Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine November/December 2022

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MID-ATLANTIC

EVENTS November | December 2022

Showcase Events are Back and in Full Stride!

Elmwood Park Zoo’s 'Wild After Party' celebrating their upcoming Centennial following the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board's Annual Luncheon


ONE OF A KIND EVENT. MOHEGAN KIND OF EXPERIENCE.

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With an award-winning staff and an unmatched variety of dining and entertainment options, Resorts Casino Hotel is the one of a kind choice for your next event. Let us help you plan your own one of a kind experience in our 64,000 square feet of 昀exible space, with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. All in one of the most acclaimed locations anywhere, the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk, and featuring the quality, service and style of a Mohegan property. Just minutes from two international airports.

CALL 609.340.7850, VISIT MEETATRESORTSAC.COM OR EMAIL SALES@RESORTSAC.COM TO BOOK YOUR SITE VISIT.

1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ

ONE OF A KIND.


POCONO MOUNTAINS, PA

SERIOUS MEETINGS WITH SERIOUS FUN At Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, we give you everything you need to make your event a success. You and your attendees will enjoy ample event space, custom group and world-class dining experiences, a full-service spa and second to none service. Your attendance-increasing event at Kalahari is one your members will look forward to. KalahariMeetings.com | Call 855-411-4605 to learn more | Follow Us:

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205,000 square feet of flexible event space 977 guest rooms & suites Diverse team-building options available on-site Eight food & beverage options The best amenities available, all under one roof | ©2022 Kalahari Management Co. LLC


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The U.S. tentative list authenticates Moravian Bethlehem as a unique colonial destination.

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Experience three centuries of industrial history [preserved] in one location.

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Featuring ⊲ 5000 square feet of space including a large conference room and multiple break out spaces ⊲ Half Day/Full Day packages available ⊲ Steps from boutique shops, museums, historic sites and restaurants ⊲ State of the art technology ⊲ Dedicated and award winning service and culinary teams ⊲ 125 beautifully restored guest rooms and suites ⊲ Historic Hotel Bethlehem 2021 and 2022 named Best Historic Hotel in the Nation by USA Today ⊲ Two award winning restaurants ⊲ 14,000 square feet of event additional event space in the hotel

Get in Touch

A DDR E S S 4 3 7 M A I N S T B E T H L E H E M , P A 1 8 0 1 8 W E B H O T E L B E T H L E H E M . C O M PHON E 6 1 0 . 6 2 5 . 5 0 0 0


TOGETHER IS A GREAT PLACE TO BE.

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

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


DISCOVER EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES OPENING 2023 Once our luxurious new tower is complete, our AAA Four Diamond hotel will offer: • 552 lavish guest rooms including 50 suites, plus a rooftop indoor pool, on-site spa and more • 60,000 square feet of flexible event space, including a 24,000 square-foot ballroom with 24’ ceilings • Unsurpassed convenience with everything under one roof For further details or to submit an RFP visit windcreekbethlehem.com.


CONTENTS MID-ATLANTIC

November z December 2022

EVENTS

Showcase Events are Back and in Full Stride! November | December 2022

Elmwood Park Zoo’s 'Wild After Party' celebrating the Zoo’s upcoming Centennial following the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board's Annual Luncheon Photo Credit: Pel Productions

PAGE 86

PAGE 12 - Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen, one of the new restaurant offerings at Caesars Atlantic City, NJ

FEATURES

12

g the upcoming Centennial followin After Party' celebrating their Annual Luncheon Elmwood Park Zoo’s 'Wild tion Board's Valley Forge Tourism & Conven

What's New at Casinos New updates, additions and offerings

24

Historic Places & Spaces Storied properties and destinations

36

Working with CVBs & DMOs Destinations partnering with planners

44

Attracting Group Business Locations and venues with much to offer

52

Boutique Experiences with Small Town Charm More personal engagement in an intimate setting

PAGE 12 - The Prime Rib at Live! Casino Hotel Philadelphia

54

Gather in the Pocono Mountains So much to see and do in this enticing destination

EVENTS EXTRAS

PAGE 24 - The Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia, PA features many interesting spaces and exhibits for events; photo credit: Philip Gabriel Photography; courtesy: Brûlée Catering

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November z December 2022

56 60 64 70 72 76 80 82 84 86 88 90 98

Location Report - Bucks County, Pa Location Report - Chester County, Pa Location Report - Delaware County, Pa New at the Zoo Location Report - Montgomery County, Pa Location Report - Philadelphia, Pa EventsWorthy - Meet Montco EventsWorthy - Visit Bucks Annual Meeting EventsWorthy - Meet Me in Delco EventsWorthy - Valley Forge Annual Luncheon EventsWorthy - Greater Wilmington Dine Around Around The Region EventMakers


Mid-Atlantic Events Staff PUBLISHER & EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jim Cohn MANAGING EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Rich Kupka DESIGN & PRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . .Dana Kurtbek-MME Media FEATURES EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lydia Young TRAVEL EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ken Alan EVENTS DIRECTOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jennifer Johnson CONTROLLER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robert Conrad CONTENT CONTRIBUTIONS BY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Emily Whalen (poconomountains.com), . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Shaun Rogers (elmwoodparkzoo.org), . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Elizabeth Reeves (strongmountainmedia.com)

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. 36, No.1

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 2022 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

9



CaesarsMeansBusiness.com 855-633-8238


What’s New at Casinos Heading into 2023, a number of casino properties throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region are presenting new offerings available to planners and attendees of meetings, events and group outings. From new restaurant options to additional recreational activities, expansions to new construction, special incentives to holiday happenings, here are a few of the new and exciting features, amenities, activities or offerings that each of these properties has to enjoy.

­12 November­z December­2022


The Carousel Bar at Bally's Atlantic City

BALLY'S ATLANTIC CITY Atlantic City, NJ With over $100-million in renovations, Bally’s Atlantic City features over 1,200 rooms and suites, 83,000square feet of gaming space, ten dining outlets, a sportsbook, live entertainment, a rotating bar, a beer garden, a beach bar, and 100,000-square feet of flexible meeting and convention space in one designated area with easy access to guestroom towers. Newly opened, The Yard at Bally’s boasts over 10,000square feet of space that has the flexibility to accommodate all types and sizes of functions. Featuring both indoor and outdoor space, its modern, industrial design captures seaside views from every angle. A retractable roof can adjust to weather in any season. The space provides two stages, plus contemporary audio-video and digital connectivity. Other new additions at Bally’s include an all-new High Limits Room, the FanDuel Sportsbook at Bally’s with LED video walls, five betting windows, and IGT PlaySports self-serve betting kiosks. A new Sportsbook Lounge features a curated menu with modern, pubstyle fare and craft and local beers. New options for dining include: Jerry Longo’s Meatballs & Martinis; Red Bowl 88; and Dining on the Sixth, an open-seating dining experience with live music in an atrium setting, open Friday and Saturday. What’s more, those booking a meeting for the First Quarter of 2023 can receive 70 percent attrition for guestrooms along with complimentary upgraded breaks.

NEW NEW NEW ROOMS

NEW NEW NEW RESTAURANTS

NEW NEW NEW MEETING SPACE THE YARD

A new indoor/outdoor meeting space with a retractable roof is available all year long! Accommodates over 1400 attendees. MEETING ROOM LEVEL

80,000 square feet of meeting space including: • 53,337 square feet of exhibit space • 25,162 square feet of meeting space 33 meeting rooms available Meeting and dining space is located on one level. Contact the Sales Department at Bally’s at 609-340-2233 or acsales@ballysac.com. © 2022 Bally’s Corporation. BALLY, BALLY’S, the BALLY’S Logo, BALLY REWARDS, WELCOME TO THE BALLYVERSE, FOR FUN’S SAKE, and JUMP INTO THE THRILL are service marks and registered service marks of Twin River Management Group, Inc. and its a liates. Bally’s Atlantic City is a registered trademark of Bally’s Corporation. Must be 21 or older to gamble. Bet with your head, not over it. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­13


CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT Atlantic City, NJ This summer, Caesars Entertainment announced property enhancements set to arrive at Caesars Atlantic City this year, including dramatic upgrades to its valet, hotel lobby, casino floor, and more. The enhancements are part of a $200-million resort transformation and Caesars Entertainment’s $400-million investment in the Atlantic City market by 2023, which also includes Nobu Atlantic City, a restaurant and distinct hotel experience within Caesars AC to debut in spring of 2023; Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, the first restaurant of its kind on the East Coast; and over 750 newly-renovated rooms and suites. Caesars also unveiled a renovated swimming pool experience on the rooftop of Qua Baths & Spa that will feature two levels of seating and a bar overlooking the beach and boardwalk. “The resort transformation at Caesars Atlantic City will further the property’s evolution as one of the country’s leading travel destinations here on the East Coast,” said Joe Lodise, senior vice president and general manager of Caesars Atlantic City. Nobu Atlantic City has begun accepting dining reservations via Open Table. The restaurant will serve as a

culinary game-changer in the Atlantic City market with exclusive private dining rooms, offering both privacy and a luxurious setting. Tropicana Atlantic City is adding eight new dining and entertainment concepts, as well. The new additions and enhancements at Tropicana join those taking place at Caesars Atlantic City and Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, including $170-million in room and suite enhancements across all three properties. DSD Renewables and Caesars Entertainment are partnering on an 8.4 MW solar portfolio spanning three Caesars properties in Atlantic City. The projects will help propel Caesars toward its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 100 percent before 2050. Projected to be complete in late 2022, the installations are expected to generate clean, renewable energy annually for the host sites. Caesars Virginia, a premier destination resort casino being built in Danville, VA has an anticipated opening set for 2024. Property plans include a 500-room hotel and a world-class casino gaming floor, a WSOP poker room and a Caesars Sportsbook. In addition, the resort will feature a full-service spa, swimming pool, highquality bars and restaurants, a 2,500-seat state-ofthe-art live entertainment theater, and 40,000-square feet of meeting and convention space.

Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen Restaurant at Caesars Atlantic City ­14 November­z December­2022


LIVE! CASINO & HOTEL PHILADELPHIA Philadelphia, PA The 2023 entertainment schedule will kick off with a bang thanks to two exciting shows coming to the Event Center at Live! Philadelphia – The Best of the Eagles, one of the top Eagles tribute bands in the country, and comedian Bobby Collins.

Sports & Social at Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia

The Event Center at Live! Philadelphia also will undergo upgrades to select spaces to make them more flexible, as well as adding upgraded technology in each room. New screens and enhanced lighting and sound options are being added, and the pre-function space will continue to be enhanced with collector-worthy art pieces. Live! Philadelphia also will roll out new sales initiatives and incentives for meeting planners. In addition, Live! Philadelphia will introduce its new Live! Bounce Back program. When booking an event, planners will receive 3 percent of their current group/event net revenue as a credit to their next group booking when booked again at any Live! Casino property within 90 days.

AWARD-WINNING CUISINE · LIVE MUSIC CHIC BAR AND LOUNGE · BEAUTIFUL PRIVATE DINING SPACE PRIMERIBPHILLY.COM

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Additionally, Live! Philadelphia has a special offer to help earn up to 5 percent off the master bill when two or more contracts are booked before December 31, 2022 to be consumed by December 31, 2025. Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­15


The Theater at MGM National Harbor

MGM NATIONAL HARBOR National Harbor, MD The Pekoe Tea Bar is one of the latest additions to MGM National Harbor, sourcing premium and organic ingredients for a customizable selection of beverages. On the second level of the casino floor, Snacks is a fast, casual eatery. Seasonally-updated, the MGM National Harbor Conservatory features vibrant flora and high-quality materials serving as a picturesque backdrop for those utilizing the resort’s meeting and convention space. With 3,000 seats, state-of-the-art sound, video and lighting, The Theater showcases great performances in an intimate setting that also can host private events.

According to Sheila Hession, executive director of sales, “MGM National Harbor is an entertainment hub. The resort offers a 3,000-seat theater, 160,000-square feet of gaming space, bars, lounges and more than a dozen dining options... with some exclusive offerings for large parties. Our 50,000-square foot state-of-the-art meeting space can host groups of up to 850 people, offering a fully-customizable experience... and thousands of complimentary parking spaces for guests.”

Recently rebranded Mohegan Pennsylvania destinations like Mohegan Pennsylvania also have rolled out a rebrand.”

MOHEGAN PENNSYLVANIA Wilkes-Barre, PA Mohegan, the developer and manager of high-profile entertainment resorts in the U.S. and beyond, recently announced that the first destination to bring gaming to Pennsylvania will now be known as Mohegan Pennsylvania. “We recently refreshed our corporate name, going from Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment to Mohegan,” said Ray Pineault, CEO of Mohegan. “To create synergy across the Mohegan portfolio, especially as we continue to grow in-line with the Mohegan Tribe’s vision, ­16 November­z December­2022

The name change follows the rollout of Project Starlight, which soon will include the completion of a $10-million renovation to Mohegan Pennsylvania’s 237-room hotel. Another property enhancement that’s part of the project is The Hive Taphouse - a new bar and live music venue with over 20 beer options and a full dining menu. The Hive Taphouse is home to a Topgolf Swing Suites, too, where guests can play virtual golf on well-known PGA courses or try their hand at activities like the Quarterback Challenge. The new seasonal outdoor Embers Terrace opened this summer and offers live music, fire pits, lawn games and more. “With a new name, revamped hotel, new attractions and the continued unrivaled guest service that has exemplified our brand and all Mohegan properties, we’re thrilled about the next phase of Mohegan Pennsylvania,” says Anthony Carlucci, president and general manager of Mohegan Pennsylvania.


MONUMENTAL MEETINGS JUST A STONE’S THROW FROM OUR NATION’S CAPITAL BOARD MEETINGS, CONFERENCES & GALA RECEPTIONS FROM 10 TO 1,000 PEOPLE

101 MGM NATIONAL AVE, NATIONAL HARBOR, MD 20745


Casino floor at Mount Airy Casino Resort; photo credit: J.C.Getz Creative

MOUNT AIRY CASINO RESORT Mt. Pocono, PA Mount Airy Casino Resort continuously works to update, enhance and reinvest in its property. The team recently constructed a customizable meeting and event space that offers over 20,000square feet of flexible space. Mount Airy also will be incorporating a new concierge service in 2023 that will offer customizable itineraries for guests, including those staying as attendees of meetings, events, and other group business activities. The individualized itineraries offer the option to include activities both on and off the property, making the most of guests’ time in the Pocono Mountains. In addition, the resort continues to offer live entertainment in the heart of the casino floor every Friday and Saturday night.

