Italian Market. Each of these locations boasts a mix of unique services and products. Providing extraordinary food experiences inspired by their legacy, Di Bruno Bros. is a specialty food retailer and importer that began with a modest shop in South Philadelphia back in 1939. They have since evolved into a communitydriven enterprise that includes retail, catering, import and e-commerce divisions. Group functions with Di Bruno include the opportunity to meet a monger and hear a tale of cheesemakers near and far, to explore a world of culinary delights, and to visit the prepared foods counter for some deliciously easy fare. Every visit to Di Bruno Bros. offers a bite of something special, such as the monger’s favorite cheese pairing of the moment. The team at Di Bruno is dedicated to always learning more about the food world, whether about generations of cheesemakers, the way Prosciutto di Parma has been made in the same way for centuries, or the process for which rennet comes together with milk to become cheese. In the Di Bruno Bros family, memories are made around the table and that idea is the inspiration for their event venue on Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia. This historic space is ideally suited to accommodate a wide variety of cele­40 January­z February­2022

brations, from corporate parties to weddings to social soirees. Former home to night clubs and the storied Northern Savings Fund, BANCA is representative of everything Philadelphians love about the city - history, mystique, and a bold comeback. “Gather extended family and new friends in our chic 3,000-square foot space and keep the party going through the night... You bring the vision, we’ll bring the food, BANCA will bring the magic,” proclaims Leah Donnelly, director of marketing for Di Bruno Bros. The newest location in the Di Bruno Bros. portfolio opened in Wayne, PA – a marketplace with energy, expertise and enthusiasm for all things edible. This 8,000-square foot Italian culinary destination features mouth-watering displays and immersive food shopping experiences inspired by Di Bruno’s Italian Market legacy and old-world European food markets, offering opportunities for guests to taste and sip their way through culinary adventure. A seat at Bar Alimentari is like a seat at the Di Bruno family table. Centered in the heart of the market, this smaller, focused version of their Rittenhouse restaurant concept is ideal for enjoying formaggi and salumi plates, Romanstyle pizza, pasta, seasonal salads and curated wine by the glass, as well as beer and cocktails.

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At Cafe Di Bruno, sip expertly-brewed beverages by Seattle-based artisan coffee roaster Caffè Umbria while enjoying house made pastries, parfaits and savory sandwiches. The Bottle Shop offers a variety of vintages, along with craft beer, mixers, mocktails and barwares with a knowledgeable and passionate team who can suggest a perfect pairing or local favorite. Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­41

CONVENTION CENTER UPDATE The following update includes convention and expo centers, large conference venues and other related facilities throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. that have been updating, expanding, renovating and offering additional services for planners and attendees. ATLANTIC CITY CONVENTION CENTER • ATLANTIC CITY, NJ Atlantic City is home to nearly two-million square feet of flexible meeting space, including the LEED GOLD and GBAC STAR certified Atlantic City Convention Center and continuing education offerings are available in partnership with Stockton University. Experiential opportunities such as sustainability farming, coastal research, workshops and tours are great offerings for team building or corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. In Atlantic City, CSR blends with regenerative tourism, as more than 17 organizations offer these programs in and around the city. Since the return of meetings and conventions, Meet AC has seen increased attendance and boosted economic impact for the destination, while attendees are happy to reconnect and conduct business in-person. “As we continue safe in-person events, we are on track with meeting our annual goals and are eager to continue an eventful 2022 convention season,” observes Jessica Kasunich, communications manager for Meet AC.

BLAIR COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER • ALTOONA, PA The Blair County Convention Center is located along I-99 between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Boasting 50,000-square feet of flexible space, over 700 free parking spaces, and a connected Courtyard by Marriott. With ample green spaces and scenic views, Blair County is an ideal destination for escaping the crowds and exploring in a rural setting. Whether a history buff, thrill-seeker, railroad enthusiast, beer lover, or outdoor adventurer, this mountain city has something for everyone, including two free family-friendly theme parks, a multitude of historical sites, 45-miles of hiking trails, and seven breweries. “We continue to offer full-service catering, complimentary guest parking and Wi-Fi, on-site AV/BRC, dedicated event planners, marketing assistance and technical support from our facilities team,” explains Tara Saltzburg, director of sales and marketing for the Blair County Convention Center. “We are looking forward to a promising new year,” Saltzburg continues. “We were fortunate to stay open throughout the pandemic. As a result, we saw a significant amount of new business in 2021 and many of those events are rebooking with us through 2022 and beyond... Guests are eager to host in-person events again, and we are happy to provide a clean, spacious, well-ventilated environment for them to do so.” ­42 January­z February­2022

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BUFFALO NIAGARA CONVENTION CENTER BUFFALO, NY The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center is set in Buffalo’s walkable downtown, positioned between some of the city’s best hotels, restaurants, nightlife, entertainment, and Theatre District. The NFTA Metro rail line offers guests access to the revitalized waterfront, including Canalside, which features watersports, tours, concerts and ice skating in the winter, KeyBank Center, home of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, and the Buffalo Heritage Carousel. The convention center consistently earns outstanding ratings for customer service and quality of cuisine. In early 2021, the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center received an extensive modern renovation in its main lobby, while the venue’s Chef’s Tasting Room also received a sleek renovation. “A collaborative project between the BNCC, Visit Buffalo Niagara and more than 30 local hotels and event spaces, our Customer Confidence Program (www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/customer-confidence-program-meetings) continued, and expanded, in 2021,” notes Patrick Kaler, president and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara. “The Customer Confidence Program offers meeting planners special rates, discounts and packages along with flexible booking policies in these uncertain times.” Additionally, with a goal of increasing overall travel into Buffalo, whether leisure or business-focused, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport added new air service routes and recently completed renovations along with an expansion to the overall footprint of the airport. “The 2020s are looking to be some of Buffalo’s most exciting years,” observes Kaler. “Working to get back to the resurgence we were experiencing prior to the pandemic, there’s plenty planned for Buffalo in the year ahead. Investments are being made, work is underway and the region’s revival continues.” 2022 will see the completion of a more than $150-million, 30,000-square foot expansion to the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, Buffalo’s world-class contemporary gallery, and the Hyatt Regency Buffalo’s new ownership is planning a sizable renovation project in the next 12 months. ­44 January­z February­2022

Additionally, across the street from the convention center, two projects are in development. The renovation and restoration of the Statler Hotel and the Mahoney Building is transforming from office space into a boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Buffalo. Lastly, the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center will hire a new executive chef in 2022 and the venue will undergo an extensive, state-of-the-art technology upgrade.

CAPE MAY CONVENTION HALL CAPE MAY, NJ The Cape May Convention Hall offers programming that showcases nature, culture, and the arts, and is a cuttingedge venue for hosting trade and commerce activities, conventions, meetings, events and more. A state-of-the-art facility, it is situated directly on the beach and features 20,000-square feet of space that includes two event halls, a catering kitchen, meeting room, wraparound deck, and a multi-purpose atrium with views of the beach and the ocean. Cape May is an upscale resort with a wide variety of accommodations and a pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly layout. Known as “The Nation’s Oldest Seashore Resort,” the City of Cape May also has been an attractive destination for vacationers for generations. With over 600 Victorian-era structures in use, the entire City of Cape May has been declared a National Historic Landmark - one of the largest existing collections of late 19th-century architecture in the country. In addition to its Victorian era architecture, Cape May boasts the wonders of the natural eco-systems, pristine protected beaches, exciting recreational activities, unique shopping and dining opportunities, and a wide variety of annual events.

CONNECTICUT CONVENTION AND SPORTS BUREAU “Connecticut offers a variety of large event facilities, including state-of-the art convention centers, spacious hotels, and two of the world’s largest casino complexes,” says Robert Murdock, president of the Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau (CTmeetings). “Add to that, scores of historic and cultural arts attractions that double as ‘unique venues’ for memorable off-site social events. They have been safely welcoming new and repeat business for the coming year.”

Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford is a state-of-theart facility that is easily accessible and adjacent to the Marriott Hartford Downtown. Other nearby hotel options are available, as well, and the center is just a short walk to Front Street District, an entertainment district of restaurants, live music, movies, shopping, apartments, and UConn Hartford. The Connecticut Convention Center has earned the achievement from Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities, and has implemented stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. "While we have been fortunate to see an increase in bookings since our reopening last fall, we know that it will take some time before we are at pre-pandemic levels," observes Michele Hughes, director of sales and marketing for the Connecticut Convention Center. "As we continue to emerge from the pandemic and consumer confidence resumes, we anticipate slow and steady growth. What is most important is that we are well-equipped to provide a safe and comfortable environment for current and future events, and our

team is willing to be flexible to accommodate individual and group special requests to ensure a successful event." "Working collaboratively with the CT Convention Center, we have the flexibility to host events of varied sizes," notes Robin McHill, director of sales and marketing for the Hartford Marriott Downtown. Interconnected with the center, this upscale hotel boasts 409 guestrooms and 13,000-square feet of event space of its own. It also is within walking distance to attractions like Infinity Hall, Spotlight Theater, Wadsworth Atheneum, The Bushnell, Old State House, and the State Capitol Building. Live Nation has taken steps to be sure that guests remain safe during the pandemic also with enhanced cleaning procedures for the comfort and safety of all that attend their venues. Live Nation's staff can handle every detail while also providing access to musical entertainment, full-service event production, state-of-the-art lighting and sound, as well as custom menus and mixology. Opened in 1954 and originally known as Oakdale Musical Theatre, the Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford hosts

