Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine May/June 2022 Issue

Page 1


EVENTS May | June 2022

A Breath of Fresh

FAM Trips

in the Air Yoga and Sound Immersion Meditation on the outdoor deck at the Hyatt Place Dewey Beach, DE

Your Oceanfront Resort & Conference Center in Your Victorian Cape May, NJ Just steps away from the Atlantic Ocean • • •

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CONTENTS May z June 2022


EVENTS May | June 2022

Yoga and Sound Immersion Meditation on the outdoor deck at the Hyatt Place Dewey Beach, DE

A Breath of Fresh


FAM Trips

PAGE 64 - The very popular Mount Airy Casino Resort’s full-service Spa in Mount Pocono, PA

in the Air

ion Meditation on the outdoor Yoga and Sound Immers

deck at the Hyatt Place Dewey

Beach, DE



Golf Outings and Outdoor Adventures Getting groups outside for team building and recreation


Enticing Destinations Locations with new offerings and some familiar favorites


More Than Meets The Eye Venues with unexpected offerings for meetings and events


Concerts, Festivals and Summer Fun Places to visit and things to do this summer season

PAGE 74 - Rooftop dining at The Exchange, Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square in Lancaster, PA


16 Tips for Choosing a Venue 40 Guest Experiences: Catering, Restaurants, Food & Beverage 51 Sage Advice: Tips for Catered Events 59 Room Keys: On The Boardwalk LOCATiON REpORTS 60 pennsylvania: Lehigh Valley; Luzerne County; pocono Mountains; Hershey & Harrisburg; Lancaster County; Gettysburg; Altoona; and pittsburgh 84 Welcome Back! FAM Trips & Dine-Arounds 92 Around The Region 96 EventMakers PAGE 85 - Bistro on Bridge's rooftop bar was the final stop during the Chester County CVB's Versatile Venues DineAround in Phoenixville, PA 8

May z June 2022

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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nasuti & Hinkle, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sage Catering, TeamBonding

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

EDITORIAL OFFICES 1800 Byberry Rd Ste 901, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006 215-947-8600 editor@eventsmagazine.com Opinions expressed in editorial submissions contributed to Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine are those of the individual authors exclusively and do not represent the opinions of Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine, its staff, its advertisers, or its readership. Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine and Tri-State Events Magazine, Inc. assume no liability or responsibility for independently contributed editorial submissions or any typographical errors, mistakes, misprints, or missing information within advertising copy.

- Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau - Discover Lancaster

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

- Green Meetings Industry Council - Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association

Vol. 35, No.4

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.

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800-992-9732 | WildwoodsCC.com

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Back porch at Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone, MD; photo courtesy: Golden Entertainment

Golf Outin ­10 May­z June­2022

With the weather turning warmer and the appeal of the outdoors resonating with so many, planners are looking for opportunities to get their groups outside, whether for golf, team building, walking tours, bonfires on the beach, exploring parks and historical sites, or an array of other options. According to Kate Young, marketing events manager at Crossbeam, planning an outdoor event in the New York City area always offers appeal to attendees. In fact, destinations that boast skyline views and offer access to a wide range of options for activities, dining and venues are very desirable, as is the convenience of getting to and getting around within the city. Another attractive city is Philadelphia, which is home to one of Young’s favorite spots, Cira Green. “But my favorite outdoor event took place at the Philadelphia Zoo - having animal handlers come around with animals was something you couldn't get anywhere else,” Young recalls. Ronnye Schreiber, CEO of PlanetConnect, says that activities like yoga on the beach or holding a beach party with a bonfire and roasting s'mores is a fun way to get attendees outside and having a good time. One of her favorite venues is Ocean Place Conference Center in Long Branch, NJ. “It’s right on the beach, and we have used them for years. My clients are pleased with the layout, the food.” “There are many benefits of getting a corporate group outside, especially when visiting a place as picturesque as Rocky Gap Casino Resort,” observes Brian Kurtz, general manager for Rocky Gap in Flintstone, MD. “Many corporate settings require employees to sit at a desk throughout the day, either in an office or when working from home, which limits employee movement and access to fresh air and vitamin D. Too often, employees may get caught up in work and forget to go on a walk, attend an exercise class, or step outside.”


Outdoor ngs Adventures Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­11

“It’s our goal to help groups spend time outdoors at Lake Habeeb and the adjacent Rocky Gap State Park,” Kurtz continues. “Taking in the beautiful scenery of these areas can help to decrease stress levels and replenish energy, which can lead to higher productivity levels at work and overall elevated quality of life. Participating in group activities together also can help to build stronger bonds among colleagues, creating an office culture that extends past the outing and into dayto-day work interactions.” One great choice for an outdoor group activity is golf. At Rocky Gap Golf Course, guests can enjoy Maryland’s only Jack Nicklaus designed course. The front nine is carved from mountainous, tree-lined terrain with dramatic elevation changes, while the back nine is spread across rolling meadows. “The slower, relaxed pace of the sport allows groups to bond and spend time getting to know each other, and can even promote healthy and friendly competition,” notes Kurtz. “For groups of different experience levels on the course, Rocky Gap offers golf lessons taught by experienced professionals.” In addition, Rocky Gap offers a wide variety of other outdoor activities groups can enjoy. There is a boathouse on Lake Habeeb where groups can rent paddle boards, canoes, kayaks, pedal pontoon boats and fishing gear. The resort’s spacious grounds offer several fire pits surrounded by oversized chairs for lounging, as well as bocce and cornhole games. Adjacent to the property, Rocky Gap State Park offers an expansive area for hiking, biking and exploring. Over the last two years, a lot of people have discovered - or rediscovered the wonders of the great outdoors, ­12 May­z June­2022

notes LaToya Wakefield, director of sales for The Otesaga Resort Hotel. “They become more relaxed and at peace when they’re communing with nature. They’re able to be present in the moment, appreciate the world around them, and put everything into perspective.” “Outdoor activities benefit participants’ physical and mental health, and that in turn - has an impact on how a group works together,” Wakefield continues. “At The Otesaga Resort Hotel, we have an enviable location on the shores of Otsego Lake in the heart of Cooperstown, NY… nicknamed ‘Glimmerglass.’ We offer a location that’s literally and figuratively reflective, and that’s more important now than ever.” Considered one of the East Coast’s most scenic and challenging golf courses, Leatherstocking Golf Course at The Otesaga offers a premier golfing experience in a picturesque, natural setting that challenges all skill levels. The course features 18 holes of rolling terrain and elevation changes, and finishes along the shoreline of Otsego Lake. “We offer golf clinics, which teach everyone - no matter if they’re beginners or seasoned players - something new or different. Everyone leaves with a sense of accomplishment and a new skill, which puts them in a good frame of mind as they get down to the work at hand,” adds Wakefield. This year, The Otesaga introduced a new outdoor “Shinrin-Yoku” or “forest bathing” session that focuses on practicing mindfulness and developing a deeper connection with nature. Similarly, teams can participate in a tai chi hike, which not only gets them into the resort’s scenic natural surroundings, but also teaches things like correct posture, breathing and core movement

- all of which can be helpful for people who spend their days sitting at a desk or typing on a keyboard. “We’re really focused on wellness these days, just as our guests are,” notes Wakefield. In Delaware County, PA, there are plenty of things to do outdoors, with all sorts of activities, adventures and opportunities that groups can enjoy, notes Amy Bohr, director of marketing for Visit Delco, PA. With 650 protected acres of woodland, meadows, and seasonal events and activities, Tyler Arboretum is a delight for nature lovers, birders, botanists, and those who want rediscover the natural world. Evening Wildflower Walks take place here throughout the year on select days, weather permitting, and private, one-hour, seasonal specialized guided tours can be arranged. Additional outdoor adventures and tours can be enjoyed at Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College and also at Chanticleer Garden, which offers group and guided tours by appointment only. Ridley Creek State Park, the J. Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, and at Newlin Grist Mill are also great places in Delaware County for those who want to explore the outdoors and get closer to nature. At Linvilla Orchards there is plenty of outdoor fun with “pick your own” opportunities, seasonal hayrides, and the Ship Bottom Beer Garden. Brandywine River Museum of Art offers studio tours, tours of the National Historic Landmark Keurner Farm, and of its wildflower and native plant gardens, too. Sports enthusiasts can book suites for Union home games at Subaru Park,


16701 Lakeview Road NE | Flintstone, MD 21530 | 800.724.0828 | 301.784.8400 | rockygapresort.com

Management reserves all rights. For help, visit mdgamblinghelp.org or call 1.800.GAMBLER.

The historic skipjack, Wilma Lee Annapolis Maritime Museum, is available for private charters; photo courtesy: Visit Annapolis; credit: © Jay Fleming

while those who are interested in enjoying a relaxing glass of wine in a serene setting can enjoy tastings and more at Penn’s Woods Winery or at Grace Winery. For those looking to host corporate events in the outdoors, Bohr notes that Tyler Arboretum is home to a tented terrace along with its Lachford Hall Porch and Patio for group functions. Penn’s Woods Winery features a pavilion for group events, and Subaru Park’s luxury suites provide a great atmosphere. Additional offerings in terms of outdoor event space can be found at Grace Winery, with its recently reopened barn that is home to the venue’s winery and tasting room. Newlin Grist Mill features both a log cabin and a picnic area, while the Corinthian Yacht Club offers outdoor function space, as does Harrah’s Philadelphia in Chester on its seasonal outdoor Patio at The Grandstand. Hosting a corporate group outside provides an excellent opportunity to showcase a destination, observes Susan Seifried, vice president, public relations ­14 May­z June­2022

and communications for Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Having attendees experience some of the fun things to do while they’re in town for business helps to plant the seed for future visits. It also encourages participants to linger longer once the conference is over. Being outside in the fresh air often can lead to a more productive meeting, as well, Seifried asserts. “It tends to reduce tension and opens the door to creative problem solving. Want to host some creative team building experiences? Try the outdoors.” “We always encourage groups to get out on the water and experience the Chesapeake Bay during a relaxing cruise or team building activity,” she adds. “They can join a regularly scheduled public cruise or charter a boat and craft their own unique adventures. Annapolis Sailing Cruises offers team building aboard its twin 74-foot wooden schooners, Woodwind and Woodwind II, one of which was featured in the movie The Wedding Crashers. In addition to offering public cruises, the historic skipjack, Wilma Lee, is available for charter, as are ves-

sels from Watermark’s fleet.” Home to more than 500-miles of shoreline, Annapolis and Anne Arundel County offer nearly endless ways to get out on the water, enjoy the sunshine, and explore nature. Schooner Woodwind and Woodwind II owner Captain Jennifer Kaye notes, "Sailing on the Chesapeake is the perfect platform for small meetings. You are literally, all on the same boat, experiencing the same thing while talking business or just getting to know everyone. When we ask people to steer, you can see how excited they are to try something new." All Watermark yachts offer full-service bars, climate-controlled interiors, and open upper-decks. They partner with professional caterers who can customize a variety of dining experiences, including formal gourmet dinners, Chesapeake Bay crab feasts, and home-style barbecues. Sandy Point State Park joins more than 137 county parks and natural resource areas encompassing 54-miles of paved trails in Anne Arundel, making it easy for groups to choose the outing

that’s right for them, whether they’re in the mood to hike or bike, or launch a kayak or canoe. Golfing is available at the public golf course, The Preserve at Eisenhower, a remake of the Eisenhower Golf course that first opened in 1969. Here, project architect Andrew Green combined the history of the original course with an emphasis on sustainability and a focus on environmental stewardship. Honey’s Harvest Farm provides fun and healthy farm experiences and nutrient dense food and medicine. They share the wisdom and insights of permaculture and nature’s organic ways. Honey’s Harvest offers private wellness retreats that can be customized for up to 18 guests depending on on-site lodging needs.

Outdoor spaces provide a positive way to strengthen relationships between co-workers and improve morale by getting out in nature, says Courtney Babcock, director of sales for the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau. “Outdoor venues also have an implied safety component offering space to distance and fresh air.” Golf is among the top outdoor options, Babcock observes. “Besides being an engaging, brain-stimulating activity, golf also takes place in beautiful, natural environments and this alone has several benefits. Breathing fresh air, being in the sun, admiring gorgeous views, and enjoying a change of scenery all have a refreshing effect on the mind and body and will leave participants revitalized. Finally, fun golf games promote a healthy, competitive spirit. It is an excellent opportunity for

remote workers to spend quality time together while perfecting their golf skills.” Chester County offers a host of golf courses for play, tournaments and special events. Ron Jaworski’s Downingtown Country Club, for example, features multiple spaces for groups ranging from 15 to 300 with comprehensive packages personalized to match needs and budget. Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester is another where groups can “play nine and dine” for team building, and the Penn Oaks Golf Academy offers individual or group golf lessons. A large pavilion provides a taste of the outdoors under cover for events all year long. United Sports has 11 outdoor fields and can host activities such as soccer, flag football, kickball, cornhole, and

Boardroom Business Meets Boardwalk Bliss. In Ocean City, Maryland, the sun, sand and sea don’t just set the stage for a dreamy beach getaway. They refresh the vibe and rejuvenate the group during busy conferences, tradeshows, and meetings. With a thriving arts and culture community, excellent eats, 17 championship golf courses and Assateague National Seashore just down the road, attendees can work hard, and then play however they like. Plan your next event at ococean.com/explore-oc/meetingsand-conventions

Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­15

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Venue SIZE MATTERS: Are you incorporating team building into the event? If you are, you might want to check with your team building facilitator before booking a space to make sure it fits the activity.

PICK UP ON THE VIBES: The ambiance of a venue definitely can influence the mood and some venues are just not meant for the type of gathering you might be planning. This is why it’s important to actually see the venue in person before making any decisions. Make sure that when you visit it feels like the right place for your group.

LOCATION IS KEY: Finding a place with a convenient location (at least for most) will help keep your attendance number high.

FIND OUT WHAT’S INCLUDED: When working within a budget, finding a venue that includes it all might be your best bet. However, you’ll need to put in the time and research - make a list of the different location ideas that interest you and what each of them offers so you can do a comparison.

DON’T FORGET DETAILS: Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big impact. Is there accessible parking or will guests need to be bussed in? Does the venue have good reviews? Make sure to do some searching around to find feedback about the service and quality of the venues.

For over 20 years, TeamBonding has offered a unique combination of experience and expertise that clients can count on when it comes to delivering exciting, memorable events, whether in-person or online.

www.teambonding.com ­16 May­z June­2022

Leatherstocking Golf Course 18th Hole, The Otesaga

spike ball. The stadium turf field is near to its full-service restaurant and can seat up to 80 people, while private rooms are adjacent to the fields, as is tented space available for events. Treetop event spaces are a special way to take a group outdoors and create a memorable experience at Treehouse World, which also offers adventure activities like zip-lining or axe throwing. Finally, wind down on the river at Northbrook Canoe Company’s Canoe and Dine where one can expect an exciting and delicious adventure. Groups can pair up for a relaxing hour-long canoe trip and return to a catered dinner in Northbrook’s picnic grove. Live music and a bonfire under the stars add to this charming experience. In the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, fresh air rejuvenates and promotes a healthy work/life balance for corporate groups, explains Brian Bossuyt, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the Pocono Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Take inspiring hikes together, bike trails that connect everyone with nature and each other, and, if you are seeking added adventure, take to treetop ropes courses or zip lines.” Outdoor activities also get everyone out of their comfort zones a bit, which can help motivate teams to adopt new ways of thinking, Bossuyt observes. Team building can be incorporated into the experience, in turn helping to improve company culture. “The Pocono Mountains features outdoor activities throughout all four seasons which provides variety for attendees on return visits.” Many properties in the Poconos offer hiking trails, biking, canoeing, kayaking and golf directly on-site. Treetop courses, zip lining, off-roading adventures are available at a few properties in the Poconos, as well. In addition, there are state and national parks, downtown districts and agritourism experiences to enjoy throughout the region, too. “The Poconos is home to golf courses that are accustomed to entertaining groups and tournaments with a great deal of history intertwined with course layouts that golfers of all abilities will

love,” asserts Bossuyt. “Pocono Raceway is a must-visit when in the Pocono Mountains. Get behind the wheel of a real stock car on the Tricky Triangle or ride shotgun. Rent a UTV and go offroading. Then sample what comes from Pocono Organics, a farm that is making headlines for its agricultural and culinary products.” “Pocono Whitewater takes you for an adventure on the river for some whitewater rafting or paddling, and then go pedaling on a bike trail. Or take aim at the largest paintball park in the country in Skirmish Paintball,” he adds. “Friendly competition in the fresh air is a great way to encourage positive emotions and reduce stress within your team,” observes David Goldstein, COO (creator of opportunities) for TeamBonding. “Especially after COVID,

being outside offers peace of mind, not only to individuals, but as a team. The bonding that happens when people are away from the familiarity of their daily routine can drastically increase employee morale.”

doors are: lower stress levels; restoration of mental energy; improved outlook; enhanced focus and creativity; improved overall health; boosting of team morale; and building a positive company culture.