­18 November­z December­2022


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Rendering of the new Gallery Bar Book & Games; photo courtesy: Ocean Casino Resort

OCEAN CASINO RESORT Atlantic City, NJ Ocean Casino Resort unveiled $85million in property development this past summer. Updates included the completion of over 460 hotel rooms and suites, The Gallery Bar Book & Games, and multiple new food and beverage outlets. Ocean’s new 463-square foot Contemporary Blu rooms draw inspiration from the colors and patterns of the shoreline and beach, while the luxurious bathrooms feature marble

flooring, a double vanity, and an oversized shower. These suites offer elevated interior finishes and additional amenities such as a dining area, wet bar, and generous lounge seating. The Gallery Bar Book & Games features a 100-foot elevated bar and lounge, casino games and 140 feet of LED walls. The Gallery, located in the center of the casino floor, sets the stage for social betting, big game nights, and unforgettable after-hours experiences. A staircase connects to Balcony Bar, a mezzanine bar and lounge where guests enjoy the ultimate VIP sportsbook experience. The iconic Serendipity3, located across from Villain & Saint and The District, the famed New York City landmark and home of the world famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, will offer a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

SPREAD CHEER THIS YEAR & BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY AT OCEAN CASINO RESORT!

Ocean also added a Starbucks next to Topgolf Swing Suites, boasting awe-inspiring views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. A recent expansion of the casual Asian restaurant Zhen Bang added 60 seats and supplementary dining space, as well.

NO MATTER WHAT THE OCCASION MAY BE, WE CAN’T WAIT TO ELEVATE YOUR DINING EXPERIENCE WITH OUR PRIVATE AND SEMI-PRIVATE GROUP SPACES. BANQUET ROOMS

OVATION HALL

GIVE THE GIFT OF OCEAN. SEEKING THE PERFECT GIFT FOR YOUR TEAM MEMBERS? GIVE THE GIFT OF OCEAN AND SEND AN E-CARD INSTANTLY!

Learn more at theOceanAC.com Must be 21 or older to wager or consume alcohol. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

­20 November­z December­2022

LEARN MORE

Opening this fall, Bottled - Wine, Spirits & Tastings offers an elevated wine experience and a wide selection of imported and domestic cheeses, cured meats and handpicked accoutrements just steps away from Ocean’s entertainment venue, Ovation Hall.


BarOne in Resorts Casino, AC "Located on the third level of the Ocean Tower, the indoor/outdoor Pool at Resorts Casino Hotel is available for one-of-a-kind events, corporate outings, cocktail parties, wedding receptions and more," notes Ritambra Verma, director of sales and revenue management. "The 248-glass panel retractable roofing system built high above the pool is the first of its kind for an Atlantic City resort."

RESORTS CASINO HOTEL Atlantic City, NJ Resorts Casino Hotel remodeled its rooftop swimming pool and pool deck in July 2022 to rave reviews, now sporting a 45,000-gallon pool, a retractable roof allowing for year-round enjoyment, and a refreshed 12-seat full-service bar. As part of this $4-million project, a fitness center also was upgraded.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia

RIVERS PHILADELPHIA Philadelphia, PA Turn back the clock before heading into the New Year at Rivers Casino Philadelphia. The holiday weekend starts with two '80s-themed concerts on December 30, and celebrates good times at the Awesome '80s Party in The Event Center on December 31. Darth Vader, Duran Duran and a DeLorean replica from “Back to the Future” are a few of the iconic sights and sounds that will transport guests back to the 1980s.

Now through the end of 2022, planners of smaller meetings can take advantage of 10 percent discount on catering, 20 percent off AV rentals, and 10 percent off room block upgrades to suites, among a variety of complimentary perks such as one free room night for every 20 utilized, and complimentary access to the 24hour Cardio Center and Pool. In addition, Resorts Casino Hotel is currently offering 20 percent off wedding packages on select dates now through December 2023. Terms and conditions apply.

The casino will hand out neon-colored party hats and jelly bracelets, and there will be plenty of photo ops with Michael Jackson and Madonna impersonators. “It’ll be an '80s Comic-Con inspired celebration, a weekend-long party filled with awesome music and fantastic views of fireworks over the Delaware River,” says Justin Moore, general manager of Rivers Casino Philadelphia. The newest restaurant addition to Rivers Casino Philadelphia in early 2023 will be Martorano’s Prime by celebrity cook and South Philly native Steve Martorano, offering an Italian-American menu with high-end steakhouse staples along the banks of the Delaware River with iconic views of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Martorano will bring this elevated concept home to Philadelphia next year after having successfully debuted the steakhouse concept at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh in 2021. Martorano’s Prime also will feature a DJ Friday through Sunday. “Martorano’s Prime and Rivers Casino Philadelphia are celebrating a true Philly original,” Moore exclaims. “I’m thrilled to bring that experience home exclusively to Rivers Casino Philly.” Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­21


RIVERS CASINO PITTSBURGH Pittsburgh, PA Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is one of Western Pennsylvania’s premier gaming and entertainment destinations. Home of BetRivers Sportsbook, Pittsburgh’s first and only licensed sportsbook, Rivers is the spot for any and all sports fans and bettors. Other amenities include a diverse lineup of eight distinct bars and restaurants, including Martorano’s Prime, and a new Event Center that hosts concerts, events and more. Event at Rivers Casino Pittsbugh The second-floor Event Center complements the property's existing banquet lineup with a grand hall that is a “black box” space, meaning that it is wellappointed but intentionally nondescript in color palette and design. With unobstructed corner-to-corner views, the room allows planners maximum flexibility for delivering unique experiences. With floor-to-ceiling views of the city and the Point, the property's 10,000-square foot riverfront ballroom allows for a fully customizable catering menu, includ-

ing creative confections from Rivers’ in-house pastry chef. Rivers Casino Pittsburgh connects directly to The Landing Hotel, a boutique destination with 210 guestrooms, including multiple suites. Hotel guests receive complimentary valet parking and have convenient access to the gaming floor, BetRivers Sportsbook, restaurants and The Event Center.

Lakeside Grille at Rocky Gap Resort and Casino The resort’s location within Rocky Gap State Park allows for access to a range of recreational activities. Additionally, guests may venture to the nearby Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile packed limestone trail, which - when coated with snow - lends itself to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

ROCKY GAP CASINO RESORT Flintstone, MD "Whether trying their luck on the gaming floor, exploring the great outdoors or indulging in views and dishes at Lakeside Grille, Western Maryland’s premier, upscale steakhouse, the resort has activities for any agenda," observes Brian Kurtz, senior vice president and general manager of Rocky Gap Casino Resort. ­22 November­z December­2022

Rocky Gap Casino Resort’s sports lounge features 30foot LED TV walls, elevated stadium-inspired foods and chilled beers and beverages. The resort's spa offers a range of massage therapies, facials and salon services, or guests can take a trip to historic downtown Cumberland for dining, a night at the theatre and other adventures. Rocky Gap’s Allegheny Event Center and multiple meeting facilities offer accommodations for any size and style function for up to 400 people with the Appalachian Mountains as a picturesque backdrop.


Wind Creek Bethlehem Ballroom

WIND CREEK BETHLEHEM Bethlehem, PA Wind Creek Bethlehem will debut its expansion tower in early 2023, which will include the addition of three ballrooms, outfitted guest rooms, a high-end lobby bar, art installations, a new spa with a relaxation pool, and an additional 35,000-square feet of meeting and event space. Once the project is complete, the resort will boast over 60,000-square feet of combined meeting space and over 550 hotel rooms, making it a prime venue for larger corporate events and weddings. "Integrated resorts accompany a meeting agenda with exciting elements that work to level up the experience for both planners and their attendees," notes Amelia Tognoli, corporate communications manager, Wind Creek Hospitality. "Meeting planners and their attendees have complete access to Wind Creek Bethlehem’s resort amenities, including an award-winning hotel, on-site spa, world-class gaming and several restaurants like the Chop House at Wind Creek and Urban Table." For team building, The Outlets at Wind Creek on property feature not only shopping, but also groupfocused entertainment amenities such as Angry Jack’s Axe Throwing Club. In the future, Trap Door Escape Room, a 10,000-square foot nautical-themed escape room, will blend theater, production, and massive sets with a traditional escape room at the resort to foster in-person connections with engagement, problem solving, and entertainment.

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­23


The Baker’s Table in Urban Place at the historic Cork Factory


Historic Places & Spaces What is history? According to English author H.G. Wells, “Human history, in essence, is the history of ideas.” “An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past,” said Victor Hugo, French Romantic writer and politician. “History is the present. That's why every generation writes it anew,” mused American novelist E.L. Doctorow. “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself,” noted Robert F. Kennedy, American politician and attorney, “but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” The Mid-Atlantic region offers so many opportunities to connect with the past. To listen to the echo of those who came before, and to reflect on and learn from those moments in time. To write new pages in history today. To evoke small changes that will affect the story being told moving forward.

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­25


Lancaster County, PA is full of history. And it provides exciting opportunities for meeting and convention organizers and attendees to take part in making a bit of their own. Pennsylvania Dutch (German) immigrants were the first Europeans to arrive in the area in 1709, a heritage that includes the original and largest Amish settlement in the U.S. Incorporated in 1729, Lancaster City is one of the oldest inland cities in America and is home to the nation’s oldest continuously-operating farmers market (Lancaster Central Market) and oldest continuously-operating theater (Fulton Theatre). Lancaster even served as the U.S. Capital for a day (September 27, 1777), and as the state capital from 1799-1812. The city is home to Wheatland Mansion (residence of U.S. President James Buchanan), Historic Rock Ford, and the Demuth Museum. The African American Heritage Walking Tour in Lancaster City features 12 locations from the community’s history, spanning the Colonial era to the mid-20th century Civil Rights Movement. Unique heritage venues include attractions like the Amish Experience, Amish Farm & House, and Amish Village. The main hall of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg offers event space with a backdrop of historic locomotives and vintage railcars. The grounds and buildings of Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum provide immersion into early Pennsylvania German life (1740-1940). Other historic properties include: Ephrata Cloister; 1719 Museum, the oldest homestead in Lancaster County, as well as the story of its native peoples; Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery; and Bube’s Brewery, the only 1800s “lager era” brewery complex still intact in the country. “In surprising contrast to our well-known countryside is historic, yet hip downtown Lancaster City, with a robust art gallery community, performing arts venues like the Fulton Theatre and the Ware Center, three upscale hotels, a symphony and opera, museums, national Top 25 indie shopping, a modern convention center, fine ­26 November­z December­2022

dining - as well as the nation’s oldest farmers market and entertaining nightlife,” observes Joel Cliff, director of communications and advocacy, Discover Lancaster. Lancaster County boasts an abundance of outdoor activities, as well, such as ziplining, kayaking or paddle boarding on the Susquehanna River, bicycling, hiking and golfing. For dining, there’s everything from a traditional PA Dutch and smorgasbord to fun eateries and upscale venues. “Wines and brews are also big here, with a number of high-quality vineyards that cater to visitors, the largest craft brewery contingent in the state, and other great libation locations,” Cliff adds. The Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square seamlessly incorporates the 110-year-old Beaux Arts façade of the landmark former Watt & Shand department store (at one time on the list of the National Register of Historic Places), the area’s shopping jewel, and offers 416guest rooms and 90,000-square feet of meeting space combined with the adjacent Lancaster County Convention Center. For smaller gatherings, the stylish and unique 63-room Lancaster Arts Hotel is housed in what was a former tobacco warehouse. The Inn at Leola Village, a AAA Four Diamond-rated property and former Amish farmstead, has meeting and event space and 62 guest rooms. If 19th century brick walls and wood ceilings could talk, they would speak a familiar narrative: enterprise, industry, and American vision. Today, Cork Factory Hotel at Urban Place in Lancaster City preserves and honors that narrative. The buildings that make up the hotel played a crucial role in forging the city’s economy as a manufacturing center, having housed the Lancaster Cork, Armstrong Cork, and Kerr Glass companies from 1865-2000. In 2004, The Baldwins, a Lancaster County family, purchased Urban Place, modernizing the property into a community designed for staying, gathering, dining,


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Aerial view of Cooperstown, NY; photo courtesy: The Otesaga Resort Hotel

ing Lancaster County Convention, which includes a preserved section of the Underground Railroad within the convention center. The Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith Center for History and Democracy is the historic site and former home and business of anti-slavery and pre-Civil War Congressman, Thaddeus Stevens.

working, and living. Cork Factory Hotel opened in 2009 and became a member of Historic Hotels of America the following year. The hotel is a short walk from an eclectic array of art galleries, businesses, shops, theaters, and is just a short drive from the scenic countryside and Amish heritage. Offering a timeless setting and plenty of room to gather and celebrate, the property’s natural brick walls provide a warm backdrop. The hotel houses five unique, private event spaces with extensive catering menus, an on-site pastry team, and a professional event staff. The ballroom features rustic chandeliers, vaulted ceilings with exposed rafters, a large brick fireplace, and an enclosed, climate-controlled terrace. The Baker’s Table is adorned with antique baking tools arranged around the space, and a large wooden community table in the center of the room. Cork Factory Hotel also is home to Cork & Cap Restaurant, which uses local ingredients and time-honored techniques to pay homage to the Pennsylvania Dutch. Guests also can enjoy a signature craft cocktail at the restaurant’s rustic bar. The dynamic mixed-use community of Urban Place is a benchmark in historic Downtown Lancaster, and Cork Factory Hotel provides an authentic and welcoming setting with impressive architecture and a noteworthy history. Another impressive venue with a remarkable history is the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square and the adjoin­28 November­z December­2022

Currently in development, the historic site will transition into a museum sharing the story of these two extraordinary Americans while also 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. The museum is projected to open in early 2025, and in the meantime, visitors can view the preservation process behind glass in the lower level of the hotel. Also within the convention center is the William Montgomery House, dating back to 1804 and referred to by historians as one of Lancaster’s great Federal Period mansions. Valley Forge and Montgomery County, PA holds an important role in the history of the U.S. Valley Forge National Historical Park was the site of the encampment of the Continental Army during the winter of 17771778. It was here, under the leadership of then General George Washington, that the Continental Army formed into the force that went on to win the American Revolutionary War. Today, Valley Forge and Montgomery County offers room for meetings, and room for a whole lot more. “Beyond our history, our offerings include some of the best shopping in the U.S. with the King of Prussia Mall, nearly endless dining options with over 1,600 restaurants, access to some of the area’s best golf courses, and our world class hotels and meeting venues,” notes Scott Higgins, director of sales for the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board (VFTCB).