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corporate events, private concerts, business meetings and expos for groups from 25 to 4,800 guests. From The Dome Ballroom and the Main Theatre to smaller reception rooms and lounges, Oakdale Theatre features a variety of unique spaces. Featuring an outdoor setting and soaring views, Xfinity Theatre in Hartford offers multiple options for up to 24,000 guests, including its Plaza, VIP Area, and Main Stage. Having opened in summer of 2021, Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater is a new venue located between Stamford and New Haven, and serves as an iconic backdrop with versatile spaces that include an open-air pavilion and two large concourses, as well as intimate VIP Clubs. It can accommodate up to 6,700 guests as part of a full venue buyout. "Live Nation is excited to announce that we combined all of our local venues for special events under one umbrella known as Live Nation Connecticut," explains Lorraine Muha, director of special event sales for Live Nation Connecticut. "Having the multiple venue options gives venue seekers a range of opportunities for indoor, outdoor, intimate meetings or large scale conferences and expos." "We are always keeping up-to-date on new and exciting entertainment and enhancement options for events," Muha adds. "It is so exciting to be back in rooms of guests gathering, sharing, laughing and enjoying in person events again! We are definitely seeing an uptick of clients hosting and planning more in-person and have many conferences, expos and meetings already scheduled for this year. It is a trend that we expect to continue for 2022 and beyond." The XL Center is a 16,000+ seat downtown Hartford arena that is home to the UConn Women's and Men's Basketball teams. It also serves as home to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, the primary developmental affiliate of the New York Rangers. The XL Center plays host to a variety of concerts, family shows, ice-skating spectaculars, consumer events, and trade shows, as well. Located in East Hartford, Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field can host concerts, corporate functions, conferences, banquets and special events. With 38,000 seats, the stadium is the home field for UConn football. "Throughout the pandemic we’ve been privileged to provide assistance to the community by acting as COVID testing site, ­46 January­z February­2022

Food Share distribution location, and by supporting a major COVID vaccination site," notes Ben Weiss, general manager for Spectra Venue Management's XL Center, Pratt & Whitney Stadium, and Hartford Wolf Pack Business Operations. "We will continue to support the community as the pandemic evolves - all while responsibly hosting events." "The current year, 2021-22, has been a step forward toward pre-pandemic event activity," Weiss adds. "I expect that progression will continue into the 2022-23 season. Concert booking inquiries and show interest is picking up. This leads us to remain hopefully for a strong 2022-23." Additional venues for large events and conventions in Connecticut include both Mohegan Sun in Uncasville and also Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket.

DULLES EXPO CENTER • CHANTILLY, VA Dulles Expo Center has been part of the Northern Virginia community for 26 years. Accommodating primarily consumer events, the center also hosts trade shows, conferences and special events. “We also volunteer our parking lot to local churches and organizations, such as the girl scouts, for fund raising activities,” notes Bob Morgan, general manager for the Dulles Expo Center. The Expo Center typically is the venue of choice for 65-75 events a year drawing almost 750,000 visitors. As part of a large shopping center complex, the venue offers an on-site hotel, many restaurant and retail options within short walking distance. Dulles airport is just a five-minute drive away, too.

GAYLORD NATIONAL RESORT AND CONVENTION CENTER NATIONAL HARBOR, MD Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, a nearly 2,000-room resort that boasts entertainment, dining and more than 600,000-square feet of meeting, convention, exhibit and pre-function space for groups from 10 to 12,000 attendees. Groups can experience everything they need under one roof with guest rooms connected to its flexible, customizable meeting spaces, as well as an in-house catering and banquets teams that partner with planners on creative menus for events.

The resort also offers an array of customizable outdoor spaces with waterfront views of the Potomac River. The River View Ballroom boasts 180-degree views of the river, letting guests feel as though they are sitting directly on the waterfront. “Every group that plans a meeting at Gaylord National also has a team of dedicated meeting experts and conference coordinators - or Teal Coats, as we call them - who will help meeting planners plan and execute their events from start to finish,” explains Brad Mettler, director of sales and marketing for Gaylord National. “The resort also recently introduced ‘linenless’ tables, a unique offering for convention hotels, and has in-house audio-visual, destination management and transportation companies to provide added ease for planners. The destination management services include off-site destination block parties to team building activities and more.” Underneath its 19-story roof, attendees can explore a lush, garden atrium with nightly fountain shows and boutique shops. Steps outside of the resort is its active waterfront destination with more than 40 restaurants, 160 shops (including Tanger Outlets), and entertainment that includes everything from MGM National Harbor to The Capital Wheel, a 180-foot-tall observation wheel. Over the last year, Gaylord National has undergone a $64million renovation and reopened to the public in July 2021. Guest rooms have been redesigned with more amenities than ever, and Gaylord National currently is renovating its Atrium marketplace with the group customer in mind. The nearly 12,000-square foot venue is designed for easy access in order to service guests quickly with a variety of freshly prepared meals after the meetings are over. Attendees can convene and enjoy a glass of wine and have a light bite to eat in any of the unique areas within the marketplace. It will feature an outdoor terrace with fire pits, Les Spirituex for cocktails, wine, beer and delicious charcuterie, a coffee bar including products from the Starbucks® portfolio, locally sourced menu items, beers and more. Lastly, Gaylord National is renovating its sports bar to create an exciting new entertainment offering for groups, slated for reopening in 2022.

GREATER PHILADELPHIA EXPO CENTER AT OAKS • OAKS, PA Valley Forge and Montgomery County welcomed two new hotels within the past year, the Residence Inn Bala Cynwyd and the Element Valley Forge. They add to an already impressive list of over 80 hotels and 9,400 hotel rooms, in which approximately 36 percent have renovated within the past few years. The county’s largest venue, the 250,000square foot Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, invested in their Internet capabilities allowing to better serve Esports tournaments, and other live-streaming needs that events may have with hybrid meetings. “We are excited to welcome Top Golf to Valley Forge and Montgomery County,” says Scott Higgins, director of sales for the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board. “They recently started construction and anticipate an opening either late 2022 or early 2023.” “Our hotels and venues are reporting strong demand as we move into 2022,” Higgins continues. “Inquiries and bookings have been steadily increasing for the past few months, and it’s a trend we anticipate to continue as more return to live programming. The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks has noted their event schedule looks healthy going into the new year. Numerous annual events are returning, and some that debuted in 2021 also plan to return with even better attendance than expected.”

THE HARRAH’S WATERFRONT CONFERENCE CENTER • ATLANTIC CITY, NJ Harrah’s Atlantic City offers the two largest ballrooms from Boston to Baltimore, making the conference center a perfect destination as face-to-face meetings and conventions continue to pick up speed in 2022 and beyond. The Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center offers a separate porte cochere entrance, allowing for easy access to the conference center and over 100,000-square feet of flexible space. Currently, all 900 rooms in the Waterfront Tower at Harrah’s Atlantic City are undergoing a renovation, offering attendees luxurious new room product just steps from the Waterfront Conference Center. Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­47

Last summer, Harrah’s Atlantic City finished renovations to its Atrium Tower with brand new suites and an expansion of the lobby bar. Rum Point Crab House debuted, as did the Baywalk last year, with outdoor dining and a trendy container bar. The pool nightlife was revamped, as well, with a Pool After Dark concept, merging entertainment and dining for a truly unique experience. At Caesars Atlantic City, renovations on the Ocean Tower and the Centurion Tower are underway, soon to debut with refreshed rooms to welcome attendees back with ocean views. Caesars Entertainment announced a $400-million plan in mid-2021 to reinvest in Caesars, Harrah’s and Tropicana Atlantic City with remodeled room towers, freshly appointed interior design elements, enhancements to the casinos’ gaming floors, as well as new dining concepts. “Here in Atlantic City, we have a record-breaking number of groups on the books for 2022 and guestroom pickup for our future events is strong. Our outlook for 2022 is positive and we are looking forward to welcoming back many of our new repeat groups,” states Peter Cancila, director of sales for Caesars Entertainment, Atlantic City Region.

HERSHEY LODGE • HERSHEY, PA Hershey has something for everyone, from thrilling coaster rides and chocolatey adventures to premier dining and luxurious spa treatments, maintaining the charm of America’s sweetest small town while serving as a convenient, full-service meetings and conventions destination. Hershey is ideally situated for groups traveling throughout the Northeast corridor. “We pride ourselves in offering outstanding service and catering options, making the Hershey Resorts properties a location that groups will want to revisit year-after-year,” says Mike Reynoldson, managing director, resorts sales and revenue management for Hershey Lodge. Hershey Lodge, one of the largest convention resorts in the state, offers 665 well-appointed recently renovated guest rooms and more than 100,000-square feet of flexible meeting space. Groups of 10 to 4,000 can be accommodated throughout 35 function rooms. Great American Hall, the largest function room at the Lodge, offers 32,000-square feet of space with 22-foot ceilings and can also be divided ­48 January­z February­2022

into three rooms. Just steps away is the Chocolate Ballroom, the property’s second-largest space, also divisible into three rooms. “Groups receive added value when having their event at Hershey Lodge. We offer on-site audio-visual service, including hybrid options for virtual attendees. Business resource areas, conference concierge staff and wireless Internet service are available. Complimentary benefits include on-site parking and guest room Wi-Fi. Additionally, guests are not charged resort fees,” notes Reynoldson. Meeting space and guest rooms at Hershey Lodge were recently renovated. The Lodge also has installed REME HALO, an RGF Environmental Group, Inc. Air Purification System throughout its more than 100,000-square feet of meeting space to neutralize odors, particulates, air pollutants, VOCs (chemical odors), smoke, mold bacteria and viruses. “Group business is returning, and we anticipate that group business inquiries will continue to increase in 2022. Currently, our team is receiving leads for groups of all sizes,” notes Reynoldson.