“We have quite the selection of outdoor activities, including: High Tech Scavenger Hunts, which are equipped with iPads using augmented reality; the Build A Boat event, where teams sink or swim; the Art Heist Experience, a true crime walking theater event; and one of my favorites based on my time as a camp counselor at Bobby Clarke's camp, our Summer Camp Throwback. New this summer is Game of Drones and - coming soon – Team Disc Golf,” says Goldstein.

All great reasons to get groups outside and for enjoying outdoor adventures. With so many opportunities and options available throughout the region, groups will have a great time soaking up the benefits of a day spent reconnecting with nature – and each other.

Goldstein says that among the top benefits of taking a team event out-



Gather your team for an inspiring lakeside retreat in the heart of Upstate New York. Experience the di昀erence of our charming accommodations, versatile meeting spaces, and gracious hospitality. Spend your downtime playing 18 championship holes on Leatherstocking Golf Course. Discover the elegance and sophistication of The Otesaga.

OTESAGA.COM | 800.348.6222 The Otesaga is taking COVID-19 very seriously and following strict guidelines for the health and safety of our guests. For details visit Otesaga.com/otesaga-care.

Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­17

The Riverfront in Wilmington, DE boasts a wide range of offerings and events, such as Fourth of July celebrations where people gather for great views of both the riverfront and the festivities; photo courtesy: Greater Wilmington CVB

­18 May­z June­2022


Destinations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region are experiencing a strong resurgence, with many offering a range of new choices as well as some familiar favorites for planners of meetings, conventions, special events and group travel. Featuring a growing list of offerings that appeal to a wide range of audiences, these places attract both meetings and tourism. Here is a look at what’s happening in a few select areas that boast a number of enticing opportunities. Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­19

Rendering of the Ocean Tower Emperor Suite living room at Caesars Resort Casino in Atlantic City, NJ

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ There is always a lot happening in Atlantic City, an oceanfront town that is constantly changing and evolving. It has been enticing vacationers and gaming enthusiasts for generations, and in recent decades has been a top draw for meetings, conventions and events, as well as those seeking fine dining and celebrity chef culinary experiences. One of the newest food and beverage offerings in the city is Sandpiper Coastal Bar and Grill at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, a new coastal tapas experience with free-flowing shared dishes. Caesars Entertainment recently announced that Gordon Ramsay HELL’S KITCHEN, the restaurant inspired by the globally popular FOX television series, is set to open in Caesars Atlantic City this summer. This will be Chef Ramsay’s third restaurant in Atlantic City, joining Gordon Ramsay Steak at Harrah’s Resort and Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill at Caesars. “Caesars Entertainment is committed to leading Atlantic City’s evolution as one of the country’s modern-day capitals for entertainment, sports, and world-class culinary experiences,” explains John Koster, regional president for Caesars Entertainment’s Eastern Division. On the heels of its 40th anniversary celebration last year, Tropicana Atlantic City will debut eight new dining and entertainment concepts starting this summer and will undergo gaming enhancements to further the resort’s evolution. The new additions and enhancements are part of Caesars Entertainment’s commitment to invest $400-million into its Atlantic City resorts by 2023, including the addition of NOBU Atlantic City, and a new show by Spiegelworld in 2023 at Caesars. ­20 May­z June­2022

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

Located just outside of Philadelphia,

Scranton, PA

Delaware County is easily accessible from Philadelphia International Airport,

New York, NY

Delaware County

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

Philadelphia, PA

Harrisburg, PA

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

Baltimore, MD

Atlantic City, NJ

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

Washington, D.C.


Lou Marrocco, Director of Meetings & Events Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­21 LMarrocco@visitdelcopa.com

The beach at The Wildwoods, NJ, an attractive destination among corporate groups, sports tournaments, trade shows and family vacationers alike.

New restaurants at Tropicana include: Wild Honey Smokehouse and Tavern in The Quarter (opened in April); Ossu Japanese Tavern (Memorial Day weekend); Hash House A Go Go; Purple Zebra daiquiri bar (Fourth of July); Gin Rickey’s, featuring nightly live performances and dueling pianos; plus three dining destinations coming onboard this fall - The Royce Social Hall, a beer hall meets adult rec room and entertainment destination; Il Verdi gets a new beachfront location and redesign; and Hawthorne and Cork, which offers an intimate, refined signature bar and lounge experience. Gaming enhancements at Tropicana will further add to its already strong dining, nightlife, and entertainment portfolio, as the property continues to transform into a casino of the future.

80,000-square feet of space. If more space is needed, the property is connected to and partners with The Claridge, A Radisson Hotel, that can offer more space and additional hotel rooms.

For a relaxed culinary experience, Waterdog at Bally’s Atlantic City blends craft casual cuisine with New York-style deli favorites. Meanwhile, The oceanfront property features nearby Cuzzie’s Pizzeria Kitchen feaover 1,200 rooms, gaming, the new tures wild and unique pizza combiFanDuel Sportsbook, live entertain- nations. ment, a rotating bar, a beer garden, a beach bar, and ten dining outlets, The recently opened Dougherty’s including five new restaurants that Steakhouse and Raw Bar at Resorts were introduced at the property in Casino Hotel is owned and operated 2021. by the Dougherty family, Atlantic City restaurateurs and staple in the AC For large parties, or when restaurants are at capacity, visit Dining On dining scene for more than 120 The Sixth and enjoy menu items for years.

Guy Fieri’s Chophouse, Jerry Longo’s Martinis and Meatballs, Red Bowl 88 or The Yard. Live entertainment includes the area’s hottest DJs and favorite local bands in both intimate settings and large party atmospheres Bally’s Atlantic City is an escape at venues like Carousel Bar, The Yard, overlooking the beach and board- Jerry Longo’s Meatballs and Martiwalk. With over $100 million in nis, Water Dog, Bally’s Beach Bar planned renovations to its hotel (seasonally) and Bally’s Showroom. rooms, hotel lobby, lobby bar, and indoor/outdoor entertainment venue in American Bar and Grille, a new 2022. For meetings, Bally's boasts eatery at Borgata Hotel Casino and ­22 May­z June­2022

Spa, serves up classic grill favorites influenced by global flavors.

Nola's Bar and Lounge is just steps from the casino floor at Ocean Casino Resort with rich wooden walls, emerald accents, and a stunning 35-foot bar. Showboat Hotel launched NJ’s largest arcade, Lucky Snake, which also includes a sports bar, boxing ring, indoor venues for live entertainment, a speakeasy, and convention and meeting space.

Create lasting, beachside memories at Lighthouse Cove Event Center, featuring over 18,000-square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor event space overlooking Rehoboth Bay in the heart of Dewey Beach. The team at Lighthouse Cove can customize private or corporate events for the ultimate waterfront experience. For overnight accommodations, its sister property, Hyatt Place Dewey Beach, is home to spacious guest rooms, a heated indoor swimming pool, and The Lighthouse Restaurant, which serves coastal American cuisine and boasts outdoor seating and waterfront dining. The Placery, located at the lobby bar, features a thoughtfully sourced, cleverly curated menu, while The Market offers a selection of grab-and-go items.

Pat Fasano, developer and investor in the Orange Loop and owner of Bourré on New York Avenue, recently added shipping containers to create an outdoor court and bar, as well as viewing areas for live music in the Orange Loop Arena outdoor stage. Also noteworthy, the Atlantic City Convention Center and Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall became the state’s first convention center and arena to achieve GBAC STAR facility accreditation. Boardwalk Hall went through a $10-million renovation, too, featuring the Atlantic City Experience.

WILDWOODS, NJ As visitors make their way over the bridge and onto the island, they are greeted by the new “Welcome to the Wildwoods” Doo Wop style sign with its vivid colors and lighting, setting the tone for the fun that lies ahead. The new Gateway also features a digital billboard announcing the latest events and information. This five-mile island has appealed to visitors for over a century, boasting expansive clean, free and safe beaches with plenty of room to spread out. These beaches offer Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­23

First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, VA; photo courtesy: Virginia Beach CVB

Just minutes outside of Washington, DC, Prince George’s County, MD offers a blend of experiences in a unique destination that is home to over 12,000 guestrooms and more than 850,000-square feet of meeting and exhibit space in exceptional venues like Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center and the MGM National Harbor Resort and Casino. More outstanding options include The HOTEL at University of Maryland, the College Park Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Crowne Plaza College Park, Harborside Hotel and many others. One of the area’s hottest attractions, National Harbor, is situated on the banks of the Potomac River and features boutique shops, restaurants, water activities and world-class entertainment in a very walkable area. Groups will find nearly limitless options for fun and entertainment, such as TopGolf, breweries, the Legacy Wine Trail, and golf courses nearby. Plus, there are working farms, historical landmarks, art districts and museums in Prince George's County, too. ­24 May­z June­2022

award-winning tranquility while also providing the opportunity to enjoy exciting activities on and in the water. The Wildwoods also is home to the largest collection of mid-20th century architecture in the country, known as “Doo Wop Architecture,” with the opportunity to enjoy a self-guided tour on foot or by car to witness the bright neon signs, vibrant architecture and colorful motel names. During the summer season there’s a free fireworks extravaganza on the beach every Friday night, visible from almost anywhere on the boardwalk and throughout the island. The nearby Cape May County Park and Zoo features a collection of more than 550 animals and is a fun for all ages. For meeting and convention goers, the Wildwoods Convention Center is a modern, multipurpose facility equipped with exhibit, ballroom, meeting and pre-function space. Situated on the boardwalk and its “two miles of smiles,” this unique convention center overlooks the beach and ocean. A state-of-the-art, 260,000-square foot facility, it offers one of the most spacious, flexible, innovative and inviting venues available for groups as small as 100 or as large as 10,000.











Snuff Mill Restaurant, Butchery and Wine Bar, offering up delectable fare in Wilmington; photo courtesy: Greater Wilmington, DE CVB

WILMINGTON, DE Riverfront Wilmington is an attractive destination that offers something for everyone. Home to indoor and outdoor activities and dining, as well as attractions for all ages, its open areas and larger venues make it a popular choice for corporate events. The area is home to multiple dining options, museums, concerts, an IMAX theater, and even a minor league baseball team, the Wilmington Blue Rocks. This diversity of attractions and multiple hotels make it a great place for leisure travel, too. The Riverfront is easily accessible, including via a newly completed bridge, and offers an abundance of free parking. “The summer is definitely the time of year with the most to do along the Riverfront,” notes Joe Valenti, marketing manager, Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware. “Our mini golf course returns for the season, as well as the popular beer garden. We offer bike rentals to tour the Riverwalk, and will have free live music at several venues throughout the riverfront. Additionally, our popular tour boat and tiki boat happy hour cruise will return for the summer and fall.” Chase Center on the Riverfront is the Wilmington area's premier event and meeting venue, with over 70,000-square feet of space that includes two ballrooms, as well as a 20,000-square foot exhibit hall. For overnight guest, Chase Center is connected to the Westin Wilmington Hotel, while just steps away are the Homewood Suites and the Hyatt Place Hotel.

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SUSSEX COUNTY, DE Southern Delaware is home to FiveStar beaches, bays, waterways, and trails. It is full of meeting-friendly venues, too, for groups of 25 to 500 and a range of accommodations from oceanfront luxury to budget-friendly. For dining, the area offers everything from boardwalk fries to fine dining along its Culinary Coast™. Year-round outdoor adventure, watersports, indoor activities, and entertainment are among its many offerings, as are tax-free shopping, dining, and meeting space. Consisting of more than 20 small, historic seaside, bayside, rural and riverside towns and five state parks, each has its own distinct personality and culinary contributions, as well as museums, outdoor adventures, events, entertainment experiences, and incredible scenery. Southern Delaware’s accommodations and tourism partners can create custom experiences for visitors, collaborating with corporate meeting planners, group leaders, and fellow tourism professionals to build tailored, memorable visits. “Our abundant outdoor adventure, team building, and relaxation options, our Culinary Coast™ dining, and our wide variety of meeting and retreat venues make Southern Delaware a fantastic destination for businesses wanting to gather their employees or clients in more open, less urban settings, yet with all the big city amenities they expect,” observes Tina Coleman, communications manager for Southern Delaware Tourism.


CULINARY CHALLENGE Cook, Compete and Connect with the Chester County Hospitality Industry The surprise theme includes both a food and cocktail challenge.


An Exclusive Event for Meeting and Event Planners Hosted by the Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau

For more information, contact Courtney Babcock at Courtney@BrandywineValley.com Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­27

Mural Fest in Virginia Beach, VA; photo courtesy: Virginia Beach CVB

The area also is home to seven signature golf courses along with Sports at the Beach, Sandhill Fields, and DE Turf, providing opportunities to plan beach vacations in conjunction with sports tournaments.

Arrowhead Retreat Center’s Jane Clifton Ashford Center, new pavilion, lounge, state-of-the-art building and kitchen located in a secluded, protected area with a beach on a wooded property along Rehoboth Bay.

“Southern Delaware Tourism offers a ‘$300 for 30’ incentive. Businesses or groups that book 30 or more hotel room nights at a Sussex County property for a single event receive a $300 rebate from Southern Delaware Tourism upon proof of payment at time of stay,” explains Coleman. “Additionally, several tourism partners offer private group land or water tours, including Cape Water Tours and Delmarva Discovery Tours, and Quest Adventures, just to name a few.”

Bramble and Brine at the Buttery is a recently opened restaurant, and Lewes Brewing Co. is projected to open this coming fall. Starboard Claw is opening in the former Hammerheads Dewey Beach property with outdoor dining available. Additional new or soon-to-open options include: Bethany Bay Brewing; Ocean View Brewing; Agave Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar; and Lewes Oyster House.