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Groups also can head outside to enjoy nearly 100miles of trails and outdoor activities in the county, and the entire destination is easily accessible. “As remote working has remained popular, we’ve seen groups looking to meet on a more frequent basis as a means to get their teams together,” explains Higgins. “Utilizing our history is a perfect manner for creating this team rapport, as you can incorporate unique experiences. Some of the options include: taking a trolley tour through Valley Forge National Historical Park; dining at one of our historic restaurants, such as Blue Bell Inn; invite ‘General George Washington himself’ to help open the program; or step into some of the oldest silos in the country at Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center.”

IN THE

PA

LA

NC

Simon notes that the hotel group has represented a long-standing tradition of high customer service, clean rooms and excellent locations, giving guests a glimpse

HE

F T O

LO CA

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“As we have since the beginning, we strive to bring you excellent service day in and day out,” says Sara Simon, senior sales and events director for Harrison Group Hotels. “Our old-fashioned, spacious front porch is the perfect place to relax in one of our rocking chairs while you watch families stroll along the boardwalk, play in the sand and splash in the surf. The hotel also features an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and offers an intimate and quaint experience… On-site you can rent a bike, or enjoy a meal at DaVinci's by the Sea on the boardwalk, Ocean City’s oldest family-owned Italian restaurant.”

AR

T

Lois Harrison and her husband, G. Hale, broke ground in 1951 with the Harrison Hall Hotel in Ocean City, MD, a 77-room ocean-facing property that was the most lavish hotel of its kind at that time... Nearly two

decades later, her sons John and Hale Harrison would establish the Harrison Group, which today owns and operates 11 hotels and numerous restaurants in Ocean City.

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­30 November­z December­2022


into Harrison’s storied past while still enjoying a host of modern amenities. Visitors have been coming to The Greenbrier since 1778 for the local natural springs, believing they had healing properties. Soon grew cottages and homes and, eventually, a hotel. In 1858, the “Grand Central Hotel” was constructed. Then, in 1913, a new hotel (the one that stands today) was built along with a new Mineral Bath Department and an 18-hole golf course. By 1914 it had become a year-round resort. The Greenbrier’s storied history also includes nearly a century of being decorated by Dorothy Draper and Company, time as an Army hospital during World War II, a secret Cold War bunker built on property to house the U.S. Congress in the event of an emergency, and more. Daily indoor and outdoor history tours give guests an overview of some of the significant moments, and tours of the bunker are also a popular event for guests.

The golf clubhouse is a shrine to the rich history of the sport at The Greenbrier and pays homage to the PGA Tour’s all-time wins leader, Sam Snead, who spent much of his life at “America’s Resort.” The President’s House museum on-site contains pictures and artifacts that tell The Greenbrier story, including about the 28 U.S. Presidents who have visited. In addition, The Greenbrier’s setting in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia offers scenic beauty, three championship golf courses, a world-renowned mineral spa, 20 restaurants, bars and lounges serviced by award-winning culinarians, and more than 55 indoor and outdoor activities like tennis, pickleball, off-road driving, bowling, escape rooms, the gun club, and America’s only private casino. The Otesaga Resort Hotel is a landmark in the historic village of Cooperstown, NY. Built in 1909 as a stately retreat, the property spans 700-feet of waterfront on the southern shore of Otsego Lake, the famed “Glim-

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Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­31


merglass” of James Fenimore Cooper’s novels. The 132-room hotel was a marvel for its time, including 400 windows, a refrigerator that was cooled with 30tons of ice, telephones in each room and central heating. Today, it features a host of modern amenities and conveniences, but great pride has been taken in maintaining its original architectural beauty. Another signature component of the property is its world-class golf course, Leatherstocking Golf Course, designed by Devereux Emmet, one of the country’s preeminent golf course designers of the early 20th century. The 18-hole course, situated along the lake, hasn’t been altered since its inception. “Within walking distance of the hotel, guests can explore the many all-American experiences that the 18thcentury village of Cooperstown boasts, including a rich history of farming and craft brewing, outdoor activities, walking history tours, boutiques, dining and incredible museums like the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, and The Farmers’ Museum,” explains LaToya Wakefield, director of sales for The Otesaga Resort Hotel. “The grandeur of Otsego Lake in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains provides a beautiful and quiet retreat,” Wakefield observes. “The hotel offers 30,000square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including 14 flexible meeting rooms, as well as three on-site restaurants, a fire bar, a state-of-the-art fitness center, luxurious spa, Leatherstocking Golf Course, yoga by the lake, heated outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, and canoes and rowboats.” The team at The Otesaga Resort Hotel can help groups plan team building experiences within the village of Cooperstown, too. “This could include a behind-thescenes, VIP tour at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, attending a game at Doubleday Field, enjoying a cocktail reception at the Fenimore Art Museum, or viewing craft demonstrations at one of the oldest living history museums in the U.S.,” says Wakefield. “Additionally, we offer a walking tour map of the village of Cooperstown so groups can learn more about the history of ‘America’s Most Perfect Village’.” ­32 November­z December­2022

In the city of Philadelphia, PA, history is infused everywhere. With century-old neighborhoods and historical landmarks, there is no shortage of fascinating venues to add a unique flare to a meeting or event. Nestled within Fairmount Park is historic Memorial Hall, now home to the iconic Please Touch Museum. Memorial Hall was originally built as the art gallery for the 1876 Centennial Exposition, the first major World’s Fair in the U.S. in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The national landmark continues to captivate guests as one of the few major structures remaining from this event. Minutes away in the heart of Center City is the Free Library on the Parkway. Opening its doors in 1927, the Free Library on the Parkway is a landmark building designed by Julian Abele, one of the first universitytrained Black architects. It serves as the largest library among the Free Library system and is located on the scenic Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Beyond history, Memorial Hall and the Free Library on the Parkway both bring an unparalleled backdrop to special occasions. At Memorial Hall, guests are met with Beaux-Arts architecture characterized by soaring ceilings, a majestic dome, and marble floors. These elegant touches are juxtaposed with whimsical details of the museum, including a fully-restored 1924 Dentzel Carousel and immersive exhibits. At the Free Library on the Parkway, guests are surrounded by Beaux-Arts style architecture paired with sleek, modern features. Its Skyline Terrace features panoramic views of the city skyline. “At Memorial Hall, special events here can be fun, while also educational,” notes Lynnelle Shtruzberg, director of catering at Memorial Hall. “This can be as simple as incorporating historical facts as icebreakers, or hosting group-based activities with live historians that get people moving through our unique event spaces.” Shareability is another key factor. Every venue has a story to tell, leaving guests with something to talk about (and share online) around every turn.


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The Historic and nationally recognized Hotel Bethlehem The battle that occurred in Gettysburg, PA not only turned the tide of the Civil War, but became a profound moment in the nation’s history, as thousands sacrificed their lives for the future of America. Four months after the armies left Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln helped dedicate the town’s national cemetery and delivered 10 sentences, just two minutes, and turned Gettysburg from a place of tragedy into a symbol of unity and hope. Today, millions of visitors travel to this small town every year to learn and reflect on those pivotal three days of battle through tours, museums, historic homes and other experiences. “While the Civil War is the largest draw to Gettysburg, the town and its countryside are drawing visitors from around the country to enjoy a charming, quaint downtown; delicious food and craft beverages, and a landscape dotted with apple trees, covered bridges and farm markets,” observes Carl Whitehill, vice president, Destination Gettysburg.

“At the Free Library on the Parkway, book lovers can celebrate in the Grecian-style main Lobby under a bronze statue commemorating the Library’s founder Dr. William Pepper and two iconic Alexander Calder banners,” notes Shannon Thomas, manager of events and new initiatives at the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. “The whole building is steeped in history; you can even host a reception on the grand second floor landing with views into the History and Social Sciences stacks.” “One of my favorite facts to share with clients is the story behind the Alexander Calder banners hanging in the main lobby,” explains Alysha Felty, catering sales manager for the Free Library on the Parkway. “The banners are part of a series of iconic installations along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway by three generations of the Calder family. This includes City Hall’s William Penn Statue, the Swann Memorial Fountain in Logan Circle, and The Ghost sculpture in the main hall of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. These details found throughout the space will make you feel like you’re experiencing much more beyond the event.” ­34 November­z December­2022

Gettysburg and Adams County truly bring history to life, offering a variety of ways to tour the battlefield, learn about the civilians and what they endured during that battle and beyond, and about Lincoln’s historic visit. The history told in Gettysburg isn’t just about armies, cannon, and military strategy – it’s about people, honor, sacrifice and bravery. Visitors find even more ways to experience this unique destination through outdoor recreation, shopping, family fun and more. Historic Moravian Bethlehem was founded on Christmas Eve in 1741 on the site where today sits Historic Hotel Bethlehem. In 2017, the Moravian Bethlehem Landmark District was named to the U.S. Tentative List for World Heritage, authenticating Moravian Bethlehem as a truly unique and a culturally special destination. Visitors to Bethlehem can tour a World Heritage Candidate, stroll along a USA Today Top 10 Main Street, and explore colonial and industrial history. “In the heart of Historic Bethlehem, the Historic Hotel Bethlehem offers guests world class service and beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites,” says Kelly Ronalds, director, room sales and guest experience for


Historic Hotel Bethlehem. Voted the #1 Best Historic Hotel by USA Today for two consecutive years, the hotel celebrated is 100th anniversary this year. In the 1920s, the Bethlehem, PA Chamber of Commerce sold shares of the hotel to fund its construction, which led to the hotel being the social center of the city. “We are proud to continue that tradition that was begun 100 years ago,” notes Ronalds. The hotel has an award-winning culinary and food and beverage service team that work to truly customize and personalize the client experience, Ronalds adds. “The boutique Executive Conference Center just a few doors up is really popular with clients looking for that personalization and privacy. In addition, while many hotels and resorts work to keep their groups and conferences within the walls of their property, we want to share our city with all of our guests. We work side-by-

side with planners to help immerse attendees in the city, whether through team bonding activities, dine arounds or tours. We encourage attendees to go out and experience all that Bethlehem has to offer.” Historic Hotel Bethlehem offers access to expert historical speakers and works with historic sites and museums, local shops and restaurants. Collectively they can create a scavenger hunt for a great team bonding experience that not only shares offerings of the city with the attendees, but also its story and history. The stories of each of these venues and destinations serve to inspire, while their offerings provide all the tools needed for planners and their groups to forge new tales of their own. Places and spaces that have their roots in history serve as outstanding locations for creating new memories while presenting memorable and motivational experiences.

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Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­35


Working with

CVBs & DMOs Planners and event organizers looking for help in finding venues, vendors, suppliers and with logistics as well as getting real time information about everything from health and safety to activities and more already have well-connected partners in place that they can count on in any destination. Convention and visitors bureaus (CVB) and destination marketing organizations (DMO) are fantastic resources when booking in any destination, whether it’s far away and unfamiliar or close to home and well known. These resources offer a wide variety of expertise, connections and insider tips that can help add to any meeting, event, convention or visit. “A destination organization is one of the most important strategic partners that an event strategist works with,” explains Emily Scheiderer, director of education, sales and services at Destinations International. “As an advocate for both the destination and the incoming meeting or event, they serve as a single point of contact for both the logistics of the event and the broader mission of the organization and destination.” CVBs and DMOs serve as the destination expert, and as the point of contact for hundreds of events, they have a unique view of the destination that will help the planner to better understand where their event fits into the larger picture, and also how they can maximize their event success through partnerships, experiences, and local connections, Scheiderer adds.

Vino Bambino Winery in Broomall, PA, an appealing group destination in Delaware County, PA; photo courtesy: Visit Delco ­36 November­z December­2022



DESTINATIONS INTERNATIONAL HAS A DEDICATED WEBSITE JUST FOR MEETING PLANNERS WITH CASE STUDIES ABOUT HOW WORKING WITH A CVB HAS HELPED TO ELEVATE EVENTS: meetings.destinationsinternational.org HERE ARE JUST SOME OF THE WAYS CVBS AND DMOS CAN OFFER SUPPORT. Client Vision Advocates: When an event strategist has ongoing dialogue with the destination organization and helps them understand their event strategy, the destination is able to support in the execution of those tactics through local connections and resources and to help provide context and awareness of the role that the event has played within the community. Destination Influencers: Destination organizations are well-versed in local attributes and have an exclusive ability to connect event needs to supporting destination assets. By tying in the destination’s independent spirit, they support the event strategist in providing their stakeholders with customized cultural experiences that exceed expectations and can increase event ROI. Community Connectors: Serving as an extension of the planning team, the destination organization can leverage partnerships and make connections with suppliers that will create meaningful experiences and promote a valuable impact for the local community. The destination organization knows who to call, what to ask, and how to follow through. Intellectual Capital Brokers: A destination’s intellectual capital is a valuable commodity for creating an attendee experience that provides personal and professional growth through content that could only be experienced at that event in that destination. Destination organizations can leverage that capital through thought leadership connections that will increase interactive engagement, inspire imagination, and contribute to attendee and industry growth. Economic Impact Advocates: Destination organizations possess an understanding of event impact on their community and have a working knowledge of what tools are utilized to measure and demonstrate insight into that impact on economy, attendee behavior and community value basis. Working with the destination organization to understand this impact allows the strategist to extend that knowledge and increase awareness of the purpose-driven role their event and attendees played within the destination. ­38 November­z December­2022

Today, notes Scheiderer, as expectations of meetings and events continue to evolve, destination organizations are well positioned to provide the critical services needed to book and help produce premier events. “Business event strategists are increasingly asked to do more with less and destination organizations are available to strategically partner from destination selection to the actualization of the event.” Destination organizations go far beyond mere destination marketing, Scheiderer explains. “They are the engines that drive tourism in communities large and small – and the revenues and taxes generated by visitation allows businesses to thrive and cities to pay for much needed services. The destination organization of today is a community asset that stays focused on destination development and is responsible for programs promoting the community as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live, work and play.” Through destination stewardship and brand management, these organizations strengthen the community’s economic position and vitality, which provides opportunity for all people in the destination. “In other words,” says Scheiderer, “the destination organization is the keeper of the community’s brand and this effort is important to every business, every school, every hospital, every level of government, and every person in a community.” “DMOs know the area and venues and what is going on in the area and can personalize a meeting with things


Subaru Park in Chester, PA; photo courtesy: Visit Delco

to do outside of business hours, such as shopping, dinner reservations, team building activities,” explains Steve Byrne, executive director, Visit Delco, PA. “If hotel rooms are needed, we have all the contacts to make the planner’s job easier.” As a liaison between the group and venue, the CVB or DMO can help with any issues that may arise, from planning to completion, notes Byrne. “From initial contact, we can help with location and planning; during the meeting we can help with those unforeseen problems that come up; and then, afterward, we can help to do a debrief on what was good and what could have been improved on.” Before COVID-19, Byrne says that a lot of things were taken for granted. Today, each DMO or CVB is working even harder to help meeting venues secure business. “We have an interactive website to make it easier for planners to see how many venues will fit their needs in our county. By entering information, a list of matching venues will be supplied, saving planners valuable time of

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As the destination marketing organization for Atlantic City, NJ,Meet AC is a complimentary service and a critical asset to planners, offering a team that has expert knowledge of the destination and can provide extensive help with meetings, events and conventions. SOME OF THE AREAS WHERE DMOS LIKE MEET AC CAN OFFER ASSISTANCE AND EXPERTISE INCLUDE: • ASSISTING PLANNERS WITH THE RFP PROCESS • • SITE VISIT PLANNING AND HOTEL SELECTION PROCESS • • ASSISTANCE WITH VENUE OPTIONS FOR OFF-SITE EVENTS • • PRE AND POST TOURS • • ATTENDANCE BUILDING • • MARKETING AND MEDIA SERVICES AND SUPPORT • • HOUSING SERVICES • • TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS • • STAFFING AND REGISTRATIONS FOR CONVENTIONS • ADDITIONALLY, MEET AC OFFERS MEETING PLANNERS A VARIETY OF BOOKING INCENTIVES. researching individual locations. We also have a CMP on staff to help with the planning process.”

special welcome bags to help attendees make the most of their free time in the region.