KALAHARI RESORT AND CONVENTION CENTER POCONO MOUNTAINS, PA Kalahari is one of the largest convention resorts in the MidAtlantic boasting over 950 sleeping rooms and more than 200,000-square feet of meeting space. From small spaces for intimate meetings to facilities that hold 4,000-plus attendees and everything in between, Kalahari has something for everyone. In addition, Kalahari boasts a world-class culinary team, delectable restaurants, a spa, 36-holes of miniature golf, an outdoor adventure course with zip lines, indoor waterpark and more making it appealing not only for group attendees, but their spouses and families, as well. Kalahari recently expanded its convention space adding a 50,000-square feet of ballroom space along with a sundrenched pre-function and networking space. All ballrooms at Kalahari have no pillars and feature built in AV, while the carpeted convention center is adorned with genuine African Art, providing a truly unique experience. “Our culinary team loves to work one-on-one with our groups to customize menus and experiences,” says Stephani L. Bann, CMP, assistant director of sales for Kala-

hari Resort and Convention Center in the Pocono Mountains, PA. Kalahari also welcomes a variety of vendor partners to help further enhance their event.

LANCASTER COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER LANCASTER, PA The world-class Lancaster County Convention Center offers 90,000-square feet of meeting space, magnificent architectural and historic features, and is seamlessly integrated with the 416-room Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square. The convention center’s facilities combine the best of new world sophistication and old-world charm, with dedicated space for meetings from five to 5,000 attendees. Easily accessible from major cities throughout the region, Lancaster is an ideal destination for vacationers and business travelers alike that offers something for every traveler, from farmland and family-style fun to nightlife, world-class dining and contemporary art. And, as planners continue to navigate the pandemic, Lancaster is the perfect sized city to host business events, trade shows and other events. Located on the lower level of the venue, Commons on Vine is a unique, flexible meeting space set against the historical backdrop of the Thaddeus Stevens & Lydia Hamilton Smith Site, containing a preserved section of the Underground Railroad. Currently in development, the historic site will transition into a museum that shares the stories of these two remarkable Americans, while exploring the quest for freedom among enslaved African Americans and the pivotal place that Lancaster and the surrounding region played in the operation of the Underground Railroad. “While COVID variant impact has siphoned off some of the pent-up demand, we’re encouraged by the activity we see for 2022 and beyond in the Lancaster County Convention Center,” notes Hans Schreiber, director of sales and marketing for both the Lancaster County Convention Center and the adjacent Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square. “Not only have we been able to continue to rebook existing high traffic events, we’ve also been able to attract several new, large conventions that will provide huge economic impact for Lancaster City and Lancaster County.” The health and safety of guests remains the Lancaster County Convention Center’s top priority. It is one of only two venues in Pennsylvania to achieve Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR Accreditation, recognized on a global stage for implementing the strictest safety standards.

PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER PHILADELPHIA, PA The Pennsylvania Convention Center is one of the few convention centers in the nation that is uniquely woven into the city’s landscape and is within walking distance to many of the city’s major attractions, restaurants and hotels. There are over 13,500 hotel rooms in walking distance to the center with two properties attached, one being the 1,400 room Marriott Philadelphia Downtown. The convention center offers meeting planners a great deal of flexibility for events with over one-million square feet of sellable space, 528,000-square feet of contiguous exhibit hall space and one of the largest ballrooms in the northeast. “Throughout the pandemic, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, governed by our board of directors, put a number of initiatives in place to prepare for a safe re-opening, and, as we continue to emerge from the impact of the pandemic, the PCCA’s commitment to the health and safety of our customers and staff remains a top priority,” explains John McNichol, president and CEO for the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. In 2020 the facility achieved its Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation and in 2021 was reaccredited, affirming that the center continues to evolve, improve and advance with the performance-based GBAC STAR program elements for infectious disease prevention. “The PCCA’s focus this year has been on reopening safely for our customers and we were able to accomplish that goal by putting several initiatives in place,” adds McNichol. The PCCA also invested approximately $25-million in capital improvements that focused on environmental hygiene based on guidance from the CDC and ASM Global’s VenueShield program, developed in partnership with leading professionals, industry experts, and public health officials in response to the pandemic. These capital investments included HVAC improvements capable of recycling air in under one minute resulting in air quality that rivals that of many hospitals. “We also invested in touchless restroom renovations, UV handrail sterilization on all escalators, the purchase of specialized deep cleaning and disinfecting equipment, and the implementation of enhanced sanitization and health and safety protocols,” McNichol notes. Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­49

“Because of these initiatives, our customers are confident in our ability to host in-person events at our facility and during the last few months we have successfully and safely hosted several major events,” he adds. “These include Natural Products Expo East, which was one of our largest trade shows at the Center since the pandemic with over 15,000 attendees; PAX Unplugged; and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events Expo! Expo!, which was the first major gathering of event organizers and industry partners in two years.” “As an ASM Global managed facility, we are also excited to be one of the properties chosen to spearhead ASM’s newest corporate social responsibility program, ASM Global Acts. This initiative is an extension of their longstanding commitments to creating a better workplace, a more diverse workforce, serving the communities where it operates, and contributing to a healthier environment and planet, and is structured around three defining pillars – Protect the Environment, Invest in People, and Strengthen Our Communities,” McNichol explains. Additionally, the pandemic forced the PCCA to reimagine events and to think outside the box as it relates to providing customers with the technology and amenities that they needed to facilitate hybrid events and other versions of events that have now become the norm. “As we move to a post-COVID environment, we are keenly focused on sales missions and trade show participation with our ongoing partner, PHLCVB,” says McNichol. “The face-toface interaction with our customer base will afford us the opportunity to convey the message that we are open and we want them back at the Center. We also are placing a high priority on booking corporate meetings at our facility. The support that we receive from the PHL Life Sciences, PHLDiversity and PHLSports allows us to reach both audiences with successful outcomes.” “People are excited to be out and to be able to attend their events in-person again,” he adds, “while at the same time recognizing the need to remain cautious and prioritize the health and safety of event attendees. Although a full recovery will take some time, the future looks bright.” ­50 January­z February­2022

ROLAND E. POWELL CONVENTION CENTER OCEAN CITY, MD Ocean City has been known as a popular family beach resort, it also is a popular meetings destination. With a waterfront convention center and 30 hotels offering attractive meeting space, Ocean City’s wide-open, small-town concept coupled with modern amenities in a drive-to destination that is the perfect environment for giving meeting attendees room to breathe as they wade back in to convention attendance. The Ocean City CVB has always extended a standing offer to set up information tables and even provide staff to help answer convention attendee destination inquires, as well as provide promotional assistance and items. But new for the bureau is their Sunday through Thursday Incentive where they encourage groups to look into the Roland E. Powell Convention Center for their next event. New and coming online in February is the completed expansion of the Roland E. Powell Center. According to Larry Noccolino, executive director of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, “Our Sunday through Thursday Incentive is our way of introducing planners to the expansion… Under construction for the past two years, we are ready to unveil our new North Hall, which includes new space for events and trade shows, but offers a waterfront promenade as attendees walk along the bayfront windows to get to their show. It’s truly stunning. Where else would one be able to take a waterside stroll to go to a meeting?” Having broken ground in May 2020, the Phase III expansion includes 30,000-square feet of exhibit space connecting to Halls A and B culminating in 75,000-square feet of exhibit space completely divisible into three separate halls. The 15,000-square foot Bayfront Gallery overlooks the Isle of Wight Bay and serves as a separate entrance for Hall C. Brand new restrooms on the upper level will make it more convenient for those events in the Bayfront Ballroom, as well as existing breakout rooms. An enhanced Business Center is conveniently located adjacent to the center’s show offices. Parking is free and, for most groups, public transportation is free, as well.

In addition, there has been great interest in Ocean City for expanding business. New hotels are inquiring and during the pandemic many existing hotels totally refreshed their space, with many adding more meeting rooms. “Look for more events coming into our Performing Arts Center located in the Convention Center and more town-wide events, from the popular air show to sporting and spectator events and more,” adds Noccolino. Tom Perlozzo, Ocean City’s new director of tourism and business development, observes, “It’s an exciting time here in Ocean City, as we transition into 2022 with onboarding tourism’s new ad agency, new business development throughout town and our partnerships improved to make Ocean City a great place to live, work and play. We look forward to a strong year ahead. Our Convention Center’s expansion will bring more business to town, providing added opportunities for our business community.”