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA This year, there are a number of new activities, events, accommodations, venues, restaurants and more in Southern Delaware. A few highlights include: Hyatt House Lewes-Rehoboth Beach; Avid Hotel Millsboro; Hotel Bethany Beach; and Camp ­28 May­z June­2022

Virginia Beach’s coastal beauty, accessible location and mild climate make for an enticing visit any time of the year. Stretching along 35-miles of shoreline, the city is ideal for marrying business or

Virginia Aquarium; photo courtesy: Virginia Beach CVB

sports travel with an extended vacation. Its three-mile boardwalk is an ideal place to bike, blade, jog or stroll while enjoying panoramic views of the ocean set against a backdrop of outdoor festivals and seasonal entertainment across three oceanfront stages. Summer is prime beach season and tops everyone’s must-visit list, but several special events add to the area’s allure this year. Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art opens its highly-anticipated “A Study of Water” exhibit by renowned artist Maya Lin, on view through September 4, 2022. The East Coast Surfing Championships, the world’s longest continuously-running surfing competition, celebrates its diamond anniversary August 21-28 as a stop on the World Surf League tour with numerous other activities that showcase the beach sports lifestyle. Step into the creative ViBe District August 20-27 to see the walls of local buildings come alive during MuralFest, and the Boardwalk Art Show returns October 21-23 with juried works available for sale by 200 artists. Enjoy expansive views of the Chesapeake Bay and the ocean at Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach, or explore the trails winding through the maritime forest environment of First Landing State Park. The beauty of the sea is complemented by the vibrant displays and original work of artisans throughout the ViBe District, and the Virginia Beach Sports Center is the East Coast’s largest and newest indoor sports complex on the same campus as Virginia Beach’s LEED Gold Convention Center. Virginia Beach Town Center is just ten minutes from the shore and offers a performing arts center, restaurants, shopping and entertainment, plus free concerts and festivals throughout the year. Each of these destinations, along with many others throughout the region, are providing planners with enticing options for upcoming meetings and events. They all have much to offer when it comes to recreation and leisure travel, as well, adding to their allure. Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­29

The Pool offers indoor and outdoor fun and relaxation amid all of the excitement and plentiful offerings of Harrah’s Resort an

More Than Meet ­30 May­z June­2022

d Casino in Atlantic City, NJ

ts The Eye

With meetings and events beginning to ramp up once again, many planners are looking for venues and experiences for attendees that go above and beyond in terms of unique spaces, unexpected offerings, and opportunities for out-of-the-box experiences, and one-of-akind settings. Such venues can be found all throughout the region, sometimes in unexpected settings or in properties that offer more than at first meets the eye. In the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, Kalahari Resort and Conventions has more than 200,000-square feet of meeting and exhibit space, on-site audio-visual, a worldclass culinary team, activities for all ages, and an event management team that works to customize each event based on the clients' goals and vision for their program. From its custom-crafted artwork on the convention center’s walls to furniture in its guest rooms, recorded music from the streets of Cape Town and original crafts as guest souvenirs, Kalahari has a passion for sharing the beauty of Africa with its resort guests. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions also is committed to giving back to the people, places and cultures that have inspired its creative style and setting through fostering entrepreneurship and collaborating with a variety of business and philanthropic partners. One very unique characteristic of the resort is that its entire convention center is situated on a single level, allowing for easy flow through areas for networking and breaks, as well as seamless transitions between events and an easy to navigate space. Whether planning custom menus and doing tastings directly with the property’s culinary team or theming meeting space around an Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­31

event's goals, Kalahari prides themselves on going above and beyond expectations so that event attendees can have an amazing experience. As an example of their creative approach, Kalahari recently hosted a group whose vision for their event was a “Through the Decades” theme. The property’s team coordinated to bring in vehicles, décor and accessories that showcased each decade that was to be part of the theme. A cover band was brought in for the evening to play theme appropriate music, and decade-themed drink specials were included - all organized by Kalahari’s on-site event managers.

is widely known as the largest hotel conference complex from Baltimore to Boston with two 50,000-square foot ballrooms divisible into multiple smaller breakouts that provide ultimate flexibility. This conference space is connected to the hotel and was built purposefully for larger conferences. It offers a dedicated kitchen with an excellent chef able to customize menus to suit any budget or taste. In 2022, a large capital investment is being made into the room product of the resort, as well as the restaurant offerings on-site.

“It was a huge hit among their attendees who had a vast range in ages,” notes Stephani L. Bann, CMP, assistant director of sales, Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Pocono Mountains.

Among the new food and beverage concepts coming to Harrah’s Atlantic City are Nobu, Purple Zebra, Hash House A Go Go, Guy Fieri Chicken and more, adding to existing concepts such as Gordon Ramsay Steak and Il Verde.

Another great venue with some unexpected offerings is Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. The casino property

“Our sales people are located around the country in your destination,” notes Steve van der Molen, vice




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“A favorite always seems to be the Ocean Place Conference Center in Long Branch, NJ. Its ballroom size allows lots of flexibility, and the beach view alone is a reason to attend,” says Ronnye Schreiber, CEO, PlanetConnect.

president, meeting operations - Atlantic City for Caesars Entertainment. “They know the properties well and can not only check availability and quote rates, but be a great resource to help you plan an impactful conference. Our catering and convention services managers are knowledgeable and will help you with all of your needs from transportation from the airport to VIP experiences to meetings setup, catering and audio-visual providing a one-stop experience... We believe in partnering with our customers and understanding their objectives to meet their needs.” In addition to the state-of-the-art Waterfront Conference Center, the property also boasts unique offer-

ings like the Pool at Harrah’s, which is very popular for large opening and closing receptions, and it offers both in-door and outdoor space. “The theater is another option for a general session if more space is needed. Restaurant buyouts are common, as are dine-arounds. The catering and convention services team is flexible and will work with you to provide a memorable program,” notes van der Molen. The Lancaster County Convention Center boasts flexible and expansive meeting and expo space of over 90,000-square feet to accommodate groups from 10 or 5,000 people, and everything in between. The convention center also has

It's Time To Get Back to Meeting & Events Centerontheriverfront.com Wilmington, DE, 302-425-3929 ­34 May­z June­2022

Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Certification Accreditation, which is the highest standard of health safety protocols for conference venues – one of only two accredited convention centers in Pennsylvania. The center’s dedicated and experienced event planning team is always available to help make any event a seamless success. Connected to the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, everything planners may need for their meeting or event is available on-site, including hotel rooms, meeting space, and dining.

meeting rooms (Freedom Hall, Commonwealth Ballroom, and Heritage Ballroom) is accessible by escalators, providing attendees with convenient and quick access throughout the building,” notes Hans Schreiber, director of sales and marketing, Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square and Lancaster County Convention Center. “The center also is located in the heart of downtown Lancaster – from its historic elegance to its location in the very center of a walkable, easygoing city, the Lancaster County Convention Center provides a unique and welcoming location for events and meetings.”

“The stacked layout of the Lancaster Convention Center’s largest

Within the walls of the Lancaster County Convention Center is a re-



EVERY eve nt


"My experience at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philly as a director of events included finding fun ways to surprise guests, such as hidden galleries and special exhibits… My job and the events we hosted were constantly evolving," notes Kate Young, marketing events manager for Crossbeam.

IG event! B e th s i

(610) 431-8200 AdvancedStaging.com Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­35

"River House at Odette’s in New Hope, PA offers excellent meeting space, as well as great food and service... for a team break, bikes are available to connect directly behind the hotel to a canal bike path for exploring. On-site, as a meeting perk, guests have access to a private rooftop bar and lounge with fantastic river views... All of their outdoor verandas also have built-in infrared ceiling heaters, so inclement weather is one less worry." Terri M. Hegyi, director of meeting event management for ONE-CALL Concierge Specialist, OCS markable site that reveals Lancaster County’s rich and varied history, giving meeting attendees a look into its historical significance and that of the surrounding area. Currently in development, the Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith Historic Site and Museum on this site will share the story of two remarkable Americans and the pivotal role that Lancaster and the surrounding region played in the operation of the Underground Railroad. Commons on Vine is another unique offering at the convention center, as this room can be used in a variety of non-conventional, flexible and unexpected ways for entertaining attendees. For those seeking additional unique experiences, the Lancaster County Convention Center is just steps from Lancaster Central Market, Fulton Theatre, Clipper Magazine Stadium (home of the Lancaster Barnstormers, part of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, a "partner league" of Major League Baseball), art galleries and dozens of memorable dining and beverage experiences. What’s more, within a 10-minute drive of the convention center, attendees can enjoy the beauty, heritage, history and culture of the Lancaster County countryside and visit local Amish Country. Nestled on Independence Mall in the nation’s most historic square mile, the National Constitution Center is in ­36 May­z June­2022

the heart of Historic Philadelphia and boasts a breathtaking view of Independence Hall, where the U.S. Constitution was both drafted and signed. The center offers a dramatic and dignified setting for any event with 40,000-square feet of functional event space that includes: the Grand Hall Overlook with its 60-foot ceiling and sweeping windows; flags of all 50 states, Washington, DC, five U.S. territories, and a majestic American flag; and a new 50-ton marble tablet engraved with the 45 words of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Brûlée Catering, the National Constitution Center’s exclusive caterer, produces events of any scale with topnotch service, delectable cuisine and exquisite presentation. With a wide range of creative menus tailored to taste and budget, Brûlée’s team guides clients every step of the way. Additionally, the National Constitution Center can accommodate clients’ audio-visual needs in-house or through its exclusive on-site provider, Advanced Staging Productions, who offer a high level of technical expertise and attention to detail for each event. But the National Constitution Center offers more than a spectacular event venue - its must-see exhibits and live performances both enlighten and entertain. The center’s acclaimed museum experiences include: Free-

venues · conventions · trade shows festivals · concerts · consulting

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From the company that launched The Winery at Bull Run, Union Stage, Capital Turnaround, and that manages Whitehall Annapolis, IMPACT Collective’s latest offering is Tacaro Estate, Maryland’s newest premier event venue. Overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, Tacaro features a sprawling historic mansion and quaint English brick stables, 78-acres of vast lawns and woods, sweeping views of pastures, barns, meadows, and boats sailing on the bay. It also features a Belle-Epoque period bar and lounge where event attendees can enjoy this Speak-Easy for a late night after party.

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GO FOR BUSINESS. STAY FOR PLEASURE. • 160,000 square feet of private, flexible meeting space • 70,000 square feet Event Center • 20 meeting rooms on one dedicated level • 90,000 square feet of unique outdoor spaces set against a panoramic backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean • 5 destination restaurants and 10 casual dining options • Year-round indoor/outdoor pool and renowned Exhale Spa & Bathhouse • 13 cabanas with ocean front view BOOK YOUR MEETING OR EVENT TODAY. sales@theOceanAC.com 609-783-8300 l theOceanAC.com l Must be 21 or older to wager or consume alcohol. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

­38 May­z June­2022

dom Rising, a stirring, multimedia theatrical performance; The Story of We the People, an interactive exhibit that celebrates the Constitution’s legacy of freedom; Signers’ Hall, with 42 life-size bronze statues of the Founding Fathers; and both the Civil War and Reconstruction and The 19th Amendment exhibits. Ross Traphagen, marketing manager for the Historic Hotel Bethlehem, notes that his property features world-class service, charming guest accommodations, elegantly appointed lobby and common areas, award-winning cuisine in its Tap Room and at 1741 on the Terrace, plus banquet and meeting facilities that include a new 5,000-square foot Executive Conference Center. “We were named the #1 ‘Best Historic Hotel in America’ by USA

Better teamwork. Happier teams.

Today,” Traphagen exclaims. “We proudly continue the tradition of Bethlehem hospitality, which began on the site of our current hotel in 1741. This year, we also are celebrating our 100th Anniversary.” Not only does the hotel offer historic beauty, but it is centrally located in Historic Bethlehem. “Experience downtown Bethlehem, as we are located on one of the ‘Top 10 Main Streets’ in the country, according to USA Today,” notes Traphagen. “Shops, restaurants and history are all right outside of our front door. Historic Moravian Bethlehem is on the U.S. Tentative List for World Heritage Designation due to the authentic colonial history that is here. Enjoy our elegant accommodations and meeting space, then step out and enjoy all Bethlehem has to offer.” Not only is Bethlehem brimming with unique shopping, dining and history, but it also is known as the Christmas City. “During the holiday season, Bethlehem is full of beautiful decor, a live nativity, horse and carriage rides, and so much more. Bethlehem MusikFest is another popular event,” Traphagen adds. Each of these destinations offers planners unique settings and creative opportunities for their attendees to appreciate and enjoy. Incorporating these special spaces and services into their event will provide guests with memorable and sometimes unexpected experiences that will garner rave reviews. Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­39

Photo courtesy of Sage Catering

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Guest Experiences:

Food & Beverage Restaurants, caterers, breweries, distilleries and wineries throughout the region are featuring special offers, new additions, tips and more. Here is a sampling of what is currently available or being planned for individuals and groups.

Di Bruno Bros.

flavored spritz, creative cocktails, local beers and exclusive wines.

Di Bruno is celebrating the one-year anniversary of their Wayne, PA location on May 13-15, 2022 with a full, interactive “Eat. Shop. Learn. Experience!” event that invites attendees to explore and enjoy all that Di Bruno Bros. has to offer. Free samplings of their gourmet cuisine are being offered for the event, including: Cinco Jotas Ibérico Ham; Petrossian Caviar and Sparkling Wine; Uplands Cheese Pleasant Ridge Reserve and Le Bon Magot Tomato Chutney; Eclat Chocolates and Di Bruno Bros. Rosé; Isgros Mini Cannoli; a Mimosa Truck and more.

Enjoy Sunday in Center City and pop into Altimentari for an elevated brunch experience. Explore their daily offerings, as well as a selection of brunch dishes and cocktails that treat the senses to the finest ingredients and mouthwatering recipes.

The Di Bruno Bros. Wayne location features Bar Altimentari, Cafe Di Bruno, a Bottle Shop, Chef’s Counter, Pane Dolce, Di Bruno Bros. Catering, curbside pickup and more.

Di Bruno Bros. has been part of the fabric of Philadelphia since 1939, sharing culinary discoveries from around the corner and around the world. Altimentari continues that legacy in every sip and every bite by featuring Di Bruno Bros. products at every turn, including handmade burrata and mozzarella, house-made sausages and focaccia, Sicilian extra virgin olive oil, and their famous sweet and salty black lava cashews.

At Di Bruno’s Rittenhouse location in Philadelphia, a seat at Altimentari is a seat at their family table. Here, everything slows down, glasses clink in celebration, and each plate is savored with a passion. Altimentari means "to nourish," and Di Bruno Bros.’ goal is to nourish the appetite of their guests with a unique, casual dining experience of small plates, cheese and charcuterie, and Pizza alla Roma, and to nourish their spirits with seasonallyMid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­41

Valley Forge Casino Resort A full-amenity gaming and entertainment resort in King of Prussia, PA, Valley Forge Casino Resort opened Copper Whisk in March, a restaurant concept with an approachable, chef-driven take on breakfast and lunch, featuring classics and regionally inspired favorites. Copper Whisk joins the following lineup of food and beverage offerings at the casino: Revolution Chop House (classic upscale steakhouse); Valley Tavern (casual American food); quick-service food court offerings like the Italian Market, Asian Noodle and Dunkin Donuts. With an emphasis on breakfast and lunch service, Copper Whisk enhances culinary offerings on-site, and aims to serve early meals for gaming and hotel guests of the resort, as well to draw in new patrons looking for a casual restaurant or meeting destination. “Valley Forge Casino Resort is a dynamic property with so much to offer, from gaming and sports betting to live entertainment and hotel accommodations. The dining experiences on property have always been one of our strong suits, but we were missing one key element: an option for those looking for a casual early meal,” proclaims Ron Bailey, vice president and general manager for Valley Forge Casino Resort. “Copper Whisk fills that void in our existing food programming, serving as a welcoming and familiar spot for out-of-town guests and Boyd’s loyalty program members, as well as a go-to meeting spot for locals within the greater King of Prussia area.”

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PUT THE EXCLAMATION POINT ON YOUR EVENT WITH Mohegan Sun Pocono Three exciting new venues will officially debut in 2022 at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, PA, the first of which opened in late April with an all-new outdoor terrace bar, Embers Terrace. This new offering is home to Adirondack-style seating, fire pits, live weekend entertainment, dining options, an outstanding drink menu and more. Set to launch this summer in the old Bar Louie space will be The Hive Taphouse, equipped with a full dining menu, 20 beers on tap, a live music stage and its very own Topgolf Swing Suites.

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“These capital improvements as part of Project Starlight represent some of the most thrilling enhancements that we have ever announced at Mohegan Sun Pocono,” said Anthony Carlucci, president and general manager of Mohegan Sun Pocono. “These offerings not only will bolster our live entertainment, but they also bring a relaxing and fun-filled outdoor experience, as well as an amazing Topgolf Swing Suite venue.”