According to Jessica Bittmann, CMP, director of sales for the Greater Wilmington, DE CVB, destination marketing organizations and CVBs offer tremendous value, as they are a no cost resource. “The majority of DMOs are funded primarily through occupancy tax, making us a free resource for meeting planners and leisure travelers. We pride ourselves on knowing what is going on in our area and keeping up-to-date with what’s new and noteworthy at our hotels and attractions. We work as a partner and facilitator alongside the planner, the venue, the brand representatives, and third-party planners.”

“We’ve always been here as a free resource to meeting planners or individual travelers, showing off the best of what our area has to offer,” notes Bittman. “We’re more visible to some now, due to social media and video marketing, but I feel that our role and its value is as strong as ever.”

In the initial stages, Bittman says CVBs and DMOs can serve as an introductory resource where planners can find out about the overall area and what venues can best accommodate the sleeping room and meeting space needs of the event. “We source pricing and availability, we offer financial incentives, and we provide complimentary site inspections. During the marketing of the event, we are able to provide videos and literature to help promote the meeting location and connect planners with off-site venues and service providers, as needed.” Once the group arrives, the Greater Wilmington CVB offers them a mobile discount program with savings at restaurants, retail establishments and more, as well as ­40 November­z December­2022

The advancement of technology has been an added benefit, too. The Greater Wilmington CVB provides 360 video tours of local venues online, which allows for the opportunity to provide immediate site inspections for planners right at their desktop. “I think you’ll find that most CVB and DMO professionals are genuinely enthusiastic about the areas they represent,” explains Bittman. “I have seen over 90 percent of our venues and attractions in person, and personally attend events and frequent local restaurants whenever I have the opportunity. I enjoy my backyard as a tourist and make it a point to use CVBs and DMOs as resources whenever I travel so that I get the best perspective on every city or town that I visit.” Visit Annapolis, MD asserts that a DMO can serve to help remove some of the friction that meeting planners may otherwise experience, providing a service to connect prospective business to local hotels, restaurants,


venues, and attractions, and then respond accordingly to the planners. Visit Annapolis highly recommends that planners establish a relationship with a DMO through participation in things like FAM tours or virtual orientation meetings, as well as to sign up for any e-newsletters where they may learn about any perks available within a destination. DMOs that provide robust welcome videos, photography, content, and other services prior to an event can aid in driving up meeting attendance demand, says Visit Annapolis. Conference and event goers have many choices of places to go, but the DMO can help to attract attendees to a destination through compelling messaging that not only makes the attendee want to attend the meeting, but also consider bringing their family to stay to add room nights. In the wake of COVID-19, Visit Annapolis has adopted new methods that have improved the planner and group experience. For example, planners

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Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­41


Better teamwork. Happier teams.

today can connect with the DMO instantly through a virtual meeting (ZOOM or TEAMS), while venues can be showcased through videos and other assets. Continued investment in technologies that respond to a “24/7 always-on economy” will only help to continue to improve service levels to planners. In addition, Visit Annapolis features a team of professionals who can connect planners with tours, lodging partners, private event spaces, unique venues, and more in this historic maritime destination. “The PHLCVB prides itself on supporting planners from beginning to end,” says Maria Grasso, senior vice president, convention division, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB). “Our three business development divisions allow us to provide specialized and local resources to groups. The PHL Diversity, PHL Life Sciences, and PHL Sports division teams enhance and expand meetings and conventions by providing access to local resources and leveraging their expertise.” “This could come in the form of connecting planners with local thought leaders or industry experts to act as speakers, introducing potential partners to help increase attendance, or connecting planners with local diverse businesses to help strengthen community support,” Grasso adds. Philadelphia is a diverse and culturally rich city that prides itself on being a welcoming destination. That is a huge part of what the PHLCVB does, explains Grasso, “ensuring our clients understand that and feel they

­42 November­z December­2022


Di Bruno Bros. in Wayne, PA; photo courtesy: Visit Delco

and their attendees will feel welcomed here… For more than three decades, the PHLCVB has been prioritizing diversity. Our organization was the very first DMO to establish a business development division whose efforts focused on attracting diverse meetings and conventions. Not only that, PHL Diversity works to connect planners with local diverse suppliers, businesses and community leaders.” The event landscape has changed dramatically for planners and attendees since COVID-19. Grasso points out, “We help our customers ‘reimagine’ and then execute their vision to ensure a successful event. Creating a partnership with our customers has become more important now than ever before.” Working with CVBs and DMOs provides planners with valuable insight and opportunities to make connections both at home and in destinations far away. Working together helps both the event organizer as well as the businesses within that destination, providing opportunities both for the upcoming event, as well as to establish relationships for the future.

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Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains, PA

Roland E. Powell Convention Center, Ocean City, MD; photo courtesy: Ocean City, MD CVB

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"In general, we have seen a shift where groups are not just looking for a venue with meeting space, but an entire experience that offers plenty of team building..." Nicole Pesota, Camelback Resort, Tannersville, PA

Attracting Group Business What makes a venue or destination attractive to planners of group meetings, events, conventions and other functions like youth sports? Each possesses its own unique qualities and an array of offerings that help to set it apart. Group business is big business, and these are a few of the places that are attracting planners and their attendees with a wide range of offerings that appeal to diverse audiences. “Meetings and event planners are always looking for new destinations and, more recently, looking for spots in smaller markets away from the big cities for lower costs and increased flexibility,” observes Kim Mueller, director of sales, tourism department, Town of Ocean City, Maryland. “The Roland E. Powell Convention Center here in Ocean City offers that perfect destination for meetings and events of all sizes, with newly renovated rooms, gorgeous bayfront views and so much more.” Ocean City boasts 10-miles of beach, a three-mile boardwalk, more than 200 restaurants ranging from waterfront eateries to fine dining, 17 premier championship golf courses, and vibrant nightlife. A destination that makes for an enjoyable and memorable experience for both planners and attendees alike. “We are constantly working to evolve our meeting and conventions offerings,” Mueller asserts. “Most recently, we are offering the Ocean City Beach Bundle that includes our assistance with all pre- and post-event details and flexibility, but also a great deal! With the bronze level booking (500-999 rooms per night), planners will receive 25 percent off convention center rental, with 1,000-1,499 rooms per night, 50 percent off, and with over 1,500 rooms per night, 75 percent off.” The Lancaster County Convention Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is another ideal venue for meetings and conventions with dedicated space for meetings from five to 5,000 attendees. It offers 90,000-square feet of Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­45


meeting space, impressive architectural and historic features, and is seamlessly integrated with the 416room Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square. Easily accessible, the convention center’s facilities combine the best of new world sophistication and old-world charm. And there’s something for everyone in Lancaster, too, from family-style fun and the surrounding farmland to nightlife, world-class dining, art, and more. “There is no shortage of things to do and see in Lancaster for visitors once their meetings have wrapped for the day,” notes Hans Schreiber, director, sales and marketing for the Lancaster County Convention Center. “Step just outside the convention center and you are conveniently located in the middle of historic, scenic, and welcoming downtown Lancaster, where there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a history buff, lover of the arts, craft beer connoisseur, or anything in between, there is something everyone can enjoy in Lancaster, no matter your interests.”

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Just across the street from the hotel and convention center is the Lancaster Central Market, the longest continuously running public farmers market in the country, with origins dating back to 1730. The market is home to more than 60 local vendors representing the proud cultural diversity of the area. For sports fans visiting during baseball season, a visit to Clipper Magazine Stadium, home of minor league baseball team, the Lancaster Barnstormers, is a must-do. Prima Theatre offers completely unique experiential concerts and boutique musicals, or visit the Lancaster County countryside to experience the beauty, heritage, and history of the Pennsylvania Amish. Visitors can take a horse and buggy ride, shop for hand-made crafts, enjoy some authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, and more. “Lancaster is really a unique destination in that it offers groups all the benefits of a big city coupled with the charm of a small town, making it the perfect destina-

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CAMELBACK RESORT MEETINGS & RETREATS

TEAM BUILDING UNLIKE ANY OTHER bring out your strengths that have been hiding behind a desk all along. custom, adventurous, and unique offerings are our forte. our exceptional tech options paired with an unbeatable mountain setting will make this a retreat your team will never forget.

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Kalahari Resort in the Pocono Mountains, PA

tion for meetings and conventions,” Schreiber explains. “Here in Lancaster, we have a network of partners and organizations, including Discover Lancaster, the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, and the Lancaster Alliance, all working together to make sure Lancaster is on people’s radars for meetings, conventions, and just as a fun weekend getaway, too.” Kalahari Pocono Mountains is an ideal mix of business and fun with over 900 guestrooms, ample meeting space, dining options and plenty of activities to suit all ages. From delectable culinary experiences - both in and out of the convention center - that are custom curated by a world-class team to leisure activities like Spa Kalahari, an outdoor adventure ropes course, hiking trails, indoor waterpark and more, Kalahari has so much to offer. Its state-of-the-art 200,000-square foot convention center and the team that runs it are focused on creating experiences that go above and beyond expectations. From arrival to departure, there is no need for attendees to leave the property. Overnight accommodations, meeting space, dining experiences and activities are all under one roof to enjoy at Kalahari. ­48 November­z December­2022

But for those who want to go out and explore, the surrounding area includes picturesque hiking trails, fishing, horseback riding, golf, breweries, wineries, shopping and more. Ultimately, Kalahari is about relationships - building genuine relationships with new and existing clients is the foundation to hosting great events and repeat business and referrals. The Kalahari team attends many industry events on a local and national level to market their brand, but also to network with clients. They partner with the Pocono Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well, in planning destination experiences and opportunities for groups. Also situated in the Pocono Mountains, Camelback Resort has proven to be an especially popular choice among groups in search of winter team building. This four-season resort has plenty to offer any time of year, but the winter months present exceptional opportunities for group business. “There has been a lot of inquiries centered on winter team building activities. We are the only resort in the area that is ‘ski in, ski out,’ so you can be out of your


meeting and on a ski lift within 15-minutes without having to get in your vehicle," explains Nicole Pesota, senior sales manager for Camelback Resort in Tannersville, PA. "In general, we have seen a shift where groups are not just looking for a venue with meeting space, but an entire experience that offers plenty of team building activities and fun for employees to enjoy during their retreat,” Pesota adds.

Event at the Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwoods, NJ

Corporate meeting packages vary at Camelback and may include the following: 10-night group room minimums (midweek); General Session Meeting Room to include high-speed Internet access; breakfast, a midmorning and mid-afternoon snack break and lunch; a threecourse tasting menu from Berrelli’s Italian Chophouse; snowtubing and an all-day lift ticket. Camelback Resort is ideal for adventure-packed experiences. A 560-acre resort that includes: Camelback Mountain for skiing, snowboarding, and snowtubing; Camelback Mountain Adventures for ziplining, a treetop obstacle course, and alpine mountain coaster; Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark, the state’s biggest outdoor waterpark; and Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark. Accommodations are available at Camelback Lodge with 453 guest suites, many dining choices (including ski-in/ski-out Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­49


REIMAGINE | REINVENT RECONNECT

Events

PL ANNING

DESIGN

DECOR

21 5.886.0202 eventric ity.n et

restaurants), 20,000-square feet of flexible conference and meeting venues, and 170,000-square feet of indoor adventure and entertainment space. Whether it’s a group of 100 or 10,000, the Wildwoods Convention Center is always a crowd pleaser, whether it’s planners, attendees or parents at youth activities. From meetings and consumer shows to basketball and gymnastics tournaments, regional dance and cheerleading championships to national wrestling and mixed martial arts competitions, the convention center offers everything needed to host a successful meeting, convention, or event. The Wildwoods Convention Center features 260,000-square feet of flexible meeting space, including a 75,000-square foot exhibit hall (configurable into two 37,500square 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-theart sound and lighting systems; upgraded free Wi-Fi; and a team of experienced support personnel and service professionals who can provide assistance every step of the way. “The Wildwoods Convention Center offers spectacular floor-to-ceiling ocean views from the outside deck, main exhibit hall, and lobby area – these magnificent windows along with a Teflon coated translucent fabric roof allow the entire building to be flooded in natural sunlight during the day,” notes Ben Rose, director of marketing and public relations for the Greater Wildwood Tourism Improvement and Development Authority. “The Wildwoods Convention Center’s catering department also offers impressive dining options for all groups and events,” he adds. “The executive chef and seasoned catering staff will meet the needs of any event host with outstanding event catering, an array of food service and concession services, as well as décor and theme consultations for meetings and conventions.” The convention center is situated directly on the Wildwoods’ free and spacious white sandy beach adjacent to the world-famous 38-block boardwalk with over 100 rides and attractions, making the center ideal for bringing families along. In addition, those award-winning beaches lend to plenty of opportunities to take in scenic views or to enjoy a

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very unique and memorable setting for a meeting or event. “When looking east, there is an unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean,” observes Rose. “The Wildwoods Convention Center’s prime boardwalk location is centrally located to over 8,000 hotel and motel rooms and 3,000 vacation rentals within close proximity [to the convention center].” Having so many opportunities for fun and unique activities makes changing up any event extremely easy and accommodating. Hosting annual events in the Wildwoods offers any attendee a variety of options to keep meetings fresh. “If attendees are used to hosting an event in a center city or suburban location setting, offering a destination that allows attendees to traverse the Wildwoods’ beach and boardwalk creates an ever-changing meeting experience and ever lasting memories in a relaxed and fun atmosphere,” says Rose. The Wildwoods Convention Center hosts more than 145 events annually and serves as the home to scores of signature events, conventions, meetings, banquets, concerts, weddings, youth sports tournaments and more. The Wildwoods appeals to the SMERF market, attracting a variety of meetings, trade shows, reunions, fraternal organization events, youth sporting events and youth groups. “Whether you are visiting for a meeting, convention, trade show, event or reunion, the Wildwoods welcome all visitors to enjoy the

wide variety of local businesses and dining establishments. There are plenty of mom-and-pop businesses that that offer one-of-a-kind personal service and have become our resort’s ‘must-dos,’ adding memorable enjoyment for all attendees. Surf and souvenir shops, arcades, boutiques, and bike rental shops can be found throughout the Wildwoods,” Rose adds. The Greater Wildwood Tourism Improvement and Development Authority can help with arranging fun-filled itineraries that connect specific interests with the diverse array of activities and dining options offered exclusively in the Wildwoods.