VALLEY FORGE CASINO RESORT KING OF PRUSSIA, PA “The biggest change we’ve seen this year is the boom in smaller meetings coming to the resort for larger spaces,” observes Ron Bailey, GM and vice president of the Valley Forge Casino Resort. “We’ve become the go-to place for our local businesses to hold their in-person meetings, including: town halls, brainstorming sessions, team building activities – things they don’t have the space for in their offices now that it’s preferrable to spread out. Some businesses have given up their office space all together since the teams work remotely and we’ve become their centralized location for touch bases. We’ve become their home office away from their home offices.” Parent company of Valley Forge Casino Resort, Boyd Gaming, has done a tremendous job in pushing through new technologies that minimize physical touchpoints between

THE NEWEST, LARGEST WATERFRONT CONVENTION CENTER IN THE MID-ATLANTIC. THIS IS THE SPACE. THIS IS THE PLACE. • 250,000 sq. ft. of Convention Center event space. • 150,000 sq. ft. of additional meeting space throughout town at 30 hotels. • Perfect for connecting, inspiring, educating and team building.



VISIT OCOCEAN.COM Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­51

guests and team members, notes Bailey. “This past year, we introduced Mobile Check-In and Check Out services where guests can register online or on their smart phone in advance of arriving on property. We have a designated line at the Front Desk to expediate Mobile Check-In users picking up their keys.” “In addition,” Bailey continues, “we launched a cashless wagering app called Boyd Pay, which can be used at the slot machines and table games. Guests set up a secure online wallet which is connected to their B Connected card. The best part is, you don’t have to cash in your chips or tickets when you’re done playing. Your winnings go back into your online wallet for you to deposit right into your online bank account. Not only do these two new applications cut down wait times in lines, but the team members are freed up to focus on the customers’ overall experiences.” 2022 is bringing a few additional changes, too. This year, Valley Forge Casino Resort is renaming one of its hotel towers to the Stardust Tower, and will be unveiling a new version of the iconic sign this winter. Additionally, this summer brings the return of entertainment to the property. “We haven’t put on a big show for our guests in a while, but we’ve slowly been adding some smaller performances and fun activities back in, such as karaoke on Friday nights, comedy shows and live bands,” Bailey explains. “Keep an eye on our calendar for a complete lineup at everyone’s favorite outdoor pool bar, Valley Beach.” “Over the last two years, we’ve changed the way we approach contracts, and we’ll continue to offer that transparency for new bookings. We want our clients to feel comfortable knowing we have flexible meeting spaces, the ability to reschedule, and a team that puts their attendees’ health before business,” he adds.

WALTER E. WASHINGTON CONVENTION CENTER WASHINGTON, DC “Many people know DC for what I call the three Ms,” observes Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of Destination DC, “monuments, museums and memorials. It’s our goal to show them the DC beyond that, full of arts and culture, excellent cuisine, exciting nightlife, winning sports teams, and unique neighborhoods with local shops and cafes.” “As we head into 2022, we’re excited to promote many travel opportunities, including the in-person National Cherry Blossom Festival, Passport DC, the return of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to the National Mall, the 175th anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution and 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Center, the 160th anniversary of Emancipation Day and the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Celebration,” adds Ferguson. With $10.3 billion in development, construction continues in Washington, DC. The city has 29 hotels and 5,700 additional rooms in the pipeline. Construction is nearing completion on the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, connecting Washington Dulles International Airport to downtown DC, expected to open in early 2022. “This past fall, DC welcomed three professional citywide conventions,” notes Melissa Riley, VP of convention sales and services for Destination DC. “In calendar year 2022, there are 20 citywide conventions scheduled with 390,086 room nights anticipated beginning with the Transportation Research Board and Modern Language Association events in Q1 of 2022.”

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WILDWOODS CONVENTION CENTER WILDWOOD, NJ The Wildwoods Convention Center offers 260,000-square feet of flexible meeting space, including a 75,000-square foot exhibit hall (configurable into two 37,500-square foot separate areas); a 7,500-seat concert arena for live shows; 30,000-square feet of lobby and pre-function space; 10-separate meeting rooms, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems; upgraded free Wi-Fi; ocean views from nearly every angle; and a team of experienced support personnel and service professionals ready to provide assistance every step of the way. The Center offers ocean views from its outside deck and through floor-to-ceiling windows in its main exhibit hall and lobby area, which, along with a Teflon coated translucent fabric roof, allow the entire building to be flooded in natural sunlight during the day. The convention center also offers impressive dining options for groups and events. The executive chef and expert catering staff can meet the needs of any event host with an array of catering, food service and concession services, as well as décor and theme consultations for meetings and conventions. The Wildwoods Convention Center is situated directly on the destination’s free white sand beach – the perfect spot for a walk along the surf between meetings or swimming, kayaking, fishing, body surfing, or just relaxing and soaking up the sun. Home to numerous events throughout the summer season, the destination’s vast beaches are perfect for concerts, festivals, youth sporting events, monster truck beach races, and vintage cars and motorcycles beach drag races. The center is on the boardwalk, two-and-a-half miles of sensory overload with over 100 rides and attractions (more than Disneyland), ranging from world-class roller coasters and three waterparks to carnival-style midway games, arcades and a myriad of retail shops and eateries, from fresh seafood caught daily, Italian cuisine, Continental fare and other favorites served al fresco or indoors, many with waterfront seating. “Earlier this year, extensive measures were put into place to ensure that the Wildwoods Convention Center is a place where groups can enjoy a safe, comfortable and unforgettable experience throughout their stay,” states Ben Rose, director of marketing and public relations for the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority. “To assure the safety of guests and employees, advanced sanitization protocols have been implemented, including sanitizing stations located in key traffic areas throughout the building. Also, one designated employee has been assigned during an event to constantly sanitize the high-traffic areas throughout the building – door handles, window ledges and other highly populated areas.” “The Wildwoods Convention Center is looking forward to hosting more meetings and events in 2022,” says Rose. “Itineraries can easily be assembled for groups that want to take advantage of the Wildwoods’ unique offerings and atmosphere; whether it is team building on a fishing boat, a whale and dolphin watching cruise, a scavenger hunt on the boardwalk, a golf outing, or a clam bake on the convention center’s back deck overlooking the beach and ocean.”

Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­53

Information for the Location Reports has been provided by the Convention and Visitors Bureaus, associations, organizations and properties listed (denoted by website) along with additional sources.


NEW JERSEY visitnj.org / njtia.org

New guest room rendering at the Atrium Tower, Caesars Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ

New Jersey has convenient settings as well as stunning backdrops for events of all kinds. Efficient public transportation and hundreds of thousands of hotel and motel rooms add to its appeal. Every year, high-profile conferences, world-class concerts, and nationally broadcast sporting events are held at New Jersey's convention facilities. The culinary scene offers a wide selection of meals for foodies to experience and appreciate. Outdoor leisure and entertainment venues are popular with thrill seekers and adventurers, while history aficionados commemorate and relive significant moments from the state’s illustrious history. Connoisseurs of culture enjoy New Jersey’s famous fine and performing arts. Exploring state and national parks provides unlimited inspiration for nature enthusiasts, and families will discover activities for all ages, ranging from very high-energy to calm and low-key.

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Archer's Kitchen and Bar at the Archer Florham Park Hotel in Florham Park, NJ; photo courtesy: Morris County Tourism Bureau


GO FOR THE MEETINGS. At Ocean Casino Resort, your business is always our pleasure. Enjoy the perks of 160,000 square feet of private, flexible meeting space including a 70,000-square-foot Event Center and 20 meeting rooms on one dedicated level. Our function space boasts the latest in audio-visual technology with expansive open areas for pre- and postfunction events while overlooking the ocean. BOOK YOUR MEETING OR EVENT TODAY. sales@theOceanAC.com 609.783-8300 l theOceanAC.com l

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­56 January­z February­2022

In 2022, a new Tourism Certificate Program is being launched for industry professionals. The Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT) at the Stockton University School of Business is partnering with the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association (NJTIA) to offer a new online certificate program designed for employees seeking to advance in the industry – the new Certified Tourism Industry Professional (CTIP) program. This program includes four core courses and a series of electives. Participants can take individual courses or earn the certificate by completing the full series. The core courses are: Marketing and Brand Identity; Economic Policy and Sustainability; Strategic Planning and Assessment; and Leadership. Electives include: Experiential Tourism; Wellness Tourism; Social Media Marketing; and The Cannabis Industry: Understanding the Opportunities.

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Faculty include Stockton professors and industry professionals. The CTIP program is part of a new series of LIGHT certificates being offered at Stockton in collaboration with the Office of Continuing Studies (Stockton.edu/light). WORKING TOGETHER Despite all of the challenges over the last two years, the New Jersey tourism industry stepped up to make 2020 and 2021 as safe and welcoming for visitors as possible. As a result, in 2020 visitors spent $29.4-billion within New Jersey on lodging, food and beverage, retail, recreation and transportation. Tourism continued to support 393,135 hospitality jobs, which represents 7 percent of all jobs in the state. LOOKING AHEAD In 2022, NJTIA looks forward to welcoming more meetings and groups as well as regional, national and international visitors.