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In Our Place Or Yours, Make It An Unforgettable Event

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By the end of this year, Carlucci added, all 238 of the property’s guest rooms will be completely renovated and upgraded, as well. “We’ve already modeled a couple of rooms so far and the difference is remarkable. We’re confident that our guests are really going to love it,” he noted.


C AT E R I N G @ D I B R U N O . C O M | 2 1 5 - 6 6 5 - 1 6 5 9 D I B R U N O C AT E R I N G . C O M

continued on page 46


Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­43

Steak 48 Offers Premier Private Dining Options for Gatherings and Celebrations of all Forms

Photo Credit: Rachel Rosenstein Photography

­44 May­z June­2022

Jessica Kiefer,

Leo Barbuto,

Sales and Event Manager

General Manager

Let’s Talk Steak48 Philadelphia What is the allure of Steakhouses for meetings? • • • • • • • •

The diversity of the menu Trends come and go but steakhouses appeal to everyone Typically, the restaurants have a substantial blueprint including various sized private dining spaces Seasoned/professional waitstaff Quality & Consistent food Controlled environments Intimate and more conducive to discuss business Dedicated Sales professionals to organize every detail of the events along with onsite management

Jessica, how did you get involved in this industry? • I started in a Greek restaurant when I was 15 years old, tried my hand in the Corporate America but knew it wasn’t the right fit for me. Needed the controlled chaos and immersion of people which I perceive you can only find in event planning/restaurants. • Love that no day is ever the same • Nurturing personality, I like to take care of people and what better way besides feeding them amazing food, wining and dining.

Why Sales/Events vs. Operations? • They somewhat go hand in hand, but I like the personal connection and the whole planning process. • I always treat my groups like I am welcoming them into my home. True hospitality! • I also get to meet so many people that I most likely otherwise would not….athletes, movie stars, musicians, politicians and key figures in our community that truly impacted my life. • Planning events is my true passion, each having different needs/personalities…a fun challenge to figure out.

visit www.steak48.com or call 215.552.4848 Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­45

continued from page 43

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center Lounge area, Potomac District Café and Market at Gaylord National Resort

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

­46 May­z June­2022

Gaylord National Resort opened its new Potomac District Café and Market in National Harbor, MD this March. The 12,000-square foot space, located in the lower Atrium, underwent an $8million renovation following the resort’s $64-million guestroom renovation, completed in July 2021. The new restaurant concept boasts a specialty coffee bar, lounge area, sunroom and wine and cocktail room. The wine room features a wide selection of the top-selling wine brands and varietals in America. “Potomac District Café and Market has been designed to service large volumes of guests while providing high-quality fare,” said Dan McKeon, area general manager for Gaylord National Resort. “The café and market was created for both large convention groups as well as leisure guests and business travelers – making it easy to grab a quick drink or sit down and enjoy a meal in our beautiful garden Atrium.” The sophisticated eatery will provide all-day meal offerings with a selection of over 100 different beers, spirits and bottles of wine and over 40 chef-prepared to-go gourmet selections. Boasting sleek and comfortable productivity areas with charging and plug-in capabilities, event planners hosting meetings at the convention hotel will be able to utilize this space to gather attendees for a post-meeting drink or happy hour with refreshments.

FRANK'S Gaylord National Resort soon will announce further restaurant renovations, continuing to uphold its reputation for offering state-of-the-art dining experiences for groups, events and leisure travelers.

Wildwoods Beverage Tourism The Wildwoods, NJ offer a wide variety of locations for visitors to experience beverage tourism, including restaurants and eateries, as well as breweries, distilleries and nearby wineries. These favored Wildwoods landmarks embrace the local atmosphere by offering one-of-a-kind, Jersey Shore creations, and The Wildwoods provide the perfect setting to indulge with a unique seasonal beverage while savoring the fresh catch of the day amid breezy ocean air. The restaurant renaissance that started years ago in Cape May has spilled over into the Wildwoods, and a growing number of premier restaurants are now located throughout the five-mile island. The Wildwoods’ upscale restaurants offer memorable surroundings, remarkable cuisine and attentive service. Outdoor dining overlooking the ocean, the bay or the inland waterway is another unique way to enjoy dining in the Wildwoods.

Wine & Spirits

1206 N Union St Wilmington, DE 19806


FranksWine.com The choice to be alcohol free seems to be surpassing being a trend and moving toward a lifestyle for so many, including myself. The reasons are endless as to why someone chooses not to drink. We feel it’s important to also offer non-alcoholic beverages other than soda and water for those wanting to abstain from alcohol but who still would like to either feel included around friends or at events, stay on track, or those who just miss the taste without the alcohol.”

FranksWine now offers barNA to go where we come to you to serve non-alcoholic cocktails at events and parties. Contact us for more information! The spiritless old fashioned uses the Kentucky 74, a non-alcoholic spirits with a smooth finish, underpinned by familiar notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. The non-alcoholic margarita uses Ritual tequila alternative as it’s main ingredient. The tequila alternative has a green pepper nose and a grassy body, tempered with a hint of rock salt and backed by a clean burn. It’s perfect for a classic margarita.

NA Margarita • 1.5 oz Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative • 1 oz DHOS Orange non-alcoholic liqueur • 3/4 oz Lily’s Lime Juice cordial (or fresh squeezed lime juice) • 1/4 oz Stirrings Simple Syrup

- Combine all ingredients into shaker and strain into glass of your choice with ice. - Garnish with a lime wedge.

Spiritless Old Fashioned • 2 oz Kentucky 74 • 1/4 oz simple syrup • 2 dashes of ginger bitters • 1 dash of aromatic bitters Build in a rocks glass and add ice.

Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­47

Sage Catering Most restaurants throughout the island offer a full selection of cocktails, craft beers and wines. Wine connoisseurs will find wine lists that reflect a wide selection of vineyards and vintages, including some excellent New Jersey-grown choices from area vineyards. A few restaurants even permit guests to bring their own choice of wines to enjoy with dinner. A quick tour of the vineyards surrounding the Wildwoods illustrates that New Jersey lives up to its moniker as “The Garden State.” New Jersey’s southernmost region is an agricultural hub for wine cultivation. Rich farmland is home to acres of vineyards, from which grapes patiently transform into award-winning, handcrafted fine wines.

Changing the way you think about catering




For cold brews, craft beer and growlers, in the heart of Wildwood, MudHen Brewing Company is the ideal location for sipping craft artisan brews only found here. Have a love for the distilling process or for the spirits the distilleries produce? Then visit the Lazy Eye Distillery in Wildwood. Additional breweries, distilleries, and wineries in or near the Wildwoods include: 7 Mile Brewery in Rio Grande; Bucket Brigade Brewery in Cape May

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Celebrations Catering

Court House; Cape May Brewing Company (Rio Grande); COHO Brewing Co. (Cape May Court House); Cold Spring Brewery in Cape May; Gusto Brewing Company in North Cape May; Ludlam Island Brewery in Ocean View; Slack Tide Brewing Company in Clermont; Cape May Distillery (Cape May Court House); Nauti Spirits Distillery (Cape May); Cape May Winery and Vineyard (North Cape May); Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery (Rio Grande); Jessie Creek Winery (Cape May Court House); Natali Vineyards (Cape May Court House); Turdo Vineyards and Winery (Cape May); and Willow Creek Winery in West Cape May.

Celebrations Wedding Venue “Having a knowledgeable team is one-way that Celebrations has been elevating the guest experience,” explains Catherine Geer, director of sales for Celebrations Wedding Venue in Bensalem, PA. This knowledge, along with building relationships and cultivating repeat business, has been instrumental to their overall success. For one recent corporate breakfast meeting, the Celebrations team suggested working in a complete Italian feast along with traditional breakfast standards. “Attendees were thrilled with selections of prosciutto, cheeses, Cappuccino, and brioches” says Geer. Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­49

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, Cambridge, MD

CRAB CAKE RECIPE FROM HYATT REGENCY CHESAPEAKE BAY INGREDIENTS: 1lb Fresh jumbo lump crab meat 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 Tablespoon Mayonnaise 3 ounces of Panko bread crumbs 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning Fresh parsley to taste INSTRUCTIONS: Mix all ingredients and portion them into round balls. Press until 3/4-inch thick. Fry cakes in a hot skillet for 8-10 minutes or broil until golden brown. Make crab cakes and cocktails at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, one of several new team building activities available at the resort. Recipe courtesy: HyattRegencyChesapeakeBay.com

Healthier eating and specialty diets are trending today, with smaller portion size and courses. “Flakier fishes, not shellfish, and airline chicken breasts are lighter fare and can be prepared in a healthier fashion without heavy sauces,” Geer notes. “Vegetables sauteed or grilled are a big hit.” In the wake of the pandemic, there is a greater focus on fun, childhood comfort foods, as well, Geer observes. During the pandemic, people sought foods that made them feel good, and that trend continues. With a clientele consisting of more multicultural groups, Geer notes that many are looking for both creativity and diversity of culinary items, which Celebrations incorporates into their menus. “We can start a sit-down dinner service for a table of ten who might work together virtually, but truly do not know each other well, and you can see the excitement brewing when a family-style platter is brought to the table and then is followed by individual entrée plates for the next course. The talk at the table brings everyone together.” Lastly, think about publicizing your event or showing it off during or afterward. Photographers and videographers are two reliable ways. You also might consider inviting a social media expert to create Instagram stories and reels. Follow these suggestions and you’ll be on your way to a successful event that guests will be talking about for years.

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Sage Advice for Planning A Catered Event


The nice weather is finally here and there is no better time to plan your event. You may find yourself saying, “Where should I start?” or “This is so overwhelming.” Take a deep breath and think about breaking the event down into categories: venue, décor, food, music and social media. At Sage Catering, we can assist you in not only creating a custom menu, but we partner with venues that can satisfy any need, whether it be an indoor space, an outdoor space, a barn or even a castle. After choosing a venue, you will need to start thinking about design with items like linens, vintage furniture, lighting and, of course, branding. The simple addition of signs for signature drinks, a photobooth, or just to welcome guests can create that aesthetic you are looking to achieve.

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The Sage Catering team Small plate stations are a crowd-pleasing style in which guests can try different types of food while mingling. Some of the new trends are charcuterie grazing tables during cocktail hour and old-fashioned ice cream carts for dessert. When selecting entertainment, keep in mind that they will set the mood for the event. Bands, DJs, quartets, guitarist and even mariachi bands are some options from which to choose.

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The Mainland Adventure Park in Manahawkin, NJ, the gateway to Long Beach Island, is one of the Jersey Shore's hottest new attractions, featuring over 50 aerial activities, electric go karts, the Mainland Arcade and more.

Concerts, Festivals and Summer Fun With summer fast approaching, groups and individuals throughout the region are making plans and looking for engaging and entertaining activities. For many, it’s time to get out and explore once again. Do a bit of traveling, head to the shore, enjoy a concert, or spend time at a fair or festival. Destinations are ready to greet them, offering plenty of accommodations to go along with a plethora of activities in the weeks and months ahead. Here is a look at some of what’s planned throughout the region this spring and summer. ­52 May­z June­2022

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ Jessica Kasunich, communications manager for Meet AC, says that Atlantic City has much to offer for those in search of summer fun. It’s location, beach, boardwalk, attractions, dining (including al fresco), concerts, and festivals are just the beginning. A sampling of what’s upcoming in AC includes: Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival, June 4-5; Phish, August 5-7 (beach concert); Tidal Wave Music Festival, August 12-14 (beach concert); and the Meet AC Atlantic City Airshow, August 24. At summer’s end, Frantic City, a new music festival, will take place September 24 at the Orange Loop Amphitheater in downtown Atlantic City, featuring numerous live bands, regional vendors, top-notch food options, and hosted by Fred Armisen. Ocean Casino Resort recently announced The Gallery Bar, Book and Games, a new 12,000square foot venue that will debut this summer – part of Ocean’s recent $25-million casino floor transformation. “This new venue will enhance the guest experience by providing an unbeatable atmosphere right in the heart of the casino floor,” says Bill Callahan, general manager for Ocean Casino Resort. The Gallery will feature a 100-foot elevated bar and lounge, gaming, 140-feet of LED walls, and an open-air staircase that connects to Balcony Bar, a mezzanine bar and lounge where guests will enjoy the ultimate VIP sportsbook experience. COMIX will present an all-new comedy series at Resorts Casino Hotel beginning on May 14 inside the Superstar Theater kicking off with the hilarious Robert Kelly. In addition, Tom Cotter will make his way to the stage, the breakout star from Season 7’s America's Got Talent, on June 11. Superstar Theater is home to world-class performances and concerts year-round, too, including: The Beach Ball Drop to kickoff Memorial Day

Weekend on May 27; Boogie Wonder Band, May 28; and Tower of Power, June 3. Resorts is home to the only beach bar that’s open year-round in Atlantic City, LandShark Bar and Grill. Part of Margaritaville, it welcomes outdoor diners on the boardwalk side of the resort. Those looking to hold receptions or private parties can enjoy ocean views from the ballrooms inside Resorts Conference Center, too, notes Ritambra Verma, the property’s director of sales and revenue management.

THE WILDWOODS, NJ The Wildwoods have added new attractions, activities, and businesses for the 2022 season, and have over a dozen new island-wide events planned for visitors to enjoy. The Northeast’s largest outdoor country music fest on the beach returns to the Wildwoods in 2022 with the Barefoot Country Music Fest taking place June 17-19 with a kick-off concert on June 16. The event will include over 30 of country music's biggest stars and up-and-comers on multiple stages. Downtown Wildwood’s new Fun Fridays at Byrne Plaza will take place every Friday in July and feature live bands, food and drink vendors, lawn games and more. The development of Byrne Plaza has expanded entertainment in the Wildwoods, including: seasonal farmer’s markets; concerts and stage performances; arts and craft shows; specialty wine, craft beer and unique food events; private events; and health and fitness expos. Join the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce for The Beach Boys in Concert at the Wildwoods Convention Center on August 27 as they celebrate 60 years of making music. Prior to the concert, don’t miss out on beach activities like yoga on the beach, a surfing contest, beach games, and DJ music. Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­53

Luk Fu restaurant at Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia, PA The new Crest Arts Pavilion will feature an outdoor terrace with tables, chairs and umbrellas, perfect for concerts and festivals, picnic groves, art installations, and seating nooks with fire pits, Adirondack chairs, chaise lounges and more. Also new in 2022, The Cove takes over the former location of The Deck at Holly Beach and will be a restaurant, bar, and nightclub. A neon-lit slice of Americana, the Wildwoods boardwalk offers a unique experience at the Jersey Shore. One of the liveliest 38-blocks of fun and excitement on the East Coast, it offers amusement piers featuring worldclass roller coasters, wet and wild waterparks, carnival-style midway games, arcades, retail shops, and over 200 eateries. Enjoy the free expansive beaches, or experience the Wildwoods by bicycle along a scenic, leisurely 12-mile round-trip bike path, on the boardwalk, or along the Wildwoods streets and downtown, with special “bike only” lanes throughout the island. Nature-lovers can witness shore birds and marine life. Just a short drive away are even more opportunities to explore and reconnect with nature. Cape May Point is full of wildlife and nature walks, and the Cape May County Park and Zoo is nearby, as well. The Wildwoods once again will host its National Marbles Tournament. This year marks the 99th anniversary of the national competition on June 20-23 for boys and girls ages 8-14 that have qualified by winning local tournaments throughout the U.S. ­54 May­z June­2022

The annual NJ State BBQ Championship and Anglesea Blues Festival takes place on Olde New Jersey Avenues and surrounding pubs in North Wildwood as part of this festival, July 8-10.

LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ The Mainland Adventure Park Campus opening brings a one-of-a-kind destination for fun, notes Liz Santoro, area director of sales for Hotel LBI. Mainland Adventure Park boasts 50 aerial activities with three levels of difficulty allowing all ages to be challenged. There is a 50foot climbing wall with three climbing routes from beginner to advanced, four extended zip lines, an extreme go kart track with over 1,000-feet of twists and turns and state-of-the-art electric go karts. Mainland Arcade features retro games like Nerf, Pacman and pinball alongside favorites like life-sized hungry hippos and skee ball. The arcade sits next to the Mainland outdoor beer garden, which has fire pits, a 9hole putting green and a basketball court, as well as games like corn hole and Jenga. All this recreation is steps from the Mainland Kitchen and Pub and its upscale pub food, regularly scheduled live entertainment, and special events planned around the holidays. An ideal venue for events, the Mainland Ballroom at 9,000-square feet is the largest in Ocean County and the Mainland Terrace stone fireplace offers a special place for receptions and social events. The on-site Holiday Inn offers the comforts of home and a convenient location just minutes from the pristine beaches of Long Beach Island.

PHILADELPHIA, PA Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia has transformed the South Philadelphia Stadium District into a one-stop destination for enjoying four major professional sports teams, memorable entertainment, premier dining, over 200 luxury hotel rooms that are Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED™ with Forbes Travel Guide, a FanDuel® Sportsbook and Lounge, plus casino gaming. Other entertainment options include spirited nightlife at Center Bar and R Bar, and a growing list of headline entertainment acts, including: Thunder from Down Under, May 20-21; Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling, June 9; Tony Danza, June 11; Bobby Collins, July 7; and Dom Irrera, July 22. Live! also hosts complementary nightly entertainment at Center Bar, including: Jerry Blavat Dance Parties every Tuesday in May; Dueling Pianos every Wednesday; DJ Johnny Looch every Thursday in May; and Throwback Dance Party with DJ Eric Bartello on Sun-

day nights. There’s also live music at The Prime Rib on Thursdays, along with the new Lucky 8 happy hour, Burgers and Brews on Thursdays at Sports & Social, and Wok and Roll on Wednesdays at Luk Fu. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s 2022 Philadelphia Flower Show will be held outdoors for the second time in its almost 200-year history this summer. “In Full Bloom” will take place in South Philadelphia’s FDR Park, June 11-19, with a variety returning and new events. Returning for the first time in three years, the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square is a celebration of light and culture taking place from June 21 - August 7 with over 30 larger-than-life displays. In addition, the Franklin Square Fountain Show will feature a new song that visitors can enjoy only during the evening festival. Enjoy the Dragon Beer Garden housed in a clear tent operated by Cescaphe, witness authentic cultural stage performances, and dine on Asian cuisine.

Mix Business and Pleasure at the Jersey Shore! TWO INCREDIBLE LOCATIONS TO STAY, PLAY AND WORK. Hotel LBI’s Conservatory boasts 3,700 sq ft, with spectacular views overlooking Long Beach Island. Stay overnight in luxury suites with full kitchens, fine dining at Salt Kitchen, and The Rooftop bar with the best island sunsets. For more information: sales@hotellbi.com The Mainland Campus is the perfect retreat getaway with multiple meeting spaces, like the 9,000 sq ft Mainland Ballroom and Mainland Terrace with stone fireplace. Host team building events at the Adventure Park with an aerial course, climbing wall, go-karts, arcade and more. Stay at the Holiday Inn to enjoy the beer garden, fire pits, and outdoor amenities. For more information: hotel@holidayinnlbi.com Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­55

Peddler's Village, Lahaska, PA

BUCKS COUNTY, PA The Bucks County Wine and Art Trail is a new partnership between Visit Bucks County and the Arts and Cultural Council of Bucks County. Artists working in all mediums and styles will visit participating Bucks County wineries until July 1 to create works for the Bucks County Wine and Art Trail. The final, curated works will be displayed at the wineries and at Freeman Hall in Doylestown in July of next year. Annual Pride events like parties, educational activities, parades, fairs and live entertainment will take place in New Hope, May 20-22, and in Doylestown, June 11-19. View the exhibit Keith Haring: A Radiant Legacy at the Michener Art Museum, a private collection of more than 100 of his works, now through July 31, 2022. Tour the gardens of Andalusia Historic House, Gardens and Arboretum, a 65-acre estate that is home to an early 19th-century Greek Revival mansion surrounded by native woodlands and formal gardens, now through October 30. Stop by Peddler’s Village on weekends in May for live entertainment ­56 May­z June­2022

and family activities as part of Strawberry Month. Savor strawberrythemed food and drink specials all month long at restaurants and eateries in the Village through May 29. Peddler’s Village is one of the most scenic and serene destinations in Bucks County with winding brick paths, colorful gardens, shopping, dining, and weekend entertainment. “This summer, in celebration of our 60th anniversary, we will be presenting a blockbuster display of sand castles created by internationally renowned master sand artists,” notes Christine Hensel Triantos, director of marketing and communications for Peddler’s Village. “From early June through the end of August, visitors of all ages can roam the property to see this free Villagewide display that depicts cultural and historical attractions in Bucks County. From mid-May through early June, visitors can watch the sand sculptors at work.” Peddler’s Village is planning a festive summer to celebrate their 60th year, including Summer Block Party Month (June), and Peach Month (August). There will be outdoor murder mystery events, comedy nights, outdoor movies, a July 2-4 Red, White and Blue Barbeque Bash, and a ‘60s-themed evening dance party on June 18. Throughout the summer, visitors can also enjoy a free scavenger hunt available through the Peddler’s Village mobile app.

WILKES-BARRE, PA Mohegan Sun Pocono is home to a 238-room hotel, a 20,000-square foot convention center, gaming, a variety of dining and shopping options, as well as exciting nightlife and entertainment, notes Sarah Farrell, director of sales and conventions for the property. The warmer seasons also bring various opportunities for outdoor relaxation or partying, including live harness racing and the now open Embers Terrace, which features Adirondack-style seating, fire pits, live weekend entertainment, dining options and a drink menu, and more. Party on the Patio at Mohegan Sun Pocono is a free summer concert series that is back for another year. Every Thursday from June 2 to September 1, it includes live music, food truck selections and drink specials. Mohegan Sun Pocono also welcomes The Hive Taphouse this summer, which features a full dining menu, 20 beers on tap, a live music stage, and its very own Topgolf Swing Suites.

UNCASVILLE, CT Celebrating the unofficial start of summer is the 9th annual Sun BBQ Fest at Mohegan Sun on June 1112, a celebration of the best in barbecue with food, beer, cocktails and live music. Sun BBQ Fest also features a World Food Championship sanctioned barbecue competition with teams that compete from all over the country.

According to Jeff Hamilton, president and general manager of Mohegan Sun, “When it comes to live music and entertainment, top headlining concerts and premier sporting events, the 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena is the leader in the entertainment business. From rock and heavy metal concerts to country, pop, and even stand-up comedy and professional basketball games, Mohegan Sun Arena radiates excitement every night with electrifying performances.”

Venue in a USA Today’s 10 Best readers’ poll. Each summer, it plays host to one of the most respected and popular jazz festivals in the U.S. and is the summer home of the New York City Ballet, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. And every summer, Live Nation acts like Dave Matthews Band, Phish, REO Speedwagon, Jason Aldean, and more fill the amphitheater and surrounding grounds.

Located in Mohegan Sun’s Casino of the Earth, the Wolf Den offers free weekly entertainment for guests age 21 and older with full beverage service, a state-of-the-art sound system, and intimate seating. The award-winning Mohegan Sun Arena will host more than 20 shows, as well as Connecticut Sun WNBA games and other sporting events this summer.

Universal Preservation Hall is a historic church renovated into year-round performing arts hall in downtown Saratoga Springs. Part of Proctors Collaborative, it is dedicated to serving the community through arts, education, sustainable economic development, and rich civic engagement.

Party on the Patio will return to Mohegan Sun every Friday this summer, where guests can enjoy an 80-foot bar, fire pits and food trucks while listening to top tribute bands.

Home of good folk music since the 1960s, Caffe Lena downtown has a strong legacy of supporting up-andcoming artists. Its intimate setting has helped grow famous artists from Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie to Ani DiFranco and Darlingside.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY "Whether visiting for racing season or a concert, there’s so much to do in Saratoga Springs," proclaims MacKenzie Zarzycki, director, marketing and communications for Discover Saratoga. "Visit lively entertainment venues or check out nationally recognized museums. Saratoga Springs, named 'One of the Nation’s Most Charming Small Cities' in 2021 by Travel Magazine, is a year-round destination that’s ready and waiting to entertain." The Saratoga Race Course, which opened in 1863, is the longest continuously operating thoroughbred racetrack in the U.S. Attracting more than one-million visitors each year, the race course is one of the largest attractions in the area, and has been named one of Sports Illustrated’s 10 Best Sporting Venues in the country. The 2022 summer meet begins on July 14 and ends September 5. There’s never a shortage of live music, theater or events in Saratoga. The iconic Saratoga Performing Arts Center once was named the Best Outdoor Music

Numerous art galleries can be found in the Beekman Street Arts District and the Downtown Arts District, including Saratoga Arts, a non-profit organization that presents gallery exhibits, art classes and performances. Skidmore College boasts the Arthur Zankel Music Center and Tang Teaching Museum and offers music and dance performances. Saratoga Casino Hotel features live harness racing, live simulcast coverage, casino gaming, many dining options, three full-service bars, Vapor Night Club, and a new luxury hotel with 117 well-appointed rooms and suites. Saratoga is home to fascinating museums, too, like National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, which recently underwent a multi-million renovation that includes a state-of-the-art interactive Hall of Fame experience, as well as new special event and meeting space. This “City in the Country” offers a safe, walkable downtown with countless shops and over 100 restaurants for satisfying every unique taste. Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­57



ROOM KEYS-ON THE BOARDWALK Thoughts and Ideas for independent hotels, resorts, and event planners by Nasuti & Hinkle Creative Thinking It's like walking down a boardwalk and finding your way to the salt-water taffy stand. What was it that got you there? Or what combination of things? The signage? The aroma as you went past? Someone you saw with a box? Maybe an ad or poster you saw? Now you understand the concept of a journey map and full-path attribution. The journey map is that walk down the boardwalk. Full-path attribution is the combination of signage, scents and ads that created your desire for some taffy. Which is to say, it wasn't necessarily just the last thing you saw. This is how your hotel, resort, or event venue is like salt-water taffy: if you identify your targets' journey

map and understand the different things that influence them along the way, you can make better use of your marketing dollars. Because it's not just the last thing a prospective guest saw that created their desire for your property or venue. Which is to say, it wasn't necessarily just that last click. Even though digital channels will usually claim credit for the booking. In fact, a branded search - a search for your property or venue, not just properties in your neighborhood has a far higher conversion rate than non-branded searches. And the parts of the journey map that can incite a branded search are what did the trick.

In fact, it's never that simple. Nasuti & Hinkle Creative Thinking is a Bethesda, Maryland brand development and advertising consultancy. Formed in 1989 by Karen Nasuti and Woody Hinkle, the agency specializes in independent hotels and resorts. Visit their website at www.nasuti.com or see more Thoughts and Ideas at their blog, www.jugglinginthedark.com

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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.



Rendering of a guest room at Wind Creek Bethlehem in the Lehigh Valley, PA, part of the resort and casino’s new expansion

LEHIGH VALLEY, PA DISCOVERLEHIGHVALLEY.COM The Lehigh Valley’s local accommodations range from golf resorts and organic farms offering quiet, relaxing, countryside retreats to campgrounds and vacation rentals, all just minutes from wineries, breweries, distilleries, shopping, and outdoor activities. One well known property, the Historic Hotel Bethlehem, was named the 2021 #1 Best Historic Hotel in the Country by USA TODAY's 10Best. Valley Preferred Cycling Center, known as “The Velodrome,” in Breinigsville showcases some of the best cyclists in the nation and hosts seasonal leagues designed for newcomers to the sport. Lehigh Valley is home numerous professional and semi-professional sports teams, including the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, while 10 local colleges and universities have topnotch sports. ­60 May­z June­2022

DISCOVER EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES OPENING THIS YEAR Once our luxurious new tower is complete, our AAA Four Diamond hotel will offer: • 552 lavish guest rooms and 50 suites, 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 To book your next meeting, call Rebecca Kim at 484.777.7928 or email at Rebecca.Kim@windcreek.com

Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, PA; photo courtesy: Visit Luzerne County No matter one's taste in cuisine, there is something for everyone in Lehigh Valley, including: Maxim’s 22 in Easton; Apollo Grill in Bethlehem; and Bell Hall in downtown Allentown. Fine dining in Lehigh Valley has expanded greatly in the last few years with restaurants by celebrity chefs. Wind Creek® Bethlehem provides opportunities for gaming, Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants, shopping at The Outlets at Wind Creek® Bethlehem, and live entertainment and performances at the Wind Creek® Bethlehem Event Center. An expansion of the property will add three ballrooms, additional guest rooms, a high-end lobby bar, custom art installations, spacious swimming pool areas, a luxurious new spa and additional meeting and event space in 2022. Once completed, Wind Creek Bethlehem’s integrated resort will boast 60,000square feet of combined meeting space and over 500 hotel rooms. Just down the street is the ArtsQuest™ Center at SteelStacks™. Get to know this area as it is home to such events as Musikfest, Oktoberfest, and more. At night, the Musikfest Café hosts nationally-acclaimed musical and comedy acts in the glow of the illuminated blast furnaces of Bethlehem Steel. Additional attractions include Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, and the Crayola Experience™. The Easton Farmers’ Market goes year-round and is the oldest in the country, dating back to the 1700s when residents would converge on the center of town to share their wares and food. The Emmaus Farmers’ Market is proud to have some of the freshest produce around. For a unique indoor experience, shop the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmer's Market which features over 30 vendors each week. Upcoming events in the Lehigh Valley include: the U.S. Senior Open at Saucon Valley Country Club on June 21-26; a Grand Fondo Hincapie on June 4 - a multi-day cycling celebration with a scenic ride, live music, and family festival with free fun, food and brew; and the Drum Corps International Eastern Classic on August 5-6 at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown, one of three major regional competitions for the organization. ­62 May­z June­2022

LUZERNE COUNTY, PA LUZERNECOUNTY.ORG WHAT'S NEW The hub of lodging continues to grow around the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Just steps from Mohegan Sun Arena, the Residence Inn, Wilkes-Barre Arena is now open. The location offers guests convenient access to downtown Wilkes-Barre, Centerpointe and Hanover Industrial Parks, and many attractions, such as Mohegan Sun Pocono, along with colleges and universities. A Home2Suites is scheduled to open summer 2022, as well, and together with the Residence Inn, will bring the total accommodations in the county to over 4,000 guest rooms. Mohegan Sun Pocono is adding three exciting new venues in 2022: the all-new outdoor terrace bar, Embers Terrace, with Adirondack-style seating, fire pits, live weekend entertainment, dining options and more; and The Hive Taphouse, equipped with a full dining menu, will feature 20 beers on tap, a live music stage and its very own Topgolf Swing Suites. Located near Rustic Kitchen Bistro and Bar, Embers Terrace opened in April, while The Hive Taphouse is slated to open in early summer. The Mohegan Sun Pocono also will undergo a major revamp by the end of 2022, as all 237 of its guest rooms will be completely renovated. These new options are a perfect addition to the 20,000-square foot convention center for inperson meetings or events. Mohegan Sun Pocono also has announced the return of Party on the Patio, which takes place every Thursday from June 2nd to September 1st. Guests can enjoy Northeastern Pennsylvania’s most popular concert series full of live entertainment, a variety of tasty food truck options, and thirst-quenching drink specials. Party on the Patio performances do not have a cover and all attendees must be 21 and over.