“Groups large or small can enjoy a variety of things to do,” explains Rose. “Whether it’s a team building activity 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, our skilled team will help create a truly fun and memorable meeting experience.” These varied venues and locations each provide ample offerings that attract group business. With so much to see and do, their appeal is wide ranging and enticing all throughout the year.

A DRIVE TO COASTAL DESTINATION Enjoy a scenic 2.5 hour drive to the Ocean City, MD beaches from Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD & Philadelphia, PA Planning a meeting, conference, retreat, group block or social event? Consider one of our beautiful oceanfront locations. An experienced sales team is here to partner in the planning process and execute your vision. The process is simple, one point person for all of your needs, and we give it 110% of our attention with one goal - to make your event shine.

VISIT US AT www.harrisongroupsales.com 17 OCEANFRONT HOTELS | DINING | CONFERENCE CENTER | MEETING SPACES For more information please call 800-399-6820

OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­51


Boutique Experiences with Small Town Charm

As companies look for ways to get back to personal engagement, they find it easier to do it in more intimate settings. Enter the era of the boutique conference centers. Large enough to accommodate groups but small enough to give privacy and customized service. Even large corporations are dividing into smaller groups to take advantage of the benefits. Bookings for one such space, Historic Hotel Bethlehem’s Executive Conference Center, are up above pre-pandemic levels. Most meeting spaces are in large hotels shared by other outside guests. Historic Hotel Bethlehem’s Executive Conference Center is just a few doors up from the main hotel in a private satellite building. Reme Halo, the same air purification system installed in the hotel itself, is also installed in this boutique private satellite space. The conference center also offers complete meeting packages including full menus, a main room, break-out rooms, an elegantly designed, designated workspace for the meeting’s organizer, and team bonding opportunities all to one company at a time. ­52 November­z December­2022


Aerial view of Bethlehem's historic area surrounding Historic Hotel Bethlehem Smaller, but still equipped with the newest technology. Director, room sales and guest experience, Kelly Ronalds said, “We created the executive conference center with life sciences in mind and had a prominent life sciences company consult along the way. We’re finding these businesses especially appreciate the ability to protect their sensitive material and the setting works really well for training sessions, too.” As boutique venues trend for business conferences, guests look for something unique in the locations. Small town charm wins over big cities in a late-pandemic world. The Industrial Era hotel is filled with historical architecture, decor, and artifacts, while offering access to experience two different historical eras: Colonial and Industrial. Historic Hotel Bethlehem is situated alongside the historic district of

Bethlehem, PA, which boasts a dozen national firsts and two National Landmarks as part of 20 historical sites. The Colonial Moravian Settlements of Bethlehem are on the World Heritage Site tentative list, and the hotel, together with the old Steel Stacks, tell the tale of the rise and fall of Bethlehem Steel. Visitors enjoy the city’s 18th century colonial Germanic architecture as well as 19th and 20th century preserved mansions of American industrial barons. Ronalds said, “We're seeing businesses wanting to do something different than the typical big city events. Sixty percent of the hotel’s conference center guests are looking for a unique experience, a sense of self, a sense of history, and even ask to engage the historical guides on breaks.”

The hotel’s location, in the heart of Historic Downtown Bethlehem, offers a variety of city tour packages, and the benefits of the boutique conference center help bring visitors to Bethlehem outside of its usual busy Christmas season. The Historic Hotel is on a USA Today Top 10 Main Street and gives guests a walkable, safe and unique city to explore full of historical sites, arts and culture, along with 25 boutique shops and restaurants, without a single chain store or restaurant in sight. Bethlehem is just an hour-and-ahalf from New York City and Philadelphia, but Ronalds says guests love its small-town charm. Historic Hotel Bethlehem, with all that it has to offer at the city’s heart, increases the city’s visibility immensely. Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­53


GATHER

A new year is on the horizon, and it’s the perfect time to make plans to help your team jumpstart their creativity and camaraderie in 2023. Getting out of the office and into a new area can spark new ideas and create a stronger sense of community within your organization. Located within convenient driving distance of major Northeastern cities like New York and Philadelphia, the Pocono Mountains region of Pennsylvania offers an ideal setting for meetings and events, with a wide variety of state-of-the-art venues equipped with the latest tech ready to host groups of all sizes and budgets. The Pocono Mountains is an excellent destination for company retreats and gatherings, offering not only flexible event spaces but also lodging, recreation, team building, entertainment, dining and more. Discover all-inclusive packages with meals and more included as well as AAA Four Diamond rated resorts with world-class accommodations and amenities like awardwinning golf and spa services. With everything they need located on-site within scenic, rural properties, attendees can focus, spend more time with each other and truly connect. Experience the old-world charm and modern comfort of historic properties like Skytop Lodge or the French Manor Inn and Spa. Mount Airy Casino Resort offers a sleek and contemporary backdrop for meetings, while The Lodge at Woodloch is both rustic and refined. Our region has long been renowned for its pristine natural beauty, so it’s no surprise to find inspiring views taking center stage at Pocono meeting venues. Get a big-picture perspective on your business’s goals as you gaze out over the

in the Pocono Mountains ­54 November­z December­2022


Meeting room at Skytop Lodge in the Pocono Mountains, PA; photos courtesy: Pocono Mountains CVB

panoramic vistas from mountaintop venues at Camelback Lodge or Blue Mountain Resort. Gather your team for a waterside picnic at Spruce Lake Retreat or Trout Lake. In the midst of a pastoral landscape, you’ll still have all the technology you need. High-speed Internet and the latest equipment and wireless capabilities provide a wide array of presentation possibilities and make it easy for any remote attendees to participate in your meetings. Agirtourism group at Second District Brew Farm

Throughout all four seasons, there are plenty of things to do in the area, with boundless team building possibilities and outstanding after work amenities. Try outdoor adventures like zip lining, treetops ropes courses, kayaking or whitewater rafting in the warmer months, or get out on the slopes with your coworkers for skiing, snowboarding or snow tubing in the winter. Indoor attractions include axe throwing, escape rooms, and tours of unique local farms and museums. When the day’s meetings are finished, attendees can kick back by exploring local wineries, breweries and distilleries along the Pocono Beverage Trail, or bring the family along to squeeze in a vacation at the area’s enormous indoor waterpark resorts.

Scenic winter slopes at Blue Mountain

Discover more than mountains in the Poconos: head to PoconoMeetings.com to start planning and browse even more area venues and offerings. Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­55


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.

LocationReport

Bucks County, PA www.visitbuckscounty.com

Grand Illumination at Peddler's Village in Lahaska, PA; photo credit: Above and Beyond Aerial Services

ANNUAL MEETING “The Tourism Office has been around some 60-plus years,” stated Sharon Rossi, Chair of Visit Bucks County’s Board of Directors, as she opened Visit Bucks County’s Annual Meeting at the Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm this October. “We have seen a lot, and this industry has always proven to be resilient.” “Our content, marketing and reporting is all starting to grow and evolve to market to new generations of visitors on platforms like TikTok, YouTube and other reel, short and vlog dominated social media spaces where consumers are spending a great deal of time and watching a ton of content,” said Heather Walter, Marketing Director for Visit Bucks County.

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Located in the heart of New Hope, the Logan Inn Visit Bucks County also created a new vlog style YouTube playlist “Visit Bucks County’s Local Tourist” featuring YouTube Host and Content Creator, Claudia Murtha. The channel features a mix of long-form video and YouTube shorts focused on attractions, breweries, creameries and more throughout the county. The videos have already gained more than two-million views. Walter also highlighted Visit Bucks County’s latest product development initiative, the Bucks County Wine & Art Trail, a partnership with the Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County, aimed at driving new traffic to Bucks County wineries and engaging a new market of artists. This past summer more than 75 artists created works at the wineries in preparation for the opening of the Bucks County Wine & Art Trail. In October, 14 outdoor art reproductions were installed at seven Bucks County vineyards. Consumers who visit and check-in digitally to three or more vineyards will receive a free set of fine art notecards featuring some of the original works of art painted at the wineries, and they will be entered to win one of the outdoor art reproductions that have been installed at the wineries.

PLACES TO MEET Peddler’s Village has its Grand Illumination coming up in November, as well as Holly Jolly Weekend in December. It offers a variety of meeting locations, a wide range of culinary choices, spacious accommodations in an elegant country inn, creative team building options, free parking, and a charming 18th-century style setting with award-winning landscaping. "The future looks bright for Peddler’s Village, and Bucks County," observes Brian Shields, director of sales for Peddler's Village. "Corporate meetings are on the uptick, and it is great to have our clients traveling again. Our social events, such as weddings, rehearsal dinners and showers, have been fantastic. Staffing is still a concern but has improved each month in all our operations. We look forward to 2023."

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­57


Julie Yeager

Ron Gorodesky

LOOKING AHEAD “The tourism industry has been heralding in a new era over the past year, with travelers increasingly looking to celebrate life through vacation experiences that bring together family, friends and build a sense of community," explains Julie Yeager, VP of Sales and Marketing for Refined Hospitality. "We already are seeing this at Refined Hospitality properties from both

Meet in an extraordinary Village.

• Ample meeting space • Elegant 66-room inn • 60+ shops • Multiple restaurants & eateries • Beverage tasting rooms • 14-passenger shuttle • Indoor entertainment center ­58 November­z December­2022

For inquiries, contact Brian Shields at 215-794-4062 or bshields@peddlersvillage.com PeddlersVillage.com

Bucks County, PA

Krista Ostrander

personal and business travel, and our programming for 2023 will reflect this need for relationship building travel experiences.” Ron Gorodesky, CEO and Founder of Refined Hospitality, notes that “2023 is a big year for the Refined Hospitality portfolio. The Reeds at Shelter Haven will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary and River House at Odette’s is projected to have its most successful year yet. To celebrate these milestones, we plan to honor 2023 as the 'year of the protagonist,' inspired by River House heroine, Odette Myrtil. Each property’s programming, partnerships and events will be curated to empower individuals to be the protagonist of their own life stories while weaving surprise and joy into their travels.” Krista Ostrander, Corporate Director of Sales for Refined Hospitality observes, “Historically, New Hope has been known for its rich history and as a welcoming place for visual artists, writers and theater fanatics. More recently, New Hope has increasingly become known as an LGBTQ+ friendly hotspot. This past March, it was even named as one of the country’s best LGBTQ+-friendly small towns by Time Out." "The destination is perfectly positioned for a quaint long weekend getaway or midweek corporate retreat from two of the largest urban cities in the country,” Osteander adds.


M EET ME BY THE RIVER MEET

NEW H O P E ’ S A L L - N E W LUX U RY L I FESTYLE H OTEL 215-682-2022 | riverhousenewhope.com | A REFINED HOSPITALITY PROPERTY


LocationReport

Chester County, PA www.brandywinevalley.com

Splitting Edge Axe Throwing with locations in Malvern and Coatesville, PA; photo courtesy: Chester County CVB OVERVIEW Chester County’s Brandywine Valley provides a magnificent countryside setting, along with all-important convenience. For meeting and events, the region offers a variety of options. Brandywine Valley also is an exceptional wedding destination, and guests are delighted in exploring the countryside before and after the big day. WHAT'S NEW Along the Chester County countryside is a network of wineries, breweries, and distilleries. Many host events and add a unique dimension to gatherings. Chester County Cheers is a great resource to explore the beverage landscape of the Brandywine Valley. Acadian Wine Company is a new addition to the vineyard landscape in Chester County’s Brandywine Valley and offers a charming event location for up to 300 guests in West Grove. The space is a

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hybrid of indoor and outdoor facilities, including a tasting room, deck, wine production cellar, patio and various lawns and meadows throughout the property. Wayvine Winery & Vineyard now holds special events on their farm and in their tasting room in Nottingham. A seasonal tent with a capacity of up to 100 and flexible catering options including food trucks are highlights of this expansive vineyard. A selection of 50 local beers is available in the tasting room, as well. Finally, Victory Brewing Company's Kennett Square Taproom, one of Chester County's hometown breweries, officially reopened the first week of November with a fresh new look. The brewery, which celebrated seven years in the community this past April, had closed in January 2021 following significant damage from a fire. They have since rebuilt the space with updated interiors. New event facilities in Chester County include Cross Gables Estate and Platform 1 at Columbia Station. Cross Gables is a European inspired boutique wedding and special event venue in Exton. This 19th century historic space is ideal for any special occasion. Platform 1 is a charming event space for up to 175 guests. Nearby, Paloma’s Restaurant in Phoenixville is a sister property to Platform 1 and the two venues can often work together to host joint events and functions.

Wayvine Winery & Vineyard in Nottingham, PA; photo courtesy: Chester County CVB

Meet in Chester County Corporate meets Countryside

Add charm to business meetings, celebrate in historic spaces and explore vibrant surrounding attractions, conveniently located in the "ountryside of Philadelphia. Ask about our booking bonus for events reserving 25+ rooms. Contact Courtney Babcock for more information. Courtney@BrandywineValley.com 484-840-7213 | BrandywineValley.com/Meetings Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­61


X Golf in Chester Springs, PA; photo courtesy: Chester County CVB

Chester Springs is home to X Golf, a popular experience for all levels of play from amateur to professional. Weatherproof indoor golf simulators are open rain or shine! Sports bar, hot food, cold drinks, and big screen televisions await at this fun event spot. Splitting Edge Axe Throwing with locations in Malvern and Coatesville will pump some adrenaline into any team. Corporate events can be held here for 8 to 100 attendees and include wheelchair accessible lanes.