SOUTH JERSEY SHORE REGION ATLANTIC CITY, NJ MEETAC.COM Atlantic City is focused on the future, continuing to offer a variety of Corporate Social Responsibility programs to diversify the destination while also leading the way in regenerative tourism. Regenerative activities include beach clean-ups and volunteer opportunities with accredited area organizations, while more than 17 organizations offer CSR programs in and around the city. Meet AC assists with making meaningful connections between the Atlantic ­58 January­z February­2022

City community, visitors and businesspeople alike for the betterment of the destination. Getting around is easy in AC, too, as the Atlantic City Jitney presents an affordable, safe and ecological mode of transportation. Powered by compressed natural gas, this “people mover” runs throughout the city and even can be tailored to a specific route for event attendees. In all, Atlantic City is home to nearly two-million combined square feet of flexible meeting space. The LEED GOLD and GBAC STAR certified Atlantic City Convention Center is environmentally-friendly, as well, powered by 290,000-square feet of solar energy panels. Experiential opportunities such as sustainability farming, coastal research, workshops and tours are great offerings for team building or as CSR activities. WHAT’S NEW Development and Infrastructure is always on the horizon in Atlantic City. Not only are the casino properties reinvesting into their products, but development is also happening outside of casinos. Focused areas such as The Orange Loop is a unique neighborhood with walkable experiences. These local hot spots are now becoming known to visitors and they can have a variety of experiences during their visit. The Atlantic City Convention Center and Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall became New Jersey’s first Convention Center and Arena to achieve GBAC STAR facility accreditation. Boardwalk Hall went through a $10-million renovation in the lobby and atrium featuring the Atlantic City Experience.

Ocean Casino Resort is planning a resort reinvestment of more than $75million over the next year, featuring the highly anticipated addition of more than 460 guest rooms and suites. This follows Ocean’s 2021 property improvements, including a redesigned casino floor with new high limit experiences. The resort also plans to add several non-gaming amenities, including culinary and entertainment experiences. Twin River, the new owners of Bally’s Atlantic City, have pledged to invest at least $90-million into upgrading the casino over the next five years, including a permanent sportsbook in partnership with FanDuel, renovating more than 900 hotel rooms, creating 30 to 40 mini-suites, and introducing an entirely new restaurant and bar portfolio, plus exterior renovations. Caesars Entertainment, Inc. is investing $400-million in its three Atlantic City casino destinations – Caesars, Harrah's Resort and Tropicana Atlantic City. The plan includes: remodeled room towers; enhancements to the casinos' gaming floors; new dining concepts with acclaimed restaurant partners; and many more exciting additions within the next three years. Caesars also is partnering with Nobu Hospitality, the global lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, to open Nobu Hotel Atlantic City - projected for summer of 2022 - within Caesars Atlantic City and will further position the city as a leading travel destination on the East Coast. Nobu Hotel Atlantic City, including a Nobu restaurant, is part of the $400-million investment into the destination by 2023. Caesars inked a monumental deal with Spiegelworld, the Las Vegas-based entertainment trailblazer, too, to create

new, live entertainment experiences at Caesars Atlantic City - a theater and resident show opening in the first quarter of 2023. Spiegelworld will resurrect the historic Warner Theatre, incorporating its heritage 1929 façade that sits on the center of the boardwalk at Caesars AC. The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is reinvesting at least $20-million in capital improvements to the property, including suite renovations, the opening of a new Starbucks, additional slots and table games, a new dining outlet and a refresh of its beachfront amenities.

Showboat Hotel plans for a $100-million indoor water park is to bring family entertainment to the property. Other planned entertainment attractions include a retractable domed outdoor concert hall for up to 8,000 people, an outdoor beer garden, and an extension of the boardwalk to create a sun deck near the sand dunes. FOOD AND DRINK Sandpiper Coastal Bar and Grill at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is a new coastal tapas experience where free-flowing shared dishes are the focal point.

Plans are in the works to develop the site of the former Trump Plaza Hotel Atlantic City and adjacent properties. The plan will work toward the creation of a development corridor that connects the Atlantic City Convention Center and a new retail development to the boardwalk and beach.

American Bar and Grille at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa serves American cuisine with classic grill favorites influenced by global flavors.

A new hotel and restaurant are proposed for New York Avenue on the site of a currently vacant building. The proposal calls for a five-story building with rooftop dining and a restaurant on the ground floor. Between the bar and restaurant at street level and the rooftop dining would be a new boutique hotel. It’s part of the area known as the Orange Loop, a collection of restaurants, bars, music and other attractions on St. James, Tennessee and New York avenues named for the color of those blocks on the classic Monopoly board.

Cuzzie’s Pizzeria Kitchen is known for pushing the boundaries with their unique pizza combinations.

Asbury Park developer and investor in the Orange Loop and owner of Bourre’ on New York Avenue, Pat Fasano, has added shipping containers that are used an outdoor court and bar, as well as viewing areas for live music in the Orange Loop Arena outdoor stage. ­60 January­z February­2022

Waterdog at Bally’s Atlantic City offers the craft casual cuisine mixed with New York-style deli favorites.

Dougherty’s Steakhouse and Raw Bar at Resorts Casino Hotel is owned and operated by Atlantic City restaurateurs, the Dougherty family, a staple in the local restaurant industry for over 120 years. Nola's Bar & Lounge is located just steps from the casino floor, it has an ambiance that everyone can appreciate. Discover the brass details, rich wooden walls, emerald accents, and a stunning 35-foot bar. OCEAN CITY, NJ VISITNJ.ORG/CITY/OCEAN-CITY Ocean City is a beach resort town that offers eight-miles of ocean and bay beaches, along with two-and-a-half-

miles of boardwalk filled with family amusements like OC Waterpark, plus Gillian's Wonderland Pier. The boardwalk also is home to the Music Pier, where concerts are performed throughout the year. The pier is home to the Ocean City Pops, as well. During the summer, Thursday is family night with free entertainment offered throughout the town. Adding to Ocean City’s family-friendly reputation is that it is a “dry” town, meaning there is no alcohol sold within its borders. STONE HARBOR, NJ VISITNJ.ORG/CITY/STONE-HARBOR Stone Harbor is a small shore town with a quaint shopping district and outstanding restaurants, serving as a serene retreat destination for groups and vacationers alike. With the Intercoastal Waterway to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, this seven-mile island offers opportunities for all types of activities on the water. In addition to its beaches, Stone Harbor abounds with pleasure boating opportunities, such as chartered fishing vessels, party boats and other seafaring adventures. Home to several attractions, Stone Harbor also boasts a number of special events each year, including the Wings n' Water Festival at the Wetlands Institute, a family fun "Celebration of the Coast" with folk music, food, nationally acclaimed artists and more. For retreats and group activities, The Reeds at Shelter Haven is a year-round luxury boutique hotel and resort located directly on the bay and just steps from the beach in Stone Harbor. Overlooking the bay with 58 distinctively designed guestrooms and suites, the property features seaside views; extraordinary dining options; exclusive

Whether visiting for business or pleasure, fun and adventure await at The Wildwoods, NJ; photo courtesy: Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority

resort amenities like seasonal bay activities, boat docking and beach services; as well as convenient access to downtown shopping and more. AVALON, NJ VISITNJ.ORG/CITY/AVALON Avalon’s Dune Drive is filled with oneof-a-kind stores and restaurants, including The Princeton, which has a restaurant and bar in front and a rocking local band scene out back. Visitors can rent a bicycle at Hollywood Bicycle Center or a kayak at Moran’s Dockside. The town's white-sand beaches are backed by stately dunes, and the area has the feel of an exclusive private enclave. There’s a half-mile boardwalk for strolls and bike rides as well as public tennis courts, basketball courts, a skate park and large playgrounds. When it comes to meetings and retreats in Avalon, The ICONA Golden Inn beachfront resort stretches across an entire oceanfront block and provides guests with access to some of the most coveted beach views in the state. This one-of-a-kind landmark property features 159-rooms and seaside decor that gives a nod to Nantucket as well

as recently updated interiors, custom furniture, and upscale finishes. Avalon’s only four-season hotel, The ICONA offers three distinctive bars and restaurants, elegant event spaces just steps from the sand, and an “aloha spirit of warmth, welcome and love.” Those looking to get out on the water and enjoy a unique excursion can charter the ICONA Yacht, available May October, for an event, celebration, or simply an exhilarating open-air experience. ICONA Resorts at the South Jersey Shore include two addition locations: ICONA Diamond Beach resort in the Wildwood Crest area, directly on one of the only private beaches in New Jersey; and ICONA Cape May Hotel, the town’s newest beachfront destination among hotels on the beach. CITY OF CAPE MAY, NJ CAPEMAYCITY.COM Cape May Convention Hall, which is located directly on the beach offers outstanding views of the Atlantic Ocean. With a wraparound deck, participants or guests can enjoy these scenic views during their meeting or event. When not booked for a private event, tourists also can sit and enjoy the views as part

of their relaxing getaway in Cape May. On behalf of the City of Cape May, the Civic Affair and Recreation Department is looking to expand and implement fun, new tourist attractions, including concerts, craft shows, parades and more. The Grand Hotel in historic Victorian Cape May offers an oceanfront escape in an unhurried beachside location anytime of the year. With a variety of accommodations just steps from Cape May's white sandy shore, the property is home to an array of creature comforts, guest amenities and friendly, professional service. Resort amenities include an Olympicsize heated outdoor and heated indoor swimming pool, a large Jacuzzi, professional fitness facility, a game room, Hemingway’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant, and more. The Grand Hotel also features attractive year-round themed escape packages, including Grand Escape Weekend, Girlfriends Getaways, holiday specials and midweek and other weekend promotions. The property's location adjacent to Cape May's award-winning beach provides an ideal backdrop for events, as its more than 17,000-square feet of www.eventsmagazine.com ­61

versatile function space boasts an abundance of natural light and panoramic views of the ocean and town. Guests have the opportunity to enjoy cultural and leisure activities within easy walking distance, as well as nearby boutique shops, quaint streets to explore, and casual eateries. Beach Plum Farm, Cape May’s idyllic 62-acre working farm, is launching new group offerings featuring immersive team building experiences for corporate retreats and leadership events. Beach Plum Farm provides unique and flexible outdoor meeting environments for group and leisure travelers. In 2022, the farm will expand its offerings for executive and senior-level teams looking to reconnect in-person, strengthen relationships, and spend time outdoors. From farm-to-table dining and sightseeing excursions to team building and philanthropy activities, the farm will offer a variety of distinct activities with a range of topics and focus for group enrichment. The farm’s team building activities range from competition-style options to fun and educational opportunities. Its collection of five well-appointed cottages and barns sleep 6-8 guests per cottage and offer completely customizable interior spaces. WORKING TOGETHER “We have hit the ground running since reopening in April 2021,” notes Kacie Rattigan, director of convention hall and recreation activities for the City of Cape May and Convention Hall. “Cape May Convention Hall typically hosts seasonal events, allowing for weddings mostly in the spring and fall, roller skating in the winter, and concerts and entertainment during the summer.”