MAKE YOUR NEXT EVENT SHINE A LITTLE BRIGHTER. Mohegan Sun Pocono is excited to welcome you and has ample space and resources to make your next event a huge success! With property-wide safety and wellness initiatives, customizable menus, and physical-distancing floorplans, your guests will enjoy a first-class, in-person experience like never before. Book your event today at mohegansunpocono.com or call 1-855-MEET-MSP.


POCONO MOUNTAINS, PA POCONOMEETINGS.COM Whether planning a small executive gathering, a company picnic or a large convention with hundreds of attendees, meeting facilities in the Poconos provide options for every group size and budget. Take advantage of 205,000-square feet of flexible conference space at the expansive Kalahari Resorts and Conventions or book a sylvan retreat in the Verandah or Historic Inn spaces at The Lodge at Mountain Springs Lake Resort. All-inclusive Woodloch Resort features unique activity programs, abundant amenities, outstanding overnight accommodations, nightly entertainment, championship golf, ample space for meetings and events, and one of the world’s top destination spas. Family owned and operated since 1958, Woodloch is an ideal destination for bonding with coworkers, friends and family in all four seasons. In addition, Woodloch can arrange a campfire, lawn games, entertainment, a wine tasting or late-night catering to enhance the group experience.

Create a private retreat within one of Camelback Resort's cabanas in Aquatopia

At Mount Airy Casino Resort, there is more than 25,000-square feet of flexible event space that includes a convention center and grand ballroom that operates as a multifunctional, state-of-the-art venue for banquets, corporate retreats, and more. In addition, the patio can host groups of up to 100 people, and there is a 15,000-square foot tented area for a variety of large gatherings. With 284 guest rooms and 29 suites the resort has ample options for overnight stays. Mount Airy also is home to a Sports-Illustrated-recognized lakefront 18-hole golf course; a rejuvenating spa, salon, and exercise facility; a luxury indoor/outdoor swimming pool; plus, thriving nightlife. For dinner and drinks, the resort features signature restaurant and bar options, including Guy Fieri’s Mt. Pocono Kitchen; the award-winning Bistecca by Il Mulino; Asian cuisine at Lucky 8 Noodle + Sushi Bar; The Buffet; Last Call, a one-stop-shop for drinks and snacks; or cocktail bars The Glass Bar and Pia’s Lounge. Afterward, attendees can visit the casino, which boasts over 70 table games and nearly 1,700 of the hottest slots in Pennsylvania, or catch a show from that night’s headliner.

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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.

Contact our event team today groups@camelbackresort.com

Pocono Organics in the Pocono Mountains, PA which also houses a farmer's market, is one of North America's largest Regenerative Organic Certified Farms. photo courtesy: Pocono Mountains CVB

The Poconos has a long tradition of outstanding service and hospitality, and local businesses are committed to providing a safe environment and great experiences for guests. There’s nothing like fresh air for inspiring fresh ideas. Plan a hiking or biking outing along a portion of 260-miles of mountain trails or get out on the water for kayaking, canoeing or a thrilling whitewater rafting expedition. Looking for an out-of-the-box outdoor adventure? Try cycling right along the railroad tracks beside the scenic Lackawaxen River with Soarin’ Eagle Rail Tours. Unique two- or four-seater rail bikes are available to rent when trains aren’t running. The Pocono Mountains also is home to Skirmish Paintball, the largest paintball facility in the world. Get a sense of the history and culture of the area during tours with authentic local farms and businesses. Explore one of the largest Regenerative Organic Farms in North America at Pocono Organics or head to Moka Origins Roastery Cafe and Chocolate Factory to sample ethicallysourced, small-batch chocolate and coffee. Take a trip along the Pocono Beverage Trail with craft breweries, wineries and distilleries. Unwind at chic tasting rooms in the heart of charming small towns like Here & Now Brewing Company in Honesdale, Wild Elder Wine and Cider Co. in Jim Thorpe, Tolino Vineyards Wine Bar in Stroudsburg or Soaked Winery in Milford. For pastoral, panoramic views, head to ShawneeCraft Brewing Company along the winding Delaware River or Second District Brew Farm, a functioning vineyard and brew farm overlooking 100 acres.

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Woodloch Resort

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

Now is the perfect time to start planning next year's meeting or event! From small board meetings and beautiful outdoor spaces to large venues that can hold several hundred people, we have room for you with state-of-the-art technology and up-to-date amenities. A short drive away from major surrounding metropolitan areas like NYC, DC, and Philadelphia, you can host your next meeting or convention with confidence in the beautiful Pocono Mountains. Email meetings@poconos.org to learn more.



Get Wet Ultra Pool, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool and eatery at Mount Airy Casino Resort with daybeds and cabanas available; photo credit: J.C. Getz Creative

A first-of-its-kind, Margaritaville Resort Village Pocono Mountains will bring an entirely new state of mind to this timeless resort destination. Margaritaville Hotel Pocono Mountains will pay homage to the original Pocono Manor built in 1902, providing wilderness gardens, unique restaurants, swimming pools, plentiful activities, and live entertainment.

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WHAT’S NEW "Attendees are ready to be back in person. The pandemic blurred the lines between work and life balance. Business culture became more casual with much of the workforce working from home," explains Kyra Popp, corporate director of sales, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. "Events at Kalahari Resorts provide a perfect transition to in-person events." Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in the Pocono Mountains expanded its convention center just before the pandemic, and is excited for groups to once again be able to fully utilize its 205,000-square feet of space. With event planners already raving about the flexible layout, ample natural light, and updated catering menu at the resort, Kalahari has added to its many offerings with the opening of a new restaurant this year, Cinco Ninos, which features authentic Mexican cuisine in a vibrant setting. "We are major foodies, and take pride in our creative food options," notes Popp. "We are really excited for groups to come back and experience all of the new offerings we have available at Kalahari Resorts." A first-of-its-kind, Margaritaville Resort Village Pocono Mountains will bring an entirely new state of mind to this timeless resort destination. Guests will have a multitude of options from which to choose here, including a Margaritaville Hotel, Camp


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

Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.


Kalahari Resort in the Pocono Mountains

All-inclusive and family owned and operated since 1958, the Woodloch Resort features unique activity programs, abundant amenities, outstanding overnight accommodations, nightly entertainment, championship golf, ample space for meetings and events, and one of the world’s top destination spas.

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Margaritaville RV Resort, Tiny Homes Bungalows, and a fabulous winter experience. Construction is expected to begin in 2023 with plans to open around mid-2024. Margaritaville Hotel Pocono Mountains will pay homage to the original Pocono Manor built in 1902, providing wilderness gardens, unique restaurants, swimming pools, plentiful activities, and live entertainment. LandShark Bar & Grill, adjacent to the hotel, will offer views of two states and will embody the charm of the Poconos. Camp Margaritaville RV Resort, a luxury camping and entertainment destination, will include a Margaritaville Retail Store, Fins Up Fitness Center, Cheeseburger in Paradise Restaurant, and a 5 o’Clock Somewhere Swim-Up Bar, plus pickleball courts, and more. Inspired by the historic rustic cabins found in the area, Tiny Homes Bungalows will have a cabin-feel and boast stone fire pits and country patios, providing travelers with the ultimate mountain living vibe. For those looking for a “forever” vacation, Townhomes, within walking distance of the hotel, will provide every amenity needed for guests staying a week, a month, or longer. In addition, there will be approximately 1,000 “build for rent” cottages in the village.


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

Ferris Wheel at HersheyPark in “The Sweetest Place on Earth,” Hershey, PA; photo courtesy: Hershey Entertainment and Resorts

HERSHEY HARRISBURG, PA VISITHERSHEYHARRISBURG.ORG WHAT’S NEW Over the past two years, Visit Hershey Harrisburg has launched several new trails and experiences designed for guests looking for certain themes, such as craft beer, adventure, or sweet treats. The Hershey Harrisburg Region is a dynamic destination for adventure, art, history, culinary interests, sports, and more, and these trails demonstrate exactly that. The Brew Barons Beer Trail (mobile passport) highlights more than 25 craft brewery locations. The Chocolate & More Sweet Treat Trail reminds that, while Milton is the heart of Hershey, there are many small businesses and corner stores with tasty treats that shouldn’t be missed. The Adventure Trail maps out hiking, biking and kayaking opportunities. The Black Travel Experience connects travelers to Black-owned businesses, events, and unique cultural experiences. The Murals & More Walk of Art is an audio tour featuring majestic murals, public art, museums and architecture along two one-mile-long suggested routes in Harrisburg.

Guests enjoying a tour of the Hershey Winery and Brewery; photo courtesy: Visit Hershey and Harrisburg ­72 May­z June­2022

Hersheypark® is adding something new to its iconic slate of attractions, as the Jolly Rancher Remix™ reimagines one of the park's coasters by adding a tunnel, unique sensory effects, and a cool new colorway to the track. Mix'd™ Flavored By Jolly Rancher is a family ride featuring spins, lifts, drops, and sweet new views of the park. Outdoor activities gained traction throughout the pandemic and remain in strong demand not just for leisure travel, but also for added value within the itinerary for meetings and business travel. Adventure Explorations is one of the go-to outfits in the Hershey Harrisburg Region for team building and outdoor adventure with a focus on the outdoors. REACHING OUT “Location and convenience - these were the hallmark attributes for our region prior to challenges brought on by the pandemic, and they remain at the top of the list for key factors in attracting tourism to Hershey and Harrisburg,” observes Audrey Bialas, director of sales for Visit Hershey and Harrisburg. The Hershey Harrisburg Region boasts big city amenities without big city headaches, Bialas adds, and is a destination for all ages and interests. “From family getaways to quiet time with someone special, and from ballgames and coasters to wineries and gardens, there’s an attraction or experience you’ll love to visit. Your new ‘favorite thing to do’ is here, and we’ll help you find it.” LOOKING AHEAD “Our hope for the coming months is that hospitality and tourism professionals take a moment to be proud of what they’ve accomplished over an incredibly difficult period,,” expresses Bialas. “As travelers return and as the buzz of meetings and events takes over hotel lobbies and event spaces, we want our region’s tourism professionals to remember that their ongoing commitment to the guest experience and their perseverance amid near constant change served as the backbone of an industry that touches so many people in a positive way. We want people to visit, yes. We want meetings and events to thrive, yes. But most of all - we want the tourism workforce to know how much they are appreciated.” Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Mag-

Sweet Hospitality






sleeping rooms

sq. ft. of affordable meeting and event space.


Jenny McConnell jenny@hersheyharrisburg.org | Cell: 717-451-7953


Take a trip down memory lane at Barry's Car Barn in Intercourse, PA, home to a collection of American muscle cars from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s; photo courtesy: Discover Lancaster

Lancaster County Convention Center is just steps away from the Lancaster Central Market, the longest running 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

LANCASTER COUNTY, PA DISCOVERLANCASTER.COM WHAT'S NEW Delicious and diverse fare and libations are now showcased at the redesigned Southern Market in Lancaster City, which opened in late January 2022 with its central food hall and Bar 1888. It's a great space for private functions, as well. The Imperial Terrace at Holiday Inn Lancaster is slated to open June 1st, and will be available for private functions with an open-air covered dining area that has the capacity to accommodate medium- or large-sized events. Susquehanna National Heritage Area's unique River Discovery Boat Tours on their new historic 1912 electric boat “Chief Uncas” are scheduled to begin mid-summer 2022 and will share with groups the story of the natural and cultural history of the county's western border – the Susquehanna River. REACHING OUT "For meetings, conventions and events, we suggest to our partners a current strategy of 'telling, not selling," explains Ackerman. "In other words, a message of 'we’re here when you’re ready' rather than a hard sell, full of specs. We’ve been providing settings for doing this by hosting client dinners outside our area and inviting a few of our partners to attend. This opportunity allows them to reconnect with meeting planners in a relaxed atmosphere and just share key points about themselves and their property."

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FEATURING 416 Integrated Guest Rooms 90,000 sq. ft. of Exhibit Space


While planning your next big event, don’t settle for anything less than the best of both worlds. Located in the historic heart of downtown Lancaster City, the Lancaster County Convention Center allows visitors to have their cake and eat it too—where big city culture can be savored at a small town pace.

Jacyn H Thompson



PHONE (717) 207-4045


MOBILE (717) 344-7367


A DAY IN LANCASTER CITY FOR CONVENTION GOERS The world-class Lancaster County Convention Center is ideal for group and business travelers, offering 90,000-square feet of meeting space, magnificent architectural and historic features, and seamlessly integrated with the 416-room Lancaster Marriott. The convention center’s facilities combine the best of new world sophistication and old-world charm. With dedicated space for meetings from five to 5,000 attendees. Lancaster is the perfect destination for vacationers and business travelers alike, offering everything from farmland and family-style fun to nightlife, world-class dining and contemporary art. There is no shortage of things to do and see for conventioneers once meetings have wrapped for the day. The convention center is situated in the middle of historic, scenic, and welcoming downtown Lancaster, where there is something for everyone to enjoy, whether a history buff, lover of the arts, craft beer connoisseur - the list goes on - but here are a few of the top things to do while in town. Lancaster County Convention Center is just steps away from the Lancaster Central Market, the longest running 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. Open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, a step inside the Central Market showcases all the produce and locally sourced goods that Lancaster has to offer. In the mood for dinner and a show? There are dozens of exquisite and memorable dining and beverage experiences downtown. And just down the street from the convention center is the historic Fulton Theater, where theatergoers can enjoy a topnotch quality production while taking in the elegance of Victorian architecture. The Fulton is one of only eight theatres in the U.S. recognized as a National Historic Landmark. 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. The stadium was voted #1 in the “2020 Best of Ballparks” by Ballpark Digest, and also won the 2021 “Best of the Ballparks MLB Partner Leagues.” Of course, no trip to Lancaster would be complete without a visit to the Lancaster County countryside to experience Amish Country and the culture that makes this destination so unique. Step back in time to experience the beauty, heritage, and history of the Pennsylvania Amish. Visitors can take an Amish horse and buggy ride, shop for hand-made crafts, enjoy some authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, and more. Between a bustling and vibrant downtown area and the beautiful Amish countryside, there is something for everyone to experience and enjoy in Lancaster. Courtesy of the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square and the Lancaster County Convention Center (www.lancasterconventioncenter.com) ­76 May­z June­2022

The recently redesigned Southern Market in Lancaster City; photo courtesy: Discover Lancaster

Association and SMERF events are coming back to Lancaster County, Ackerman adds, and corporate is beginning to come along, as well. "Based on our seasonal needs and the potential economic impact of an incoming group, we are offering financial assistance, including cost offsets and in-kind promotions. Including the current free flight offer for DC and Pittsburgh meeting planners through May 31st, our local partnership with Southern Airways Express also continues to grow in helping us build back the meetings market." LOOKING AHEAD "Generally, for both groups and leisure travel, Lancaster County tourism has fortunately weathered the storm better than a lot of places, owing to our area being a drive-to, value destination that offers an appealing fresh-air combination of activity and spaciousness," says Ackerman. "Consequently, because we have many repeat guests, we hope to retain many of the travelers who chose to take their first visit to Lancaster during the past two years rather than go on the longer trips they usually take." Moreover, Ackerman believes that Lancaster County also will benefit from increased interest in intergenerational and multi-family travel, as well as in getaways that allow people to unplug, slow down and rejuvenate.


it’s Time to meet in Lancaster Whether you’re looking to hold a small corporate retreat, a reunion, a convention, or any other event, Lancaster County offers a variety of fantastic meeting venues in a picturesque location that are perfect for any occasion. We have approximately 8,200 overnight rooms and 1,000,000 square feet of meeting space, state-of-the-art technology and all the amenities you’ll need for an on-the-road office. Let us help you find the perfect venue. Contact cackerman@discoverlancaster.com


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GETTYSBURG, PA DESTINATIONGETTYSBURG.COM Gettysburg remains one of the country’s most renowned historic destinations, highlighting the epic American Civil War battle and President Lincoln’s immortal Gettysburg Address in 1863, and now a newer era with its “World War II: American Experience” museum, set to open this June. With its massive 6,000-acre battlefield, historic downtown and majestic countryside, Gettysburg has become one of the most visited small towns in America among tourists as well as for events, meetings and conferences. Gettysburg’s mark on American history makes for an exceptional backdrop for corporate retreats, events of all varieties, and recently, leadership development training. Due to its small town feel and wide-open spaces, Gettysburg has rebounded quickly from the pandemic, providing a great opportunity for gatherings of varying sizes. Helping to usher in this new era of travel to the area, the new World War II: American Experience museum offers a unique twist to a town normally known for its Civil War history. This new facility features a variety of World War II vehicles, artifacts and uniforms, along with space for hosting meetings and events.