SPECIAL INCENTIVE “For planners, any new meeting or event that books in a Chester County lodging property with 25 or more room nights is eligible for a $500 signing bonus plus $5 per night on rooms picked up. Visit brandywinevalley.com anytime for venues, restaurants, accommodations, attractions, and events,” said Courtney Babcock, Director of Sales for the Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau. “The CVB is available to assist planners in securing and enhancing experiences, too, from transportation suggestions and team building exercises to entertainment and food and wine pairings.”

The Embassy Suites by Hilton Philadelphia Valley Forge went through a $16 million renovation and opened a brand new, branded restaurant, Cool River.

Acadian Wine Company in West Grove, PA; photo courtesy: Chester County CVB ­62 November­z December­2022


HOLIDAY ATTRACTIONS "We look forward to a sparkling holiday season in the Brandywine Valley," notes Babcock. "A Longwood Christmas this year will celebrate botanical splendor. Revel in the festively decorated trees, enchanting tree houses, inviting fire pits, a tunnel of light and so much more." November 18 through January 8, tickets to A Longwood Christmas are available without time restraints at participating Chester County accommodations. Upon check-in, those who purchase these tickets will receive a reusable Brandywine Valley Welcome Bag with discounts and offers.

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­63


LocationReport

Visit Delco www.visitdelcopa.com

The Millstone Cottage at The Inn at Grace Winery in Glen Mills, PA; photo courtesy: Visit Delco, PA FOOD & DRINK Restaurateurs have been busy opening in Delco in 2022. There’s variety all over the county, from burger spots to beer halls, coffee shops to a food hall, plus a variety of ethnic specialties. Vittles Food Hall is the collaboration of a contingent of Philly chefs who first took to the streets, then made a home in Delco, to work to defeat food insecurity. Their nonprofit, Everybody Eats, is doing just that from an enchanting and inclusive food hall. It’s comfort-food-central, from burgers to soul food, salads to seafood. Bierhaul is a lagerhaus and new American kitchen serving pub grub favorites plus elevated large plates, a solid beer list featuring plenty of local stalwarts, wine by the bottle and glass, and a diverse cocktail list. Roz and Rocco’s features family recipe-inspired Italian-American classics. Save room for olive oil cake!

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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.

VisitDelcoPA.com

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


On campus at Villanova University, a popular restaurant and private events space, The Refractory.

Celebrity Chef Jose Garces's famed tapas-styled Amada Restaurant will be opening in Radnor in early 2023

2SP Tap House, a 2SP Brewing Company venue, and Delaware’s Two Stones Pub opened in the old La Pina Mexican Restaurant location with a menu of elevated pub grub. O’Sheas at Harrah’s Casino, a Las Vegas-style party pub, allows guests to partake in casino games plus arcade games, darts, and trivia while listening to live music. There’s a full bar, and food can be delivered here from any of Harrah’s restaurants. Guests can participate in karaoke, too. Two Fourteen is another Loïc Barnieu creation, who, along with chef Michael Hackett, turned the old Diego’s into casual, but elevated, location for seasonally-inspired food and cocktails. Dom & Mia’s offers upscale casual fine dining and classic cocktails with a nod to “family past and present,” in the old PNC Bank location. Buona Sera Ristorante is a BYOB that features a menu with gluten-free and whole wheat pastas, as well as a selection of Italy’s best. Ardour Bakery and Coffee Shop serves up European-style baked goods, plus sandwiches and hand-pulled hot and cold beverages. Signature items sell out fast, and some glutenfree items are available. Nifty Fifty’s has opened a new location in Delco serving up burgers and fries along with plenty of other options, sides, and shakes. ­66 November­z December­2022

There are even more venues on the horizon, including: Buena Onda Baja Taqueria from Chef Jose Garces in Radnor; Blue Elephant by Win Restaurant Group in Wayne; and Mercato Ristorante and Bar in Newtown Square. WHAT'S NEW Centered around a state-of-the-art outdoor skating rink, Flight on Ice Entertainment is bringing two family fun locations to Delco this holiday and winter season. Food and beverage vendors, Instagram-worthy experiences, and festive lights and décor are just some of the offerings you can expect at the Flight on Ice locations. According to breweriesinpa.com, Artillery Brewing soon will open a second location called The Arsenal in Drexel Hill with seating for about 115. The building dates back to 1948. Artillery will occupy the first floor, while a banquet facility is on the second. This will be a taproom only, with all brewing still being done at Artillery’s original location, The Barracks, in West Chester. For food, a full-service kitchen also is being built. Additional seating will be available on their covered outdoor beer garden. In early October, the Philadelphia Union and WSFS Bank made a major announcement regarding development along the Chester Waterfront. Chester soon will be home to a world-class, state-of-the-art sports complex that will span 32-acres between Subaru Park and the Union Power Plant office building.


YOUR LIFETIME OF EVENTS BEGIN HERE

The WSFS Sports Complex will include a 100,000-square foot facility that includes a turf field that can be used for soccer, football, and lacrosse, two basketball courts, a performance center with a weight room and sprint track, locker rooms, and a café for athletes and guests. This will be a world-class venue for housing tournaments and other events.

(610) 519-8000 | theinnatvillanova.com

This $55-million project marks a significant step in the development and revitalization of the Delaware River Waterfront. An example of the continued commitment and partnerships that lead to extensive positive changes for the Chester community and sparking exciting and positive changes for the Chester waterfront. Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is currently on view at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, so popular that it has extended its run through November (and likely December). This one-of-a-kind experience allows viewers to step inside a 20,000-square foot light and sound show with two-story projections and features a virtual reality experience. After making several updates, the Willows Mansion is now able to host events and programs throughout its first floor. Managed by Peachtree Catering and Events, the property's renovations, restoration, and improvement efforts are ongoing. The Inn at Grace Winery in Glen Mills features The Millstone, a new rustic, yet elegant cottage with a front-row view of the trickling millstone fountain. Brandywine River Museum of Art celebrates 50 years of the Brandywine Railroad with model trains running on

Submit your Event Inquiry Today!

Save the Date

Breakfast with Santa Sunday, December 11th Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­67


Arasapha Mobile Events; photo courtesy: Visit Delco, PA

2,000-feet of track and more than 1,000 pieces, including locomotives, passenger and freight trains, and trolleys that pass through a small village, a farm, factories, a drive-in movie theater and even a carnival. Interactive components are also incorporated into the display. Arasapha Farm is a new outdoor event space in Glen Mills, offering 80acres of land, a small pond, dock and fountain, as well as a covered pavilion area. The venue can accommodate up to 350 people, features a preferred vendor list for food and beverage, and plays host to Mobile Adventures for events and team building such as axe throwing, escape rooms and laser tag.

Flight On Ice Fire Pit Lounge Area in Newtown Square, PA; photo courtesy: Visit Delco, PA

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LOOKING AHEAD "In-person meetings are coming back," observes Lou Marrocco, Director of Meetings and Events for Visit Delco, PA. "While they are still a little smaller, the interest and desire to meet in person is showing a steady growth. The 'Industry' reports all are saying the same, that 2023 is going to be better, especially the second half and third quarter, and that 2024 will be almost full return to meetings, as we once knew them." Guest and attendee experiences are atop requests for meetings and events, Marrocco adds. For some, the “experience,” whether an activity like a hike or yoga, shows an emphasis on wellness and group participation. Others are looking to add a game or game-type activity in addition to the meeting or event. "It is no longer that attendees stay in a meeting room all day. The clients want the attendees to leave with the desire to attend the next meeting they are planning," he asserts. Delco has these added value features, from making a clay memento of the meeting to incorporating a culinary “hands-on” experience to enjoying a walk in nature. Delaware County has multiple locations and venues to satisfy the request - with even more on the way. "The new addition to Subaru Park with WSFS and the plan for the waterfront are a small example of the growth and emphasis on building for the future of meetings, but also for the community overall," says Marrocco.

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NEW at the Zoo

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On the verge of our 100th anniversary, this gift allows us to extend our exceptional veterinary care to an increasing number of species, and it provides us with a means to build an entrance that can accommodate the large number guests who visit each year. Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA recently announced that a donor has given a landmark $30-million gift to fund the construction of a new welcome center and animal hospital, honoring the zoo’s upcoming 100th anniversary in 2024, and supporting its ambitious $150-million master plan that features a series of projects to renovate and expand the zoo over several years. Elmwood Park Zoo's new animal hospital will be one of the largest and most advanced exotic animal care facilities in the nation, featuring multiple exam rooms, treatment centers, quarantine facilities, recovery wards, and surgical suites outfitted with state-of-theart equipment. Giant glass viewing bays will provide guests with an insider’s look at the hospital’s daily activities. In addition, the new building also will host the zoo’s welcome center, ticket windows, educational displays, and gift shop. Guest amenities that focus on accessibility and inclusivity will provide visitors with a comfortable and inviting environment. An additional floor inside the building will accommodate administrative offices as well as meeting spaces. The anonymous donor, a local entrepreneur with strong ties to Norristown, intended his contribution to be the leading gift toward the zoo’s master plan, saying, “It was made as an effort for other Montgomery County philanthropists to follow [my] lead and get involved.”

"It's beyond humbling to receive such a transformative and generous gift," says Al Zone, Elmwood Park Zoo's executive director and CEO. "This donation comes at a crucial moment for the zoo. On the verge of our 100th anniversary, this gift allows us to extend our exceptional veterinary care to an increasing number of species, and it provides us with a means to build an entrance that can accommodate the large number of guests who visit us each year. It's the most important piece of a plan from which all of our other plans will be made possible." Elmwood Park Zoo, established in 1924, is owned and operated by the Norristown Zoological Society, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster an appreciation for wildlife and the environment that will inspire active participation in conservation. The zoo has attained elite status as one of over 230 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “We are truly fortunate to have the confidence of this individual, and I appreciate his forward thinking to help the zoo begin its next century as a strong and sound organization,” said Jennifer Conti, Elmwood Park Zoo’s director of development. “The zoo has shown immense organizational strength over the last two years, and we have overcome tremendous challenges to get us to where we are today. I am very much looking forward to the journey ahead.” www.elmwoodparkzoo.org/master-plan Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­71


LocationReport

Montgomery County & Valley Forge, PA www.valleyforge.org

1874 Social at Hotel West and Main in Conshohocken, PA

WHAT'S NEW Valley Forge and Montgomery County continue with capital investments as venues are undergoing numerous renovation projects. Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center is investing $5-million as they build a new Carriage House Building. Once complete, it will add 21 new suites that will tie into the historic buildings on-site. At Sheraton Valley Forge, guestrooms will be complete by end of the year, while public areas, meeting space, a new restaurant and bar concept and Club Lounge will be built or renovated in 2023.

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The Doubletree Philadelphia West is planning a full hotel renovation, tentatively scheduled to start Q3 2023. The renovation will add 3,000-square feet of meeting space and, upon renovation completion, the property will go through a conversion to become an Embassy Suites. The new Hotel West & Main Conshohocken Philadelphia, Tapestry by Hilton opened in mid-October and is the first new hotel in Conshohocken in 22 years. This 127-room boutique hotel features on-site event space, and two onsite restaurants: 1874 and Hook & Ladder.

Flexible Contracts | National Partnership Program In-House A/V | Catering Available

The former location of the Washington Hose and Steam Fire Engine Company, No. 1, Hotel West & Main pays homage to the property’s history through design features like original 16-foot-tall painted windows, metal wall panels, wooden finishes and wood floor - all restored. The firemen’s lockers are used as cabinets in the market area, which features locally sourced options. The horn code board is displayed in the main lobby lounge where guests also can see the refurbished firepole in the lobby and on the second floor. The ballroom features a pre-event foyer with floor-to-ceiling windows. "Our hospitality amenities continue to grow as we’ve welcomed the new Challenger Learning Center in Pottstown, offering a new unique team building for the destination," explains Scott Higgins, VFTCB Director of Sales. TopGolf King of Prussia is under construction and anticipates an opening in 2023. Taku Japanese Steakhouse has opened in King of Prussia, offering the finest in steak and seafood prepared by Master Hibachi chefs at tabletop grills.

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Maggiano’s Little Italy has been consistently popular for private lunch and dinner events.

WORKING TOGETHER "We are optimistic about the continued return of in-person meetings and events within Valley Forge and Montgomery County," notes Higgins. "The summer and fall season brought an impressive level of future planning activity for both short-term and long-term programs. The events we’re supporting have been different than pre-pandemic, as they are incorporating more experiences into their agendas, such as team building activities allowing groups to give back to the community." "We see this trend continuing throughout the remainder of 2022 and into the new year," he continues. "With the increase in future activity... we are encouraging our clients to start planning sooner than later to find the dates they prefer."

The Heart of Conshohocken’s 'new' Town Center

Located in the historic Washington Fire Company, this 6-story hotel features 127 guest rooms, the Hook and Ladder Sky Bar & Kitchen, 1874 Social Lobby Bar and over 5,000 square feet of event space.

46 Fayette St, Conshohocken, PA 19428 • 610.825.1190 • hotelwestandmain.com Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­75


LocationReport

Philadelphia, PA www.discoverphl.com

Chef Jose Garces restaurant Volver at the Kimmel Center and the majestic Masonic Temple, One North Broad

WHAT'S NEW Philadelphia has experienced a number of hotel openings in the last year or so, and many existing hotels have taken advantage of the downtime during the COVID-19 pandemic to renovate their facilities. The Pennsylvania Convention Center, for example, recently announced that it has received its Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR reaccreditation for a second consecutive year. GBAC STAR is considered the gold standard of healthy and resilient facilities. “Since receiving our initial accreditation in 2020, and reaccreditation in 2021, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to the health, safety, and overall well-being of all who enter our facility,” said David A. Nasatir, Esquire, Chair of the Board, Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority.

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A great venue for hosting all-day conferences when not open to the public (Tuesdays and Wednesdays), The Barnes offers multiple event spaces (including the Comcast Auditorium) with in-house, state-of-the-art audiovisual capabilities. On March 8, 2023, The Barnes will host “Barnes in Bloom,” which The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, PA; will feature self-guided tours of photo credit: Michael Perez the Barnes collection and lunch catered by Constellation Culinary. Tickets will be available in January.

For an iconic experience, The Kimmel Cultural Campus, a GBAC STAR-accredited facility, offers unique, stunning spaces in which to host meetings, performances and private events in the city.

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA

In the two years since first receiving its GBAC STAR accreditation, the Pennsylvania Convention Center implemented additional phases of its capital improvement projects and, in partnership with Siemens, is currently working on completing the installation of further HVAC upgrades. Many of the center’s upgrades also have had a direct impact on the facility’s energy efficiency. Additionally, the center has implemented further sustainability initiatives as an ASM Global venue as part of the ASM Global ACTS program, which focuses on protecting the environment, investing in people, and strengthening communities.