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WILDWOODS, NJ WILDWOODSNJ.COM When it comes to holding events, planners, participants and parents alike love the Wildwoods, NJ. From meetings and consumer trade shows to basketball and gymnastics tournaments to regional dance and cheerleading championships to national wrestling and mixed martial arts competitions, the Wildwoods and the Wildwoods Convention Center offer everything needed to host a successful meeting, convention or event. The Wildwoods Convention Center is located directly along the destination’s free white sandy beaches, providing the unique opportunity between breaks for visitors to take in the surrounding scenic views.

In addition, the Wildwoods is home or near to over 8,000 hotel, motel and bed and breakfast rooms and over 3,000 vacation rentals to fit any budget. FOOD AND DRINK Whether it’s fine dining by candlelight, casual fare served alongside ocean or bay views, or family-style restaurants and buffets, there’s a host of tempting eateries offering a variety of cuisine to please virtually any palette in the Wildwoods. Some new additions to the Wildwoods food and beverage scene include: Anglesea Aleworks; Jersey Joe’s Waffles and Eatery; Marvis Pancake House; and Santucci’s Original Square Pizza. THINGS TO DO

The beaches are perfect for swimming, kayaking, fishing, body surfing, or just relaxing and soaking up the sun. “Home to numerous events throughout the summer season, our vast beaches are the perfect venue for free concerts, festivals, youth sporting events, monster truck beach courses, and vintage cars and motorcycles drag races,” explains Ben Rose, director of marketing and public relations for the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority. A neon-lit slice of Americana, the Wildwoods boardwalk stretches for twoand-a-half miles and boasts over 100 rides and attractions, from world-class roller coasters and waterparks to carnival-style midway games, flashing arcades and a myriad of retail shops and eateries. The boardwalk is home to numerous events throughout the year, too, including the annual Wildwoods Baby Parade, Antique Car Show, Boardwalk Craft Show, weekly parades, and more.

The Wildwoods’ offers “Bikeability”starting at the far southern end of the island along the Dunes Bike Path in Wildwood Crest, the Wildwoods bike path proceeds up onto the Wildwood 2.5-mile boardwalk and through North Wildwoods’ Mulberry Bike Path to the North Wildwood Sea Wall. The Wildwoods are set to host the second annual Barefoot Country Music Fest on the beach in Wildwood, June 16-19, 2022. Performers are slated to include Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and more. The Wildwoods Convention Center also is scheduled to host The Beach Boys for a memorable show on August 27, 2022 in the Oceanfront Arena. WHAT’S NEW Over the course of the last few years, the Wildwoods Convention Center installed an upgraded high-capacity Wi-

Fi system, giving attendees unlimited free Wi-Fi service for up to 10,000 visitors simultaneously; as well as installing three new high-definition video webcams on the roof of the convention center offering 180-degree views of the beach, ocean and amusement piers. In 2020, the Wildwoods unveiled the Grand Gateway, a new visitor experience designed to greet visitors and launch them into vacation mode from the moment they arrive. As visitors make their way over the bridge and onto the island, they’re greeted by a “Welcome to the Wildwoods” Doo Wop-style sign in the shape of a giant surfboard. With its vivid colors and lighting, it can be seen upon approach day or night, setting the tone for the fun that lies ahead.

Wildwoods Convention Center

Visitors also will notice colorful beach ball bollards along the entranceway, leading straight to the world-famous Wildwoods sign, as well as a large LED electronic billboard in the shape of a wave set in the midst of a beach ball garden. The digital display features exciting events happening in the Wildwoods as well as other useful information for visitors. WORKING TOGETHER “The skilled team at the Wildwoods Convention Center is looking forward to welcoming back more events at its award-winning facility in 2022,” says Rose. “Extensive measures have been in place to ensure that the Wildwoods Convention Center is a place where groups can enjoy a safe, comfortable and unforgettable experience throughout their stay.” “Before and after all events, our professional cleaning team deep cleans the areas with commercial grade www.eventsmagazine.com ­63

disinfecting materials and restocks all hand sanitized stations. Our team maintains this during the event as well to assure guests feel safe and comfortable, and afterwards conducts the same level of deep cleaning immediately following the event,” Rose adds. “Safety is a top priority for us, and we are taking every precaution to assure that all who visit the Wildwoods Convention Center feel safe and comfortable.”


American Dream, developed by Triple Five Group, is a mix of world-class entertainment, retail and dining, comprising more than 3-million square feet in East Rutherford, just minutes from New York City. It is home to leading attractions that include: DreamWorks Water Park; Nickelodeon Universe; Big SNOW; Angry Birds Not So Mini Golf Club; The Rink; Out of This World Blacklight Mini Golf; and a curated collection of premier dining and retail stores.

Hudson County is one of the most diverse destinations in the U.S. As an American mosaic, the county offers an energetic blend of culture and ethnicities - all a stone’s throw from Manhattan.

Renovations are planned for the Loew’s Jersey Theater, a show stopping venue with old-fashioned charm on the National Register of Historic Places in Jersey City. After serving as a cinematic hot spot for 57 years, the Theater closed its doors in 1986. Today, it is maintained by volunteers from “Friends of the Loew’s” in order to protect its history and beauty. Currently, its main purpose is to serve its community as an arts and entertainment center.

Despite its proximity to New York, with Hudson County’s vibrant art, music, theater, history and food scenes, visitors rarely want to leave. Warm, welcoming residents and a growing number of travelers enjoy Hudson County’s unique, colorful experiences all year long.

The Centre Pompidou - Paris’s principal museum of modern art - announced an American exhibition space last June with a location in Jersey City. The Pompidou will join another modern-art center nearby, Mana Contemporary.



For travelers craving convenient freedom and an uncluttered view, EnVue, Autograph Collection in Weehawken offers unparalleled hotel rooftop views and easy transportation options. Weehawken once was host to prominent ancestors, infamous neighbors, and the forefathers' famous duel of 1804. Now EnVue rises from the revitalized Hudson River waterfront offering 25,000-square feet of adaptable outdoor terrace encircled by New York City's horizon. Enjoy a cocktail and American small plate at NoHu Rooftop Bar and Restaurant, or sit back and relax in the hotel’s new Club Lounge.

While Hudson County Tourism Development is a government entity and does not have members, the organization has worked with local businesses to provide outdoors dining throughout the county along with virtual events in conjunction with both arts and culture institutions.


Canopy by Hilton Jersey City Arts District is just two blocks from Grove Street Path train station providing access to Manhattan and offers opportunities to explore locally with a free Canopy Bike, an on-site fitness center, studios, meeting rooms and the Terrace Garden. The Canopy Bar and Bistro brings together local ingredients with a collection of international tapas and many unique dishes.

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FOOD AND DRINK With an impressive array of award-winning restaurants and eclectic menus, Hudson County knows a thing or two about good food. Whether in the mood for woodfire pizza at Jersey City’s Razza, or craving homecooked Italian from another Jersey City staple, 15 Fox Place, or seeking Latin American flavors at La Isla Restaurant in Hoboken, there’s something delicious for everyone in Hudson County. The county also is home to a fantastic array of coffee shops, craft breweries, and wine bars, as well as scenic rooftop spots.