Photo courtesy of Destination Gettysburg

Also new to Gettysburg is the re-opening of the Gettysburg Historic Railroad Station, the place where Lincoln arrived to deliver what would become one of the most famous speeches in American history. Now known as “Ticket to the Past - Unforgettable Journeys,” this famous Gettysburg landmark brings 160-year-old history to life through the modern technology of virtual reality. Guests are taken back in time through the personal stories of three historic characters to revisit tragic times of 1863. Still on the horizon for Gettysburg is the opening of the Adams County Historical Society’s “Gettysburg: Beyond the Battle” museum, scheduled to open in 2023. It will tell the entire story of the Gettysburg community, beginning long before the Union and Confederate armies converged on the town all the way into modern eras of tourism, the Eisenhower era, and the Civil Rights Movement. In addition to numerous exhibit galleries, the museum will play host to groups for meetings.

ALTOONA, PA EXPLOREALTOONA.COM Located within the heart of Pennsylvania’s Alleghenies, Altoona/Blair County offers a distinctive variety of authentic experiences, railroading history and heritage, and an expanding performing and visual arts scene, all amid a number of outdoor recreational green spaces. Classic family fun includes two amusement parks – DelGrosso’s Park and Laguna Splash, America’s only Italian-themed water park, and Lakemont Park, home of the world’s oldest wooden roller coaster and listed on the National Register. Enjoy the Altoona Curve minor league baseball team, or head to Slinky Action Zone, an indoor fun center located in the hometown of the original Slinky. Unique, iconic sites are plentiful here, and include America’s only interactive railroaders museum, the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum, and the famous Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark. This ­78 May­z June­2022

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engineering marvel was built by hand in 1849 to traverse the Allegheny Mountain range during America’s westward expansion.

assistance, and technical support. With green spaces and scenic views, Blair County is a great place for escaping the crowds and exploring a beautiful rural setting.

Fort Robedeau, America’s western-most Revolutionary War historic site, is located within Sinking Valley, one of the richest agricultural regions in the state.


Baker Mansion, the only Greek-Temple home in Pennsylvania, serves as the main site of the Blair County Historical Society, and has undergone an extensive interior renovation. America’s longest continuously performing community orchestra, the Altoona Symphony Orchestra, performs mostly within the Mishler Theatre, an elaborate Beaux-Arts theater built in 1906 and on the National Register of Historic Places. Operating as the nation’s longest-running museum satellite system, with a collection of more than 7,500 works of art, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art’s Altoona site consists of three unique galleries. Outdoor opportunities abound here, too, including the state’s highest skiable mountain at Blue Knob All Seasons Resort, a visit to Canoe Creek State Park, and the historic, iconic Blair Limestone Kilns, which are situated along the alignment of the September 11th National Memorial Trail that evolves into an unbroken 1,300-mile system of roads, trails, and greenways that link the three 9/11 memorials in NYC, DC and PA, running right through the heart of Blair County’s three trail towns. The Blair County Convention Center boasts 50,000-square feet of flexible space for meetings, conventions and events, along with ample free parking and a connected Courtyard Marriott. The center also offers full-service catering, Wi-Fi, on-site audio-visual, dedicated event planners, marketing

"Explore Altoona’s current marketing plan consists of the most extensive digital campaign the agency has undertaken consisting of SEM, targeted e-blasts, geofencing, OTT and CTV streaming, and social mirroring impressions," notes Mark Ickes, executive director for Explore Altoona. "In addition, a television broadcast campaign will target the Pittsburgh; Harrisburg, York and Lancaster markets, as well as Hagerstown and Cumberland, MD. All campaign messaging continues with the tag line, 'Small Destination Big Adventures!'" "Blair County, PA’s brand determination of classic fun full of value and variety resonates with a target audience looking for authentic experiences within a destination not known for drawing large crowds, which is surrounded by and immersed within vast green spaces, stellar outdoor recreation, and room to roam. In addition, our hospitality partners are known for exceptional personalized service as they roll out the red carpet for all guests," Ickes adds. LOOKING AHEAD Ickes expresses optimism for 2022 after encouraging statistics in recent months. "In comparing 2021 to 2019 hotel statistics, Blair County’s hotel aggregate occupancy, ADR, and RevPAR percentages exceeded those respective percentages of the national average, according to December, 2021 Smith Travel Research reports. In the case of the ADR, Blair County’s finished 2021 with a 7 percent increase while the national average demonstrated a 5 percent decrease."

DelGrosso’s Amusement Park and Laguna Splash Water Park in Altoona, PA; photo courtesy: Explore Altoona ­80 May­z June­2022

PITTSBURGH, PA VISITPITTSBURGH.COM WHAT’S NEW There are several new or in-the-works hospitalityrelated offerings on the horizon for Pittsburgh. Scheduled to open in the summer of 2022, The Landing Hotel at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh will offer a luxurious experience with panoramic views of downtown Pittsburgh. Steps from Heinz Field and PNC Park on the North Shore, The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh will connect directly to Rivers Casino. Westmoreland County’s newest state-of-the-art event space, The Venue at Live! Casino® will open in July 2022, delivering a unique blend of excitement and sophistication for an impressive and unforgettable guest experience. Whether for a reception, social event, conference, or trade show, The Venue at Live! Casino boasts 7,000-square feet of function space for up to 780 attendees.

Downtown, Joinery Hotel Pittsburgh, Curio Collection by Hilton, will open its doors this June. The boutique hotel will feature an experiential lobby, a library, board games, records and bikes to rent, as well as meeting and event spaces, a 10th-floor terrace, and T&E Diner. The fourth-floor rooftop space at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is currently undergoing a $10-million renovation. Depending on event setup, the space will be able to host up to 400 people. The Roxian Theatre, four-miles outside of downtown Pittsburgh in McKees Rocks, is a flexible, unique event space housed inside a former classic movie house built in 1929 for up to 1,400 guests with full-service event production, state-of-the-art lighting and sound, custom menus and more. The August Wilson African American Cultural Center just opened August Wilson: The Writer’s Land-

WESTMORELAND COUNTY’S NEWEST STATE-OF-THE-ART EVENT SPACE OPENING JULY 2022 Receptions | Social Events | Entertainment | Corporate Meetings Trainings | Banquets | Conferences | Trade Shows 7,000 Square Feet of Event Space | Accommodating up to 780 People Seated receptions for up to 350 | Cocktail receptions for up to 650

GUARANTEED TO IMPRESS YO UR GUESTS The Venue at Live! Casino® delivers a unique blend of excitement and sophistication. Your guests will be so amazed with the attractions and atmosphere; it will be an experience they will never forget.

Request Proposal: 878-787-7770 | westmorelandevents@livech.com pittsburgh.livecasinohotel.com/TheVenue

RT. 30 l WESTMORELAND MALL Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­81

Duquesne Incline at dusk in Pittsburgh, PA; photo courtesy: Visit Pittsburgh; credit: Dustin McGrew

scape, the first-ever exhibition dedicated to the life and works of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Moonshot Museum, officially launching in October 2022, will provide visitors with an upclose look of real lunar landers and rovers being built and readied to fly to the moon. The museum is Pennsylvania’s first dedicated to space and is co-located at the headquarters of space robotics company Astrobotic Technology, Inc. Groups have their pick of “retro-tainment” options, including duckpin bowling, pinball machines, bocce courts and more at Shorty’s Pins x Pints, which also boasts two full-service bars, plus a riverfront outdoor area with fire pits and games.

about Brewing. Meanwhile, Verona-based Inner Groove Brewing opened a taproom that features a winterized beer garden and a fun, music-filled atmosphere. Strum away with the world’s most popular musical instrument at GUITAR: The Instrument that Rocked the World at the Carnegie Science Center, a touring exhibition showcasing more than 100 acoustic, electric, historical and unusual guitars on view from May 20 to October 30. Bombs Away promises free-falling thrills for visitors this summer at Sandcastle Waterpark. An exciting lineup of special events are scheduled throughout the summer, with opening day scheduled for May 21. REACHING OUT

Experience the work of impressionist painter Claude Monet at Monet in Bloom, the 2022 Summer Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden through September 25. Pittsburgh was named one of the Best Craft Beer Cities by Fodor’s Travel in 2021, and the list of excellent craft beer offerings continues to grow. COVEN Brewing opened in in April, housed in the space once home to Round­82 May­z June­2022

“We’re inspired and motivated by the early return of in-person meetings, events, conventions and tourism to Pittsburgh,” asserts Andrew Ortale, chief sales officer for VisitPITTSBURGH. “Though we understand that group travel will be the last sector to fully recover, we’re already seeing in Pittsburgh that groups are eager to again meet in-person, with large business events returning to Pittsburgh in Q3 2021.”

“Our region’s key industry sectors - education, technology, advanced manufacturing and life sciences - have become a significant differentiator for Pittsburgh’s position as a meetings destination,” Ortale adds. “We continue to engage with businesses headquartered in Pittsburgh, or with a strong regional presence, to host business events within their industries at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and Pittsburgh hotels. And, we continue to leverage our ‘Only in Pittsburgh’ experiences and venues - the spaces and places exclusive to Pittsburgh that allow planners to create memorable experiences for their attendees.”

much more - Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are gearing up for a tremendous 2022,” VisitPITTSBURGH president and CEO, Jerad Bachar noted at the meeting. “Travel is certainly on the move, and VisitPITTSBURGH looks forward to maximizing this moment as we continue to build and strengthen the tourism economy for Allegheny County.” According to a recent Destination Analysts American Traveler Sentiment Study, excitement to travel over the next 12 months is at the highest it has ever been in the pandemic era, with more than 93 percent of Americans planning to take at least one leisure trip in the next year.

LOOKING AHEAD Alongside nearly 250 members of the region’s travel and tourism community, VisitPITTSBURGH celebrated Pittsburgh Tourism On the Move at their 86th Annual Meeting at The Westin Pittsburgh in March. “From the return of British Airways service between Pittsburgh and London, to the launch of new visitor experiences, the growth of large-scale events and so

“We are already seeing the increased return of sports, business and leisure travelers early in 2022,” Bachar notes. “Daily, our SportsPITTSBURGH, MeetPITTSBURGH and Leisure Tourism teams are out sharing and telling the Pittsburgh story to sports event planners, meeting planners and leisure travelers to bring them into our region. We will continue to tell the Pittsburgh story and emphasize that our region is a must-see destination with so much to offer visitors.”

An Elevated Entertainment Experience Michelle Lee, aka DeeJay Shelly, is an international DJ, Emcee, and Entertainer with an artistic emphasis on Multi-cultural, EDM, Top 40, Hip-Hop, Funk, and House music. Styled in her signature exotic wings and turquoise shimmer headphones, DeeJay Shelly brings an exciting and interactive experience through her infectious energy and love of music.

Book DeeJay Shelly for your corporate event entertainment. DeeJayShelly.com Shelly@SoundsByShelly.com 267.640.2731 Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­83


Welcome Back! At long last, FAM Trips and Dine-Arounds have returned! Those in-person, educational (yes, educational) enticing and immersive site tours of destinations or venues that planners can attend to experience and learn more about for their next meeting, conference, convention, special event or board retreat.

Virtual tours have been a growing option while in-person visits were on hold, but nothing – NOTHING - can beat the experience of the spa services, a walkthrough the chef’s kitchen, a team building event on the bay, or the aroma of the evening’s dinner presented by a venue or destination. Having the opportunity to actually meet the sales and catering teams, chef and front desk staff could help you make your final decision or be what ultimately wins you over. Here are a few other recent events that have helped to move the needle for planners on upcoming next conference. They may just be a great fit for your upcoming events, too.

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EventsWorthy ICONA MEANS BUSINESS March 11-13, 2022 (South Jersey Shore) – The ICONA brand has been growing and, to showcase their Avalon property, 15 planners attended one of the first FAM trips of 2022. A welcome reception on the ICONA Avalon Veranda and group dinner in Avalon Brew Pub at ICONA Avalon was the start of this luxurious, boutique FAM trip. Tours of the ICONA Diamond Beach and the new ICONA Cape May were on the next day’s schedule. Lunch and wine tastings at a bustling Cape May Winery with the ICONA managers and sales team gave good insight on winter offerings in the area. The final evening started with spirits tastings by Nauti Spirits of Cape May, which led into an ICONA Means Business Dinner Experience followed by a fun night in the hotel’s lobby with sing along piano playing.

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EventsWorthy HYATT PLACE DEWEY BEACH April 20-22, 2022 (Dewey Beach, DE) - The teams from TKo Hospitality and Hyatt Sales worked together to host a very well-orchestrated FAM trip that took about 25 planners and their guests on a tour throughout Dewey Beach, Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. A Welcome Reception and culinary experience on property started the momentum, which led into a Dewey Crush Crawl at neighboring partners Dewey Beer Company, the Starboard and then back to Lighthouse Cove. Yoga and Sound Immersion Meditation on the outdoor deck provided an example of the Hyatt’s uniqueness for a morning workout. Guest speaker Sam Calagione of the well-known Dogfish Head Brewery spoke on the creation of his brand, and a tour of TKo’s new Hyatt House in neighboring Lewes then followed. Lunch, beer samplings and a tour of the Dogfish Head Brewery were up next. A downtown Rehoboth Beach excursion followed as the next engagement, and then a few hours later the evening’s finale started with a family-style culinary extravaganza back at the Hyatt Place Dewey Beach followed by a sunset boat cruise on the Rehoboth Bay.

Guests enjoyed a beach bonfire to complete the experience. “The purpose of any FAM event is always to educate and familiarize potential customers with a venue or destination or both,” notes Robin Lattinville, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for TKo Hospitality. “This was such an important event for our properties as well as our destinations because, while many meeting planners are familiar with the coastal Delaware beach towns of Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Beach and Lewes as family vacation hubs, they likely were not aware of all that these areas have to offer for meetings and events.” “Our properties offer exceptionally well-designed and comfortable accommodations to be sure, but the real magic lies outside of the hotels," Lattinville continues. "We wanted to expose these meeting professionals to some of the unique outdoor adventures, waterfront settings and culinary delights of the area. When our guests were overheard making comments like, ‘I never knew this area had so much to offer’ or ‘I have driven through here many times, but didn’t realize all of this was here,’ we knew we were achieving our objective.”

Judi McLaughlin, HelmsBriscoe with Drew DiFonzo, TKo Hospitality ­86 May­z June­2022


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EventsWorthy CHESTER COUNTY’S VERSATILE VENUES March 30, 2022 (Chester County, PA) – Over 40 regional meeting and event planners came together for an exclusive, in-person evening to enjoy a taste of Chester County’s Versatile Venues. Created by the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau, the first stop was Phoenixville Foundry, where attendees enjoyed the historic 18,000-square foot venue while having cocktails and appetizers by J. Scott Catering. Next, the planners were transported by Kevin Smith Transportation to Franklin Commons with dinner by Drexelbrook Catering. Attendees enjoyed a variety of stations in the industrial-chic ballroom overlooking a beautiful outdoor courtyard. The last stop of the night for desserts and drinks was on the rooftop at the Bistro on Bridge, providing a relaxing atmosphere in their reinvented space overlooking Bridge Street in the heart of Phoenixville. “Versatile Venues – Phoenixville was the second Dine-Around themed event we have hosted in Chester County. It is a great way to experience several venues in one evening. Phoenixville’s vibrant main street is great backdrop for events, and this was a first time visit for many of the planners who attended,” stated Courtney Babcock, Director of Sales, Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to showcasing another region of Chester County in late 2022.”