Make Your Next Event Iconic! Host it at The Kimmel Cultural Campus.

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10/31/22 2:45 ­77 10/31/22 PM Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine


Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Center City; Photo courtesy: PHL CVB; credit: Philadelphia

The W Philadelphia and adjoining Element Philadelphia offer stunning views of the city, all within walking distance of the Pennsylvania Convention Center and other notable downtown landmarks. The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, the city’s largest hotel and one of two hotels connected directly to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, underwent major upgrades, and now boasts multiple technology hubs and two renovated ballrooms. There also have been other exciting additions that are great for Philadelphia visitors and meeting planners alike.

LOOKING AHEAD This year, Philadelphia has seen meeting and convention bookings begin to normalize in earnest, notes the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB). In 2023, the PHLCVB plans to welcome the return of nearly 85 percent of event bookings from pre-pandemic levels.

AT THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER BOOK YOUR EVENT TODAY! Call 215.409.6653 or email facilityrental@constitutioncenter.org Visit constitutioncenter.org/facility-rentals

­78 November­z December­2022

"We’re thrilled to see that gap beginning to narrow," proclaims Maria Grasso, senior vice president, convention division, Philadelphia CVB. "Philadelphia has a strong tourism and hospitality industry, and we are ready to continue to welcome back attendees to the city."


The iconic Reading Terminal Market, just steps from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, recently unveiled its latest revitalization project that created 15,000-square feet of public outdoor space, which also can be utilized for private events. Earlier this year, Philadelphia welcomed Liberty Point, the city’s largest restaurant. Situated on the scenic Delaware River Waterfront, this three-tier dining venue also is ideal for group business and can accommodate up to 1,400 guests.

W Philadelphia Hotel event space; photo courtesy: W Philadelphia Hotel

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EventsWorthy MEET MONTCO September 15, 2022 – King of Prussia, PA – The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) celebrated its brandnew “Room” Meetings Campaign with the Meet Montco Showcase, an event and trade show with more than 100 event professionals at at Flourtown Country Club. Planners were provided the opportunity to learn, connect, and explore at the networking event that included a panel discussion and vendor expo, which was exclusively designed to make it easy for planners to choose Montgomery County for their next meeting location. Additionally, planners were encouraged to work closely with the VFTCB as destination experts who provide free meeting support from coordinating site tours to recommending team building activities.

Christine Repetto, The Capital Grille King of Prussia and Aja Cramer, Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board

Haley Shapiro, Eddie V’s King of Prussia, Samantha Gorman, Fogo Scott Higgins, Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board, Tumoor De Chao King of Prussia, and Kristine Law, Davio’s King of Prussia Haye, Redstone American Grille, Paul Wong, ISPOR ­80 November­z December­2022


EventsWorthy

Panel Discussion Tumoor Haye, Redstone American Grille, Paul Wong, ISPOR, Scott Higgins, Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board, Lauren Curtolo – Independent Planner and Melissa Waller, Marriott

Elmwood Park Zoo Staff

Ashley Ridolfi, DoubleTree Philadelphia West

Martha Sharkey from Today is a Good Day.

Stephanie Kilroy, Megan Tomlinson, and Aja Cramer with Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board

Cork & Candles experiential scent bar

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­81


EventsWorthy Visit Bucks County Shares Strategies at 2022 Annual Meeting October 19, 2022 – Bucks County, PA – More than 150 tourism professionals gathered at Visit Bucks County’s (VBC) Annual Meeting at the Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm. Paul Bencivengo, President & COO of Visit Bucks County presented on key economic indicators and the state of the hospitality industry. “Looking back at 2021, data showed a strong recovery of the Bucks County tourism industry,” he said. “As travel restrictions lifted, potential visitors in key markets such as the New York, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia metros sought experiences and connection through travel again in suburban, drivable destinations,” said Bencivengo. In 2021, Bucks County welcomed 7.58 million visitors, generating $986 million dollars in economic impact, and supporting a total hospitality workforce of more than 25,000 jobs. (Source: ESI) Visit Bucks County’s Annual Meeting concluded with remarks from Visit Bucks County’s Industry Relations & Visitor Services Director, Lisa Paglaiccetti, who shared plans, including the ongoing development of Visit Bucks County’s mobile Visitor Center that canvases the County engaging with consumers at area attractions, festivals and events. Paglaiccetti introduced guest speaker, Ben Fileccia, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Engagement for the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA). Fileccia gave an overview of the statewide restaurant and lodging industry and spoke to current trends in the hospitality industry. Photo Credit: Kevin Crawford Imagery

The Visit Bucks County team

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EventsWorthy

Ben Fileccia of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association.

Jim Cuorato of the Independence Visitors Center with Angela Val from Visit Philadelphia and Jennifer Nagle, Independence Visitors Center

Andrew Lovell of Temple University's School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management with Paul Bencivengo of Visit Bucks County and Bill Gehrman, En Route

Jennifer Burns of Peddler's Village along with Visit Bucks County’s Board Member Sharon Rossi and other Board Members, Christine Hensel Triantos and Bob McGowan of Peddler's Village Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­83


EventsWorthy “MEET ME IN DELCO” October 25, 2022 – Wallingford, PA – The Delaware County Tourism Bureau (Visit Delco) hosted their premier event, “Meet Me in Delco” at the Community Arts Center, showcasing its finest venues, hotels, caterers, restaurants, wineries, and breweries in the Delaware County. The day began with a Panel Discussion: “Industry Then and Now…Now What?” was presented by Panelist David Jackson, KKD Tourism Advisors, Joy Dickerson, Delaware County Community College, Bonnie Grant, PHL Life Sciences, Ira L. Rosen. Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Fred M. Stein, The Creative Group.

Followed by the showcase where Meeting planners had the opportunity to look for unique venues, meeting spaces, and team-building offerings. Exhibitors included: 2SP Brewing - Fearless Restaurants Autograph Brasserie & Rosalie at the Wayne Hotel - Drexelbrook & Holiday Inn & Suites Philadelphia/Drexel Hill ~ Gifford-Risley House ~ 5:dirty - Metropolis Passenger Logistics ~ MPI Philadelphia ~ PCMA Greater Philadelphia Chapter ~ Penns Woods Winery ~ SunCenter Studios ~ The Inn at Grace Winery ~ Tyler Arboretum – Visual Sound – PartySpace – Art By Al – Jeffrey A. Miller Catering – The Inn at Villanova University. Photo Credit: Pete McClure

Bridget Graham, AFTD and Samantha DeMarco, AFTD

Michele Mills, M & M Unique Travel and Cynthia Briscoe, Elegant Ocassions ­84 November­z December­2022

Michele Baymor, Intuition/Fruition, Jim Cohn, Mid Atlantic Events Magazine, and Elaine Reby of 20/20 Visual Media.


EventsWorthy

Panelist Discussion: “Industry Then and Now…Now What?”

Christina Wilson with Fearless Restaurants

Nicole Petrongolo, Delaware County Community College, Lou Marrocco and Steve Byrne with Visit Delco, PA

Erica Keagy, PCMA Greater Philadelphia Chapter, Melanie Wimmer, The Boeing Company, and Liz Ely, Total Meeting & Event Mgmt

Jeffrey Rotwitt, Jennifer Tate and Guillaume Perrin with SunCenter Studios Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­85


EventsWorthy Valley Forge Annual Luncheon a Goal! October 28, 2022 – King of Prussia, PA – The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board welcomed 450 attendees to their Annual Luncheon where they released the 2022 Annual Report. A positive economic impact of the tourism industry in Montco reported levels were close to 2019. Two other highlights included, a joint Montgomery County Community College scholarship announcement from former VFTCB President & CEO, Paul Decker, and the VFTCB along with the keynote speaker and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Carli Lloyd. Carli spoke about overcoming obstacles on and off the field and being a woman in the world of sports. Guests were then invited to Elmwood Park Zoo’s Wild After Party to help celebrate the Zoo’s upcoming centennial and new expansions and additions. Photo Credit: Pels Productions.

Valley Forge TCB staff, Board and Sponsors

Steve Wildemann of Advanced Staging Productions ­86 November­z December­2022

Lee Leung and Christina Wilson with Fearless Restaurants

Rick Odorisio, Valley Forge TCB Board


EventsWorthy

Lisa Karl, Valley Forge TCB with John Sechrist of the Alloy King of Prussia

Ben Graupen and Eric Davies of Wurzak Hotel Group with James Ferguson, Sheraton Valley Forge

Paul Decker, former President of the Valley Forge CVB

Ken Lawrence, Montgomery County Board of Commissioners

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­87


EventsWorthy Greater Wilmington CVB Dine Around November 2, 2022 – Wilmington, DE – A ‘Taste of Wilmington Dine Around’ was hosted by the Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau showcasing new restaurants, hotel and event spaces for groups. First stop was Wilmington’s newest boutique hotel and special events venue, The Quoin Hotel. Next, guests traveled to a James Beard award-nominated restaurant’s new sister property, Bardea Steak. Up next was Wilma’s, which was a 100-year-old bank transformed into a full-service, Southern & New Orleans-inspired cuisine bar and restaurant along with a four-lane duckpin bowling alley and retro arcade. Final tastings were at Tonic Seafood and Steak, a mix of restaurant and private dining areas in the heart of the downtown.

Bardea Steak Restaurant Outside Seating

Jessica Bittman, Greater Wilmington CVB

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EventsWorthy

Wilma’s Bar & Lounge

The Quoin Hotel Speakeasy

The Quoin Hotel Upstairs Outdoor Space

Bardea Steak Restaurant Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­89


Around Th HERMITAGE INN RIBBON CUTTING

NEW OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE AT PARK CITY CENTER Lancaster, PA – Flight On Ice announced the debut of their pop-up outdoor “real” ice skating rink to the Park City Center bringing a season full of festive family fun and running through February 2023. This pop-up attraction promises to transform the mall’s outdoor parking lot into a must visit winter destination. Features include a full-size recreational outdoor skating rink, skate rentals, festive music, lighting, video & decor, food and beverages and heated hospitality tents perfect for private parties. “We’re excited to partner with Flight On Ice and Park City Center on this great new holiday and winter attraction for the area,” stated Edward Harris, President & CEO of Discover Lancaster. “The numerous experiences on offer have wide appeal and will make for wonderful memories.” flightonice.com

Petersburg, WV – Taylor Hospitality, Grant County Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Petersburg held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Hermitage Inn on October 27, 2022. The inn is one of the oldest historical properties in Petersburg and is older than the state of West Virginia. The hotel begins a new chapter as the Hermitage Inn and Taphouse, though details of its extensive past have been preserved. The new look and atmosphere draw inspiration from its rich history and the mountainous landscape surrounding it. Taylor Hospitality also has announced the launch of Hermitage Inn & Taphouse's new website: www.hermitageinnwv.com

TOURISM EXPERIENCE IN NYC Manhattan, NY - On May 8-9, 2023 Trumarketing PR is launching the VANGUARD EXPERIENCE, a revitalized two-day gathering crafted on the concept of true travel industry relationship building. The event will infuse destination education, 1-on-1 meetings, networking, bonding experiences and wellness elements. The event venues will all be held within walking distance of Trumarketing's marketplace base, OFFSITE. Several events must be attended as part of attendees' commitment to the event. Vendors will include a network of DMCs, luxury hotels and destinations from around the world. www.trumarketing.com

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he Region FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT OGLEBAY Wheeling, WV - A whirlwind of activity is transforming Oglebay and Wheeling Park into a winter wonderland celebrating the 2022 Festival of Lights presented by WesBanco. There are over 100 light displays outside to set up and test, including dozens of trees that will be adorned with holiday lights. A new feature, Reflections on Schenk Lake, also is being added this year. Inside, decorators at Wilson Lodge are busy "decking the halls." www.oglebayfoundation.org

NEW SOLUTION FOR "GREENER" EVENTS For large-scale events looking for ways to be more ecofriendly and reduce waste, Lyfecycle’s new self-destructing plastic, the first of its kind, helps events to be "greener." Lyfecycle made its USA debut earlier this month at the Chicago Marathon as the official recovery bag for more than 40,000 participants. This one-of-a-kind technology is the only plant-based, recyclable and biodegradable plastic that is scientifically designed and proven to return to nature after two-years, leaving no microplastics or toxins behind. It can be used to create anything from food containers, cutlery and cups to fashion garment bags, sandwich wrappers, stretch film and non-woven material such as face masks and baby wipes. www.lyfecycle.com

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP FOR LEGAL MEETINGS South Orange, NJ - Hotels for Trial, a luxury boutique travel agency for litigation firms and a division of Spear Travel Group, has announced a partnership with Aquipt, Inc. a premier legal technology provider specializing in trial support services and hosted pretrial solutions. This partnership enables Hotels for Trial and Aquipt to offer legal teams enhanced trial support services to find the ideal hotel and war room accommodations along with providing mission-critical technology and support. www.aquipt.com www.hotelsfortrial.com

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­91


Around Th UPCOMING EVENTS IN ANNAPOLIS Annapolis, MD - On November 18 will be the Annapolis Town Center Christmas Tree Lighting accompanied by Horse and Carriage Rides on weekends throughout the holiday season. From November 20 – January 2 will be Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point State Park, an annual holiday light show featuring a two-mile scenic drive along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay with more than 70 animated and stationary displays depicting regional and holiday themes and all proceeds benefit the Anne Arundel County SPCA. Classic Theatre of Maryland presents White Christmas November 25 - December 24, 2022. Based on the beloved 1954 film, this musical adaptation features the music of Irving Berlin and centers around a successful song-and-dance act and a duo of singing sisters. On November 27 is the Grand Illumination and annual tree lighting in downtown Annapolis. www.visitannapolis.org

ESPORTS INNOVATION CENTER AT STOCKTON Atlantic City, NJ - The new Esports Innovation Center (EIC) at Stockton University, located on the boardwalk as part of the university’s Residential Complex, is a nonprofit that was set up in partnership with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and Stockton to promote esports in South Jersey and Atlantic City. “The EIC will be a driver of strategic workforce development and will help to attract industrysupporting businesses and events,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer, Tim Sullivan. “Governor Phil Murphy’s economic development plan is focused on bolstering high-growth sectors that create inclusive career opportunities. The EIC, as a center of knowledge and innovation, is adding to the momentum in this emerging and particularly exciting industry.” In addition, this fall the university debuted its first esports and event planning course. Said Noel Criscione-Naylor, an associate professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management, “There’s a huge connection to hospitality, tourism and event management, which is our program. Students have to have the fundamentals of what does it mean to execute an event and at the same time what are some of the computer skills and problem solving that’s necessary (with esports events).” www.stockton.edu

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he Region DESTINATION DC ADDS VALUE AND ENHANCES PROGRAMS Washington, DC – Destination DC has announced efforts to attract meetings and conventions to the nation’s capital. Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of Destination DC, outlined new developments and attractions for meetings planners. Melissa A. Riley, vice president of convention sales and services, shared the strengths of the city as a gathering place to meet with purpose and impact issues.