Known as The Rose City, downtown Madison, NJ in Morris County; photo courtesy: Morris County Tourism Bureau

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ MORRISTOURISM.ORG With some of the most distinguished historic and cultural sites in the Mid-Atlantic region, we offer four national landmark sites spanning three centuries. In addition, we have world-class theatre and performance venues and a museum that is New Jersey's only Smithsonian affiliate. WHAT’S NEW Many accommodations in Morris County spent time during the pandemic renovating their public spaces and guest rooms. Local hotel pricing is very attractive to those who want to take the train or bus into Manhattan for day trips, too, making the county especially attractive to groups. Morristown boasts a new David Burke restaurant called 1776, which opened in November to acclaim with innovative dining right on Morristown Green. The restaurant features TopFlite Golf Suites for hourly rental, as well. In addition, local culinary tours are available to groups offered by Savor and Stroll. “Our recent campaigns have emphasized our historic and hip nature,” notes Carol Anton, outreach manager and Carol Barkin, membership manager for the Morris County Tourism Bureau. “Our outdoor festivals and crafts fairs are back, as well as our heritage walking tours. Our parks and historic sites have re-opened with new exhibits.” Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­65

Managing Nutrition by Wendy Dickerman

Pandemic Pounds? You are not alone! Stress (especially from the pandemic) has impacted everyone in one way or another, and the hospitality industry is no exception. From shutdowns to partial openings to masks, sanitizing, day-to-day changes, virtual conferencing with learning curves and virtual platform rules and regulations to layoffs, furloughs or even complete job loss and businesses closing down. So, what do we do with all of that stress? Let’s start by talking about nutrition and stress. Many people have turned to food for comfort throughout the pandemic. It makes sense. When we were babies, we would cry when we were uncomfortable. Our caretakers would feed us and hold us, assuring us that everything would be all right. We had an innate appetite regulator. We would stop eating when we felt full and, if we ate too much, we may have spit up the excess. Once babies start eating solid foods, though, all bets are off. Bread making and craft beer brewing in our garage are not the healthiest outlets for stress. Sure, it is learning a new skill, but when comfort turns to excess the result often can be those pandemic pounds piling up. Now we are putting ourselves at risk for heart disease, diabetes, at least 6 types of cancer (colon, breast, esophageal, stomach, pancreas, gall bladder and more) and inflammatory conditions.

Mind/Body Practice: Consider taking a Yoga, Qigong, Tai Chi or Melt class. There are many offerings free on YouTube, or your own gym may offer virtual classes or limited number of participants in-person. It is so worth it. YOU are so worth it. Even stretching your body before bed each night is helpful. Develop or Resume a Fitness Routine: It can be as simple as walking for 30-minutes every morning or every evening. The key is to do this consistently. Walking (especially outdoors) has been shown to decrease dementia/Alzheimer’s risk, too, and helps us to work through issues on our mind. Connect with Other People: Call your friends, family members or a therapist. Connect with your community or faith-based organization. Fill Up on Healthy Foods: Learn some healthy cooking techniques, try new recipes that focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for guidance (many medical insurers cover several visits - some even virtually). Take a Break from the News: Try not watching the news for a few days, disconnect from social media, and limit screen time. The bombardment of news involving traumatic events can be overwhelming.

Clients in my practice have gained anywhere from 5 to 60 pounds since March of 2020. So, what are some healthier outlets for stress management?

Get Enough Sleep: Aim to get 7- to 9-hours of sleep each night. Sleep is critical for metabolism, rest and repairing your body.


Avoid Drugs and Alcohol: These may seem to help at times, but even 1 or 2 drinks can factor into sleep disturbance, and the additional calories can lead to weight gain (not to mention potential for additional problems within your family and increased stress levels).

Breathing: Yes, breathing. Try this really quick - breathe in deeply through your nose to the count of four, then exhale slowly through your mouth to the count of seven. Do this as many times in a row as you need to in order to feel the effect. (I use my fingers to count - we have them for a reason, after all). This produces an immediate drop in blood pressure and also provides a calming effect - with no added calories. ­66 January­z February­2022

Wendy Dickerman, RD, LDN, co-owner of Advanced Nutrition Consultants, LLC, is a registered dietitian licensed in Pennsylvania with over 22 years of experience in the field of nutrition and dietetics.


n and Stress

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EvEntM ­ AKErs ARIZONA Phoenix - Belinda Harvey has been named, Event Manager, Marketing Services for W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. in the Medical Product Division and is based in Chadds Ford, PA.

Michael brings a background of event production, marketing and communication management and being proactive in fostering positive relationships with the Downtown Haddonfield businesses and community leaders.

PENNSYLVANIA DELAWARE Newark - Donielle Haughton has joined the Courtyard by Marriott Newark – University of Delaware Hotel as their new Director of Sales.

MARYLAND Flintstone - Golden Entertainment, Inc. announced the addition of hospitality industry veteran, Brian Kurtz, as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Rocky Gap Casino Resort. In his new role, Brian oversees resort operations and further positions Rocky Gap as a leading casino and resort in Maryland. Ocean City - Judy Wilbur has been named as Market Director of Sales for Real Hospitality Group's Delmarva beach properties.

Blue Bell - Christine Jusino has been named Director of Corporate Sales for Normandy Farm Hotel & Conference Center. King of Prussia - Emily Krall has been promoted to Executive Director of Special Events for The American College of Financial Services. King of Prussia - After almost two years of overcoming obstacles, the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board announced a few staff promotions. “Through challenges, it’s always so encouraging to see great leaders step up, and that calls for acknowledging the amazing employees at the VFTCB,” said Mike Bowman, President & CEO. Rachel Riley has been promoted to Associate Vice President of Communications, Justine Garbarino moves up to Associate Vice President of Marketing and Emily Keel has been promoted to Content Coordinator.

NEW JERSEY Haddonfield – The Partnership for Haddonfield’s has named Michael Marciante as their new Executive Director. The Partnership for Haddonfield is the management corporation for Haddonfield's Business Improvement District.

Harvey ­68 January­z February­2022


Philadelphia - Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia recently named Beth Koenig as Events Sales Manager. Beth joins Live! from Schulson Collective, where she served as director of events and has extensive events experience in the Philadelphia area, holding positions at Starr Catering Group, Garces Events, Catering by Design, and Feast Your Eyes Catering.




Philadelphia - Emily Nichols has joined Marketplace PHL, the private partner with the City of Philadelphia of the PHL Food & Shops program within the Philadelphia International Airport as Assistant General Manager

Mary-Ann is a Meeting Planner in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector; Heather is the Director, Americas Operations, Drug Information Association (DIA)

VIRGINIA Philadelphia - Danielle Fisher has been named, Catering Sales Manager for the Garces Group at the Kimmel Center. Philadelphia - The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that Nik Pereira will join the organization as Vice President of Sales. A 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Nik will lead the sales team in achieving the organization’s meeting and convention booking goals through strategic planning and client relationship building. Also, at PHLCVB, Brian Lafferty has been named as the new Partnership Specialist and Michelle Davis has been appointed Digital Media Specialist.

Virginia Beach - Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau announced its selections for two premier leadership positions. Nancy Helman is the new Director and Lauren Townsend was named Vice-President of Marketing and Communications.

WASHINGTON, DC Teneo Hospitality Group has named veteran hotel and group meetings sales executive Scott White as Director of Sales. As a part of Teneo’s Washington, DC office, Scott will support the company’s efforts to serve the vital association and corporate meetings market in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Wayne - Gulph Creek Hotels has named Mahim Sharma as its Regional Vice President of Operations. In this new role, Mahim will provide guidance and support for the Operations teams in the New Jersey, New York, and Florida regions. Mary-Ann Urbanovich, MS, CMP-HC, and Heather Seasholtz, CMP, DES, have won the prestigious Events Industry Council (EIC) 2021 Global Award for Adaptation and Innovation for the PCA course that is presented as a 3-hour webinar to prepare meeting industry personnel to function under pandemic protocols and restrictions.








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Around Th HISTORIC FAIRMOUNT WATER WORKS FLOATING WORKSHOP Philadelphia, PA - The Fund for the Water Works was a $3-million recipient of a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant to develop The Floating Water Workshop. “The Floating Water Workshop will be an innovative, meaningful addition to Pennsylvania’s civic, recreational, educational, and environmental communities. Our region is incredibly fortunate to have abundant clean water and rich ecosystems thanks to the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, but there are few safe opportunities for people to enjoy being on our rivers,” according to Fairmount Water Works Executive Director Karen Young. “The Workshop will redefine the surface of Philadelphia’s rivers as a space for safe public access where participants can explore ecological complexity while developing a community environmental ethic through stewardship and personal action.” The proposed design features a 5,400-square foot dynamic learning space that would rest on the Schuylkill River, connecting to the east bank and Schuylkill River Trail using two gangways just south of the historic Fairmount Water Works site. The Workshop will be a learning laboratory of hands-on STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) engagement for people of all ages using current environmental education strategies, technology, and creativity. In addition, the Workshop space will be open for walk-on visitation and feature special performances and events. WWW.FAIRMOUNTWATERWORKS.ORG

UNIQUE IMMERSIVE THEMED ART EXPERIENCES Cityneon Holdings recently announced a partnership with Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment to produce two new, unique global touring themed art experiences slated to launch in 2023. Audiences around the globe will be able to engage in an all-new way with their favorite Super Heroes and the beloved Wizarding World through immersive themed art environments. Both experiences will fuse cutting-edge media, sound, and technology together to create a truly sensorial visitor experience. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Cityneon on these two new cuttingedge immersive themed art experiences,” said Peter van Roden, SVP Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment. “Each of the new experiences will help us further continue to reach our DC and Wizarding World fans with fresh, innovative and immersive experiences where guests can interact with the franchises like never before.” WWW.CITYNEONGROUP.COM / WWW.WARNERBROS.COM

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DESTINATIONS INTERNATIONAL'S 2022 EVENT SCHEDULE Washington, DC - Destinations International, the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), announced their 2022 event schedule, all of which are planned to be inperson with registration opening in 2022. “Every year our association offers educational opportunities for destination organization professionals around the world with an Annual Convention and discipline-focused summits,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of DI. “Never has the in-person experience been more important as we evolve with the pandemic. We know nothing can replace face-to-face meetings and we are looking forward to getting our industry back together with these in-person educational and networking opportunities.” WWW.DESTINATIONSINTERNATIONAL.ORG