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EventsWorthy MARCH ON VALLEY FORGE April 26-28, 2022 (King of Prussia, PA) – The Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board (TCB) hosted their first FAM in some time, proudly showcasing a variety of hotels, dining experiences and activities. “We were thrilled to host this FAM as we continue to re-introduce Valley Forge and Montgomery County as a meetings destination. Throughout our two-and-a-half-day agenda, planners were treated to incredible restaurants, unique experiences and site tours of a number of our hotels and venues. It truly is great to be connecting again in-person,” exclaims Scott Higgins, Director of Sales for the Valley Forge TCB.

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EventsWorthy A TRIP THROUGH THE POCONOS April 27-29, 2022 (Pocono Mountains, PA) - Another very well-orchestrated and all hands-on deck FAM took place throughout the Pocono Mountains choregraphed by the Pocono Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions was the host hotel for the 20-plus planners and their guests. The evening started (and later finished) with various stations representing the restaurants within Kalahari, including: Double Cut Steak House; Sortino's Italian Kitchen; Cinco Niños; and B-Lux Grill and Bar. Musical entertainment was provided by the dueling pianos of the Philly Keys. An industry Think Tank Talk started the next morning’s discussion about the industry’s current and future and led into tours of Kalahari’s expansive property. Guests then headed to tour Camelback Resort where they indulged in a creative culinary luncheon at the resort’s private Summit House restaurant. Afterward they took part in some team building with axe throwing, just one of the many opportunities for adventure in the Pocono Mountains. Next, attendees were transported to Mount Airy Casino Resort for a tour of its event spaces followed by drinks and desserts at the Club House on the Golf Course. After a brief respite, everyone headed over to Skytop Lodge for a tour and a dining experience at the Lakeview Restaurant at the Inn at Skytop, all while be entertained by a mentalist. This final day of the FAM Trip offered a mix of venues for guests to see along with tastes to experience. A tour of Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway was the first stop, followed by a trip to Pocono Organics, one of North America’s largest regenerative Organic-Certified farms.

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Lauren Curtolo of Chartwell Law visiting one of the FAM sponsors

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Around Th AHLA: BUSINESS TRAVEL HELPS GAIN COMPETITIVE EDGE Washington, DC - An analysis conducted by the San Diego State University School of Hospitality and Tourism Management for the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) found that in-person business travel and meetings have undeniable advantages over virtual options, and that businesses and organizations that resume business travel and meetings more quickly are likely to have a competitive edge over those that do not. “There is a time and place for using virtual meeting platforms, but business travel and the face-to-face meetings it facilitates generate more positive outcomes for individuals, organizations, clients and customers,” said Dr. Lisa Cain, associate professor at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. www.ahla.com

VISIT BALTIMORE - NEW ACCESSIBILITY RESOURCE IN HOSPITALITY Baltimore, MD - Visit Baltimore has launched a new accessibility resource as part of its Warm Welcome Program that features an accessibility guide for the owners and staff of hotels, restaurants, museums and attractions on the topics of disability identity, etiquette, needs and preferences. “As we have been striving to become a destination that embraces diversity and inclusivity, we recognize the important role that accessibility plays when travelers with disabilities

are making decisions on where to visit,” said Al Hutchinson, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore. The training is presented by Visit Baltimore and well-respected DEI and Accessibility expert, Melanie Hood-Wilson, owner of Melanie Hood-Wilson and Associates, and Director of Special Populations at the Community College of Baltimore County. Visit Baltimore is continuously working with local DE&I experts to enhance its Warm Welcome resources for participants and has plans to release an additional module focusing on the LGBTQ+ Community later this year.


Caesars Celebrating Global Meetings Industry Day On April 7, 2022, the industry came together to celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) - an international day of advocacy showcasing the undeniable value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and communities. This year's activation broke records - garnering more than 40-million impressions worldwide and reaching more than 8.5-million users across the globe. In addition, GMID events took place in 30 countries throughout the world, bringing colleagues together to remind them of the benefits of in-person meetings. caesars.com ­92 May­z June­2022


Visit Hershey & Harrisburg President & CEO Mary Smith with Christine Cleaver, Assistant Professor & Program Director, School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management at Temple University and Michael Sheridan, Associate Professor of Practice & Academic Director of MS in Hospitality Management Program at Temple University

Careers in the tourism industry are dynamic, engaging, rewarding, and fun! Visit Hershey & Harrisburg invited college students and recent graduates for a day of purposeful connections with professionals in Hospitality Management and Sports Tourism fields. They collaborated with the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality at Temple University to facilitate the day's events, and students from across Pennsylvania to learned more about the wide-ranging benefits of a career in tourism!

Visit Bucks County: National Travel & Tourism Week Bucks County, PA – Visit Bucks County recognized five individuals and organizations at the National Travel and Tourism Week award celebration at Crossing Vineyards and Winery. Honorees were nominated by their peers in the local hospitality industry. This year’s theme was “Future of Travel.” (From Left: Paul Bencivengo, Kathy Cuddihy, Brittany Brown, Marjan Shirzad, Emily Seltzer, Robert J. Harvie, Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, Gene DiGirolamo, Joe Ferry, Sharon Rossi, Stephen Barth)

Commissioners Robert J. Harvie, Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, and Gene DiGirolamo presented the National Travel and Tourism Week Awards to the following honorees: - Tourism Innovation Award: Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle - Guest Excellence Award: Kathy Cuddihy, Fox and Hound Bed & Breakfast - Hospitality Leadership Award: Joe Ferry, Perkasie Towne Improvement Association & Stephen Barth, Barth Consulting Group - Rising Star Award: Emily Seltzer, River House at Odette’s - Visit Bucks County Award: Brittany Brown, Britt Around Town visitbuckscounty.com Mid-Atlantic­EvEnts­Magazine ­93

Around Th VALLEY FORGE TOURISM ANNOUNCED NEW EVENTS COMING TO THE REGION King of Prussia, PA May 9, 2022 - Valley Forge Tourism celebrated Montgomery County, PA as a premiere tourism destination during the 6th annual Travel Rally titled “The Future of Travel.” “We believe travel’s got a pretty bright future here in Montgomery County,” noted Mike Bowman, President & CEO of the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board. “That’s because historically, tourism has been a huge, key positive economic driver in Montco contributing more than $1.65 billion, and more than 25,000 jobs. Travel allows us to emotionally connect with each other, which we need now more than ever.”

be incorporated in the organization’s second annual Arts Montco Week, September 16-25, 2022. Also announced was the Valley Forge engagement of The American Revolution Show performing at Washington Memorial Chapel from June 18-26, 2022. It was also shared that the Advocates Professional Golf Association Tour will return to Montgomery County in Fall 2022. Other continuing Valley Forge Tourism initiatives highlighted during the Travel Rally included Make It Main Street and a Meetings Campaign launch to further position Montgomery County as one of the industry-leading destinations for trade shows and corporate gatherings. valleyforge.org

During the event, Valley Forge Tourism announced the launch of their first ever Montco Jazz Fest, which will

GLOBAL BUSINESS TRAVEL RECOVERY SURGES Alexandria, VA - Business travel is surging forward, international travel is returning and despite new challenges, industry recovery is entrenched. In addition, corporate travel policies are undergoing a revamp and employees are broadly willing to travel for business. These findings are from the April Business Travel Recovery Poll, the latest in a series from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). “We’re seeing significant gains in the return of business travel, especially over the past month or two. GBTA’s global data shows more companies are allowing domestic and now also international employee travel. Booking levels and travel spending continue to return, and there’s high levels of optimism and employee willingness to travel for business,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA. www.gbta.org ­94 May­z June­2022

AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY EXPANDS New York, NY - The American Museum of Natural History is slated to open the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation in the winter of ‘22-‘23, transforming the experience of the entire museum and advancing public science education for all ages. The museum is targeting LEED Gold certification - a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement - by deploying a range of strategies to reduce waste and conserve energy. The Gilder Center project invites exploration of the fascinating, farreaching relationships among the museum’s rich collections, research initiatives, educational programs and exhibits. amnh.org

he Region MPI-NJ COMES TO ATLANTIC CITY Atlantic City, NJ - Meeting Professionals International, New Jersey Chapter (MPI-NJ) brought the purchasing power of over 100 meeting and event industry professionals to its second annual education event, The MEETS Conference, in Atlantic City on March 23, 2022, a premier gathering covering the meetings education, events, travel and sales areas of the meetings industry. The two-day event at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino included: education sessions on business trends in the meetings and events industries; working more effectively with underserved social markets; building holistic organizations through diversity, equity and inclusion; building better customer solutions through sales; and “future-proofing” contracts against unexpected events. mpi.org/chapters/new-jersey

WHAT’S NEW AT MOHEGAN SUN Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun and Mohegan Sun Golf Club is investing $15-million on various projects that are now underway and planned this year, including a new VIP Lounge and Bar in Casino of the Earth, major renovations to Mohegan Sun’s two most luxurious suites, and significant course improvements that will also take place at the award-winning Mohegan Sun Golf Club. Additionally, key updates to Sachem Lounge and the outdoor patio at Summer Entrance soon will begin. Mohegan Sun will also soon announce exciting new additions to its lineup of restaurants, which currently consists of more than 40 offerings, including the popular TAO Asian Bistro and Lounge, which opened last year. mohegansun.com

“MOONWALK” - A New Virtual Reality Experience for Smithsonian “FUTURES” Washington, DC - The Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building (AIB) and Meta Immersive Learning have unveiled “FUTURES x Meta: Moonwalk,” a new immersive virtual reality (VR) experience that brings visitors as close to the lunar surface as possible - outside of actual space travel.

technology, allowing visitors to explore the lunar landscape as it has seldom been seen before. Timed with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions, the experience will be on view at “FUTURES,” the Smithsonian’s first major exhibition about the future, through June 6, 2022. aib.si.edu

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EvEntM ­ AKErs DELAWARE Townsend - Georgia Belden is the new Director of Events for Tata Consultancy Services.

New York - The newly opened Hyatt Place Chelsea has named Ziya Turgut as Food and Beverage Manager and Head Chef, overseeing all F&B operations.



National Harbor - Gaylord National Resort announced the addition of Chef Rajesh "Raj" Kattaria. Chef Raj has served as executive chef for several five-star resorts all over the world, and specializes in South Asian cuisine, including cuisine from all regions of India, which will allow Gaylord National to offer south Asian cuisine from its own kitchen. Owings Mills - Shannon Burke has been hired as Vice President of Events for StepStone Group.

NEW JERSEY Princeton – DeAnna Lucas has been named Executive Assistant at Mnemo Therapeutics. Shrewsbury - Kathy Grau has been named Group Director of Operations at MedForce.

NEW YORK Lake George - Nick Kelly brings an extensive background in hospitality and sales to his new role as Sports and Reunion Coordinator for the Lake George Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau. New York - In addition to managing the Philadelphia Chapter of PCMA, Erica Keagy will now be managing the New York Chapter of PCMA.

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Chester County - Heather Seasholtz has been named Vice President, Conference Operations for Conference Managers based in Alexandria, VA and will be working remotely. King of Prussia - Valley Forge Casino Resort announced the appointment of two key leadership positions. Jeffrey George has been named Director of Food and Beverage and Remi Oduyebo as Director of Hotel Operations. Lancaster – Michael Baker has been named Assistant Vice President of Auxiliary Services at Franklin & Marshall College. Philadelphia - Advanced Staging Productions announced that their team is continuing to grow with the following recent additions: Project Managers Mimi Beja, Corey Capote and Kelly Wildemann; Controller Karen Beasley; and IT Specialist Aaron Kearns. With these additions, Advanced Staging Productions is preparing to expand their reach with both client relations and logistical coordination. Philadelphia - Di Bruno Bros. Catering has named Marina Volpe as Sales & Marketing Coordinator and Gabi Forgione as Corporate Sales Representative. Philadelphia – Jessica Kiefer has been named Sales and Event Manager at Steak48. Jessica has 23 years of experi-




ence in hospitality in the Philadelphia market, including her tenure at Smith and Wollensky and most recently Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Philadelphia - The board of directors of Visit Philadelphia announced that Angela Val has been selected as their new President and CEO. Philadelphia – OVG360 announced that Gregory A. O’Dell joined the full-service venue management and hospitality company as President, Venue Management. OVG360, which is the third-party, service-oriented division of Oak View Group. Previously, Gregory served as CEO and general manager of the Washington Convention Center Authority and will now lead the venue management line of business within OVG360, overseeing venue operations for more than 230 properties across the globe, including stadiums, arenas, convention centers, performing arts centers, cultural institutions, and state fairgrounds. Radnor - The Inn at Villanova & Conference Center has promoted Kiara Greenidge to Director/GM. Ridley Park - Lisa McGlashen has been named Director of Meetings and Exhibits for the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) based in Fairfax, VA and will be working remotely. Stroudsburg – The Pocono Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau has appointed Leigh Velez as their new Regional Sales Manager. Leigh’s experience spans more than two decades in the hospitality industry, mainly in key revenue producing roles for global hotel brands Sheraton and Marriott. Most recently, she was with the Erie County Convention Center Authority having spent the last ten



years developing and attracting large group and convention business. Wawa – Abbey Shuster has been named Catering Account Manager for Wawa Catering, handling multiple regions along with the Philadelphia commissary. Wayne - Synergy Hospitality Management announced the appointment of AJ Williams as General Manager of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Philadelphia Valley Forge. For over 25 years, AJ has served in senior leadership roles in all aspects of hotel operations, including convention services, food and beverage and rooms divisions.

TEXAS Dallas - Omni Hotels and Resorts announced Kurt Alexander as their new President after spending the last five years as CFO.

VIRGINIA Leesburg - Deborah Porter has been appointed Director of Events for Lansdowne Resort. Deborah has over 20 years of experience, including at the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport, B.F. Saul Hospitality Group, Hyatt Fair Lakes, and Airlie Conference Center. Pembroke – The Board of Directors of Mountain Lake Lodge - the Virginia hotel where the original Dirty Dancing was filmed 35 years ago - has announced the promotion of Heidi Stone to President and CEO. Heidi previously served as General Manager since 2013.

WASHINGTON, DC Melissa Kucks Hepfer has been hired as the new Meeting Manager at PRRI -Public Religion Research Institute.




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Please join us!

You and your mee琀ng planning team are invited to a unique outdoor trade show where you will be able to visit in-person with des琀na琀ons, hotels, venues, event service companies, and more! There will be exci琀ng ra e prizes and tasty food, beverages, and treats!

Thursday, June 2, 2022 2:00pm-5:00pm

The Drexelbrook Catering & Event Center 4700 Drexelbrook Drive, Drexel Hill, PA 19026 • 610-259-7000 THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS & SPONSORS!

This event is complimentary for all planners. Please register by May 27th. In the event inclement weather is forecasted on June 2, this event will be moved inside.

PLANNERS REGISTER HERE! Vaccine Requirement/Proof of Nega琀ve Test - Upon arrival to registra琀on, a琀endees will be required to show proof of full vaccina琀on or a nega琀ve COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to the start of the mee琀ng. Dress Code: Smart casual including shorts • Space is still available for sponsors and exhibitors. Click here to learn more.

Questions? Please contact Erica Keagy at gppcma@comcast.net, 610-220-1232 or Jim Cohn at jim@eventsmagazine.com, 215-947-8600.


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!

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