“We’re thinking about what will make the difference for an organization,” said Riley. “In Washington, DC, our positioning focuses on offerings that you can’t find anywhere else, so a potential delegate sees the value and purpose of attending. Our clients are meeting with leaders, offering top speakers and finding a voice for the issues they care about in DC.” www.washington.org

Said Ferguson, “Strong leisure destinations lead to strong meetings destinations, so as more people combine business and leisure travel, DC is notable for new investment, hotels, arts and culture, dining and nightlife and free things to do.” WINTER IN FRANKLIN SQUARE Philadelphia, PA Historic Philadelphia, Inc., the non-profit organization that manages and operates Franklin Square, is bringing back Winter in Franklin Square presented by Citizens featuring the Electrical Spectacle Light Show presented by PECO from November 16 – February 26. Highlights include: Chilly Philly Mini Golf, seasonal music on the Parx Liberty Carousel, in addition to the Electrical Spectacle Light Show at night. The Ben’s Sweets and Treats heated tent will be open with food and drink, surrounded by fire pits in the Winter Beer Garden. Special events bring visits with Santa, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah celebrations, and the renowned New Year’s Eve Square Drop to add to the festive fun.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN DC Washington, DC - There are more than 26 new hotels or renovations in the pipeline, adding over 5,892 new or renovated rooms. Additionally, the National Gallery of Art’s East Building reopened in June; the Kennedy Center opened an interactive permanent exhibit dedicated to President John F. Kennedy in September; phase two of the Wharf opened bringing a new Pendry hotel and fine dining, and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum reopened with new galleries in October; while the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden breaks ground on its Sculpture Garden renovation on November 16th. www.washington.org

www.historicphiladelphia.org

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Around Th EXPERIENCE THE HOLIDAYS THE WILDWOODS The Wildwoods, NJ – With so many festive activities and holiday events planned in the Wildwoods, there are plenty of ways to experience the spirit of the season and create new family holiday memories. The 2022 lineup of holiday events in the Wildwoods features five weekends of fun, including: November 25 is Family Holiday Beach Bonfire; November 25-27 is the Christmas in North Wildwood Weekend Celebration; December 1-2 are tree lighting ceremonies in Wildwood Crest, North Wildwood, and the City of Wildwood; December 9-10, 16-17 is the Holiday Light Show at Wildwood’s Winter Wonderland at Holly Beach Park; the North Wildwood Family Christmas Celebration on December 16; Holiday Lights Walk on December 19; and more. www.wildwoodsnj.com BLAST OFF TO NEW ADVENTURES IN PITTSBURGH Pittsburgh, PA – A number of attractions, exhibitions, restaurants and more are opening in Pittsburgh this fall offering visitors new and exciting reasons to visit Pittsburgh. Travelers can take one giant leap toward space exploration as Moonshot Museum, Pennsylvania’s first space museum. Mars: The Next Giant Leap, opens at the Carnegie Science Center on November 19, a new exhibition launching visitors on a 300-million-mile journey to Mars, where they will explore relevant, contemporary issues that surround space exploration. Now through February 20, The Andy Warhol Museum presents Andy Warhol’s Social Network: Interview, Television and Portraits. The Frick Art Museum offers American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection, through January 8. Contemporary Craft showcases Transformation 11: Contemporary Works in Glass, through March 18.

NYC’S LATEST LUXURY EVENTS VENUE Ease Hospitality has two locations in New York City, @Ease 605 and @Ease 1345, fivestar venues that focus on the importance of creating community. Wellness moments are integrated with high-design and state-ofthe-art technology offerings are coupled with design principles that integrate greenscape and health and wellness aspects to inspire in a new age of gathering.

Pittsburgh Brewing Co.’s new steel brewing facility in Creighton features state-of-the-art technology, brewery tours, a restaurant, an onsite store and a distillery in the works. Foodies have yet another reason to flock to Pittsburgh with the opening of The Parlor Dim Sum, the new restaurant from chef-restaurateur Roger Li.

@Ease605 there is over 4,000-square feet of outdoor space with private seating that can be used for VIP events or outdoor receptions in addition to 28,000-square feet of event space and amenities. @Ease1345 there is 5,500-square feet of flexible space, Huddle Rooms, live broadcast and webinar capabilities and more. Full-service catering at both locations is provided by Great Performances Catering.

www.visitpittsburgh.com

www.easehospitality.com

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he Region GLOBAL MEETINGS INDUSTRY DAY 2023 Washington, DC - The Meetings Mean Business Coalition announced “Meetings Matter” as the 2023 theme for Global Meetings Industry Day to be held on March 30th, the international day of advocacy showcasing the value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and communities. The “Meetings Matter” theme will spotlight the economic and societal importance of face-to-face meetings, a critical message to share with elected officials and business leaders which underscores the multi-layered benefits that come from meeting in person. The U.S. Travel Association will produce a toolkit in early 2023 to help the industry demonstrate the incredible power of face-to-face meetings. www.ustravel.org

ANNUAL SUN WINE & FOOD FEST Uncasville, CT - The 19th Annual Sun Wine & Food Fest 2023 at Mohegan Sun, January 26-29, is one of the largest and most popular wine festivals in the Northeast, treating guests to a vast selection of wines and delicious food pairings. The Fest’s main event features over 1,000 different types of wine, beer, and spirits for guests to sample while tasting dishes from award-winning restaurants throughout the region and select bites from elite chefs. For the full lineup of events, celebrities, entertainment and more, visit: www.mohegansun.com/SWFF

CELEBRATION OF NJ WINERIES Atlantic City, NJ - Restaurateur Mark Callazzo is investing millions as a key developer of the vibrant business district known as the Orange Loop in AC, already having opened four restaurants on Tennessee Avenue. Now he has reached out to the Garden State Wine Growers Association with an idea to bring these wines to a wider audience, which has culminated in his restaurants hosting a yearlong celebration of the state’s top wines, featuring a different winery each month starting this November. Devon Perry, Executive Director of the Garden State Wine Growers Association, toasted the idea and hopes other restaurant owners will follow suit. Said Perry, "Getting New Jersey wines on the map via Tennessee Avenue is a great way for locals and visitors from all over the world to experience the finest Garden State wines.” www.newjerseywines.com

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Around Th WYNDHAM’S MEETINGS COLLECTION GOES GLOBAL Parsippany, NJ - Wyndham Hotels & Resorts recently announced the global expansion of The Meetings Collection, which now includes over 160 hotels and resorts across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. A carefully curated collection of aspirational hotels and resorts in highly sought-after meetings destinations, The Meetings Collection caters to planners globally by putting their needs at the forefront, making it simple, easy and rewarding to organize multiple, multi-year meetings across a wide variety of hotels and brands.

AC TO HOST TAKEOFF NORTH AMERICA Atlantic City, NJ - At TakeOff North America 2022 in Las Vegas, NV this October, event organizers announced that next year’s event will see the region’s domestic air service development community unite in Atlantic City, NJ. Confirmed to take place from August 13-15, 2023 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, the sixth TakeOff North America event will be hosted by the Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) and Meet AC.

In addition to planner perks, properties participating in The Meetings Collection make it easy for organizers to enhance their events with highly-rated, turn-key activities and experiences like locally-sourced spirit tastings, curated beach and city cleanup programs, culinary competitions, racing excursions and more.

"We are thrilled to host TakeOff North America 2023 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. By hosting this event, we will have the opportunity to showcase our region while bringing together more than 200 aviation industry professionals, including air carriers and small to mid-size airports, discussing potential expanded or new air service,” noted Meet AC’s President and CEO, Larry Sieg.

www.wyndhambusiness.com/meetings

www.routesonline.com/events

DESTINATIONS INTERNATIONAL BOOKING AGREEMENT Las Vegas, NV – Destinations International, the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), has announced its new Destination Booking Agreement (DBA) at IMEX America. With the announcement comes the launch of a toolkit which establishes mutually agreeable terms to protect both the destination and the business events strategist. “The need for CVBs and business events strategists to come together to create best practices for destination booking agreement guidelines has been an ongoing conversation for our industry,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “Destinations International’s Large Market Roundtable has done great work to take the lead on this thought leadership that will ultimately enhance our entire industry moving forward.” www.destinationsinternational.org ­96 November­z December­2022


he Region UVA BREAKS GROUND ON NEW HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER Charlottesville, VA - The University of Virginia (UVA) and its partners have broken ground on a new Hotel and Conference Center, which is targeting a spring 2025 debut. The hospitality center, whose official name will be revealed at a future date, will be managed by Pyramid Global Hospitality. The Hotel and Conference Center will anchor UVA’s emerging and strategically important Emmet-Ivy corridor, aiming to be a destination property and convening space for guests and visitors to the University, its local community, faculty, staff, students and conference attendees. The site will provide multiple spaces for hospitality, business and academic conferences. Guests will find a full-service restaurant with indoor and outdoor terrace dining, a rooftop café with panoramic views, and 25,000-square feet of technologically advanced meeting and event space to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). www.pyramidglobal.com

EMBASSY SUITES WASHINGTON DC RENOVATION

EXTENDED STAY AMERICA® LAUNCHES NEW BRAND Charlotte, NC - Extended Stay America has announced the launch of Extended Stay America Select Suites. For value-conscious guests staying on average 30+ nights, the new brand offers more basic services and select amenities with the similar apartment-like room design as the flagship Extended Stay America Suites brand. “We’re proud to introduce Extended Stay America Select Suites. Now, with three different brands at three different price points guests are sure to find an Extended Stay America hotel to suit their needs and budget,” said Greg Juceam, President and Chief Executive Officer for Extended Stay America. With the addition of Extended Stay America Select Suites, the organization’s family of brands now represents a portfolio of approximately 760 hotels across three brands comprising close to 85,000 rooms in 45 states, all solely focused on the extended stay segment. www.esa.com

Washington, DC – Embassy Suites by Hilton Washington DC Convention Center has completed a $30-million full-property renovation and redesign, including the complete overhaul of the property’s 388 suites, fitness center and swimming pool, lobby and public spaces, along with an upgrade to its 12,000square feet of meeting and event space, adding a new on-site restaurant and more. The interior design reflects the spirit of DC’s historic Shaw neighborhood with custom artwork and decor that highlights the significance of the city’s deep arts and cultural impact on the neighborhood. The property’s makeover touches every space within the hotel, including the addition of a lobby level meeting room with floor to ceiling windows. "The Embassy Suite by Hilton Washington D.C. Convention Center’s prime location to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and the retail destination CityCenterDC allows us to serve both corporate and leisure guests looking for high-end quality, comfort and superior hospitality,” said Complex Commercial Director, Monique Martinet. stories.hilton.com Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­97


EvENtM ­ AkERs FLORIDA Orlando - Christine Cecil opened CLH Meetings, a meeting planning/event management company. Christine previously was with Gaylord Hotels/Marriott and Harrison Group Hotels.

Malvern - Danielle Werkeiser has been named Manager, Trade Show and Events at CertainTeed - Saint Gobain Corporation. New Hope - Dave Myers has been named General Manager of the River House at Odette’s.

MARYLAND Annapolis - Heather Ersts is the new Director of Tourism Development for Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County. National Harbor - The Westin National Harbor has named James Thomas as their new General Manager.

PENNSYLVANIA

Philadelphia - Denise Ronayne has been named Director of Sales for Brûlée Catering. Denise brings a wealth of experience to Brûlée, having held similar sales roles at Live Nation, House of Blues, and the LA Auto Show where she was VP of Sales & Operations before becoming the General Manager for the show. Philadelphia - Jessica Clark has been named Senior Director, Strategic Events at Press Ganey. Jessica will be instrumental on developing and executing a growing portfolio of programs and events.

Bethlehem –The Venetian Resort Las Vegas has hired Alyssa Lippincott as their new Northeast Director of Business Development. Doylestown – The Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce has named Theresa Fera as their new President and CEO.

Philadelphia - Michelle Jennings Ullman has been named Director of Sales for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Jim Thorpe - PharMethod has named Charlotte Horowitz as their new Meeting Planner.

Philadelphia - Natalie Spacco was promoted to Manager, Event Sourcing at Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.

King of Prussia - The Alloy-King of Prussia, a DoubleTree by Hilton has hired Neal Yakupcin as their new Director of Sales & Marketing.

Philadelphia - MarketPlace PHL, the management company for PHL Food & Shops at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), has announced the hiring of Dana Pyle as their new

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Marketing and Guest Experience Manager. Dana will head the marketing initiatives for more than 170 stores, restaurants, and services that the PHL Food and Shops program comprises. With over a decade of marketing experience and her hospitality background, she will take the lead in developing and expanding the company’s marketing presence and driving business strategy.

The Greater Washington Board of Trade has promoted Jackie Waidmann to Director, Programs & Events. The National Association of Enrolled Agents has appointed Kelli Comegys as Director of Membership & Business Development.

Philadelphia - Candice Bakke joins the team of JR Global Events as Chief Sales Officer and Partner of Events On Call. Candice has more than 25 years in IT sales experience. Philadelphia - Neoshie Giles has started a new position as Senior Program Manager and Training Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Warminster – Gene Blum has been named Director of Catering Operations for The Fuge. West Chester - Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc. has named Maya Turner as their new Project Manager, Attendee Experience.

VIRGINIA Danville – Caesars Virginia (opening in 2024) has announced Chris Albrecht as their new General Manager.

WEST VIRGINIA Petersburg - Taylor Hospitality welcomed Christina Eads as General Manager of the newly opened Hermitage Inn and Taphouse.

Pyle

Bakke

Events DC has hired Dennis G. Carew Jr as their new Director of Sales. The American Society of Association executives has hired a variety of industry professionals. Deirdre “Dee” Clemmons has joined ASAE as Vice President of Enterprise Sales. In this role, Dee will implement a multi-year strategy to expand, energize and optimize the performance of ASAE’s enterprise-wide sales portfolio. Morgan Maravich will be their new Vice President of Development, providing leadership to a critical role in support of the ASAE Research Foundation, carrying out all development programs, campaigns and special events that support the Foundation’s work on behalf of the association community, as well as managing donor relationships and recognition programs. In addition, Mark Graham, who for more than two decades served in various roles with CEO Update, is joining ASAE as lead for business analytics. Lynn McNutt, who also served more than 20 years with CEO Update, is joining ASAE as lead for career and workforce solutions.

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ULTIMATELY

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!