ISLAND WATERPARK GROUNDBREAKING AT SHOWBOAT ATLANTIC CITY Atlantic City, NJ - Showboat Atlantic City broke ground for its anticipated family entertainment venue - ISLAND waterpark. This new family-friendly entertainment venue will complement Showboat’s 100,000-square foot Lucky Snake arcade and sports bar. The 103,000-square foot indoor waterpark will feature water slides, swimming pools and a lazy river, along with food and beverage and retail outlets, lounge areas and party rooms. A retractable glass-pane roof will cover the entire project to make it a year-round destination. ISLAND waterpark will be the largest beachfront indoor waterpark in the world. WWW.SHOWBOATHOTELAC.COM Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­71

Around The Region AC SERVES UP THE WORLD’S LARGEST INDOOR PICKLEBALL TOURNAMENT Atlantic City, NJ - The Atlantic City Sports Commission, in partnership with Pickleball Entertainment Consultants, LLC, announced that the Atlantic City Convention Center will serving as the host site for the Atlantic City Pickleball Open Indoor Championships on September 19-24, 2022. Atlantic City expects to welcome more than 10,800 athletes and spectators for this event. The Atlantic City Pickleball Open Indoor Championship has signed a three-year deal to hold the event in Atlantic City through 2024. “Pickleball is a fast-growing sport across the country, and we are fortunate enough to host this premier sporting event here in Atlantic City for the first time,” said Meet AC and Atlantic City Sports Commission President and CEO Larry Sieg. www.atlanticcitypickleballopen.com

WINTER IN FRANKLIN SQUARE Philadelphia, PA - Historic Philadelphia, Inc. (HPI), the non-profit organization that manages and operates Franklin Square, presents new additions to the venue's sparkling lights and winter magic now through February. Visitors can celebrate the magic of the season both day and night in festive Franklin Square, with evening activities beginning at 5:00 p.m. each evening. Winter in Franklin Square presented by Citizens features the Electrical Spectacle Light Show presented by PECO daily through February 27, 2022. In addition, enjoy Franklin’s Winter View, operated by Cescaphe, with outdoor fire pits and an indoor heated tent featuring adult and hot beverages and seasonal food. “Historic Philadelphia, Inc. is excited to bring the sparkle this winter in Franklin Square, which wouldn’t be possible without our partners and sponsors who support us on many levels,” said President and CEO of Historic Philadelphia, Inc., Amy Needle. “With plenty of room for everyone, we look forward to celebrating the best the season has to offer.” www.historicphiladelphia.org ­72 January­z February­2022

EventsWorthy LA CUCINA AT THE MARKET November 23, 2021 – Philadelphia, PA – Around 40 hospitality industry professionals descended upon La Cucina at the Market for a festive evening featuring an exclusive, interactive culinary experience. Chef Anna Maria Florio showcased a fabulous hands-on experience featuring holiday foods & drink. Photo Credit: Mario Oliveto Photography

Neoshie Giles, University of PA

Melanie Wimmer, Boeing with Valerie Case, Pocono Mountains CVB

Shelby Asben, AACR with Erica Keagy of PCMA, Lisa McGlashen, AACR, and Ken Keagy of Simmer Creative Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­73

EventsWorthy EXPO! EXPO! IAEE’S CELEBRATED RETURN TO FACE-TO-FACE December 7 - 9, 2021 Philadelphia, PA – The International Association of Exhibitions and Events® brought together 1,284 industry professionals representing 12 countries at this year’s IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition. “It was very satisfying to be able to hold an in-person Expo! Expo! this year in addition to our online experience,” said IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA. “It was important to us to meaningfully contribute to the industry’s renaissance, and the support from attendees was uplifting and inspiring.” Preconference activities included the opening reception held at the Reading Terminal Market which featured an array of culinary offerings from vendors at one of America’s oldest and largest public markets. The Expo! Expo! show floor, which featured 188 exhibitors was also home to three education theatres and live-streamed exhibitor mobile sessions. Keynote speaker Torin Perez closed the first day's session by inspiring attendees to push for greater diversity, equity and inclusion, not only in the professional setting but in their personal spaces as well. He challenged audience members to be the change they want to see and provided guidance on how to go about that. The final session concluded with an industry panel on what the exhibitions and events industry can expect in the coming year as it continues to recover. Facilitated by Rachel Wimberly, Executive Vice President of Business Development for Tarsus U.S., panelists included Michael Clarke, CMP, Director of B2B Programs and Events in the U.S. and Canada for Marriott International; Adam Sacks, President of Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company; and Megan Tanel, CEM, Incoming President of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

Larry Sieg and Sandi Harvey of Meet AC

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Rachel Dailey and Megan Tomlinson of Valley Forge Tourism Convention Board surround Sharon Myers of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Russell Kice, Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority

EventsWorthy MASAE December 8-10, 2021 – Atlantic City, NJ – MASAE held their Annual Conference at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Two comprehensive days of learning, idea sharing, and networking. “This year’s theme, Onward. Upward, Sideways, focuses attention on what we’ve learned, sharing perspective with peers, and building a blueprint for the future” Gene S. Terry, MASAE President. The Conference started off with a CEO Dinner Discussion for senior Association Executives: How Will Tomorrow’s Board Member Be Different? The following day started with the Welcome Reception then the MASAE Business Meeting & Presentation of Awards. Ses- Patty Conroy with Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa sion topics included: Predictions: Association Meetings, What’s Next? And Maximizing Revenue For the Hybrid. The last day of the Conference began with breakfast and exhibits then the Opening Keynote: Learning with the Future: Continued Commitment to Foresight – (Anticipatory Learning). Session topics that day included: Don’t Overlook the Obvious: Safety & Site Selection and We Recognize the Value and Importance of DE&I in Our Association! Now What? Photo Credit: Wise Owl Multimedia

Pam Chamberlain and Vicki Lindsay Groff, Evergreen Association Caprio - Menniti with Resorts Management and Christa Adkins, YPO Casino Atlantic City Philadelphia

Mindy Grote with Wind Creek Bethlehem

Katie Haig and Kevin Dugan with Refined Hospitality

Gene Terry of Association Headquarters and Leslie Teris, Talley Management Group Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­75

EventsWorthy NACE December 14, 2021 – Philadelphia, PA – Over 130 attendees descended upon the iconic Reading Terminal Market after hours to celebrate 2021 and bring in 2022 with members of NACE Greater Philadelphia / South Jersey / Delaware Chapter at their Annual Holiday and Awards Party! Awards were given out for those who built the chapter, kept the momentum going and special Industry Hero Awards were given to those members of PEPP (Private Event Professionals of Pennsylvania) along with ILEA Philadelphia, Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, Visit Delco, PA, PRLA (Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association) and Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine for their continuing involvement to keep the event industry visible and alive. Sponsors included: All About Events, BVT Live!, Reading Terminal Market, Molly Malloy’s, PA General Store, Yards Brewing Company, Allure Films, Classic Events by Lauren, Philip Gabriel Photography, Choice Party Linens, Bobby Morganstein Events, Tito’s Vodka, Marilyn Sukonick-Zeff, Xtraordinary Events, ONEHOPE, Legacy Everlasting Booths, and Ambient Event Group.

Sarah Zaun and the All About Events Team

Photo Credit: Philip Gabriel Photography

Jon Ardito of Jon Ardito Entertainment, Kate Frey, Duportail House, Terri Fair, Catering by Design, and Cindy Bene with Harry's Hospitality Group

Domenick and Kim Savino from the Marley Alig, Compass One, Aemi Drexelbrook along with Amanda and Kenselaar of FROST 321, Richard John Serock of John Serock Catering Portney, The Farmhouse at People's Light and Tim Sudall, Allure Films

Phyllis Jablonowski and Julia Jablonowski from Eventricity with Vito Russo of Xtraordinary Events

NACE Founding members Hy Goldberg of Safian & Rudolph Jewelers and family

Dawn and Gabriel Fredericks, Philip Gabriel Photography, Gil Hall, GT & H Hospitality Consultants and Dawn Gannon, Whitford Country Club ­76 January­z February­2022

Industry Hero Award winners, Steve Byrne, Visit Delco, PA, Ed Gross, GPHA, Jim Cohn, Mid Atlantic Events Magazine, Ben Fileccia, Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association, Phyllis Jablonowski, Eventricity, Domenick Savino, The Drexelbrook, Jeffrey Miller, Jeffrey A. Miller Catering, Tim Sudall, Allure Films, Suzanne Geyer, GPHA/Alta Management Services and Sarah Possenti, ILEA Greater Philadelphia


COME TOGETHER IN ATLANTIC CITY Atlantic City is focused on the future as we continue to offer a variety of corporate social responsibility programs to diversify ourselves and lead the way in regenerative tourism. From offering the necessary and environmentally-responsible convention space, to combining it with sustainable action, a lucrative incentive program, and continuing education, Atlantic City provides an experience with you and the future in mind. We look forward to working with your group to establish meaningful meetings and conventions before, during and after your event. Experiences await here.

Contact us to plan your next meeting in Atlantic City! Incentive packages are available for new group business. Call 1-844-855-6338 or visit meetac.com today!