Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine November/December 2020 Issue

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EVENTS November | December 2020

Hoping to travel & plan again...soon!

FEATURING 416 Integr ated Guest Rooms 90,000 sq. ft. of Exhibit Sp ace


While plannin ng your next big event, don n’ t settle ffo or anything less than t the best of both worldss. Located in the historicc heart of downtown Lancaster City, y, the Lan ncaster County Convention Center allo ows visitors to have their cake and eat it to oo—where big city culture can be savored d at a small town pace.

Jacyn H Thompson




(717) 2 07-4045



(717) 344-7367

L ancasterConventionCenter. com LancasterCon m

t of the end of 2020. At the star e th d he ac re ly ar ne have hit that wall in Well, here we are. We re sky high. Then we we ns io at ct pe ex d an gy enly turned year, ever yone’s ener rward direction sudd Fo d. vi Co th wi n sio lli March - a full-force co motionless. So, now what?

ess wants opportunities as busin od go , lly fu pe ho d, an additions ipalities remain There will be changes, s, counties and munic te sta ny Ma . ck ba me ll co ted, reshaped and to come back - and wi , businesses have pivo se on sp re in d, an s ive under strict direct fely. works to survive... sa changed as ever yone gaged and ionships by staying en lat re ain int ma to n ca this they and partnering role at ing People are doing what at uc ed an in e ar ing in touch. We get back to what informed and by keep ther as we all want to ge to ing rk wo e ar rs supplie point. Properties and rona. we were BC - Before Co ll be part of . The hybrid model wi ain ag up en op we as d we need each Things will be different are a social industry an we l, -al -in all t, bu s, ion, many conference for safety and sanitat at d ke loo be ll wi ny cran other. Ever y nook and operty as its logo. representative of a pr as be ll wi ge na sig ile wh for tourism, nations will be strong sti De -To ive Dr l, ve When it comes to tra t is positioned perats, and the East Coas tre re d an ns tio en nv ng in all meetings, co nations within. Traveli sti de e th d an ion lat safer. Confectly due to its popu lly by air - will become cia pe es n tio rta po opermodes of trans to be won over and pr ed ne ll wi ce en id nf sumer and company co to achieve that. ties are already working ing back and forth eds to flourish, includ ne ely lut so ab ism ur To ‌ you name ies, small destinations cit jor Ma . ns ea oc th across bo . International need the tourism trade all ey th d an , try un co the tries are er, and so many coun th ge to rld wo e th s tourism bring ists once again. tourists and to be tour ck ba me lco we to r eage

Jim Cohn - Publisher gazine Mid Atlantic Events Ma

# U N T I LW E M E E TA G A I N Cae esarsMeansBusinesss.com 855-633-8238


November z December 2020


EVENTS November | December 2020

Specialties at local street markets in Sorrento, Italy that are missed when International travel is halted

Hoping to travel & plan again...soon!

Page 4 PAGE 12 - Grand entrance at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, NJ; photo credit: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City


Casino Resorts - Latest Offerings Casino offerings from dining to recreation to meetings and more


Drive-To Destinations: Mountain Meetings Inspiring settings amid regional mountain locations


Places That Have Stood the Test of Time Choosing destinations and venues with rich histories

PAGE 52 - Artwork lining hallways at the newly opened River House at Odette's, New Hope PA.


Publisher’s Letter


Drive-To Destinations : Beachfront Settings


Continuing Conversations To Inspire Forward Motion

Location Reports: 52 Bucks County, PA 56 Chester County, PA 60 Delaware County, PA 64 Montgomery County & Valley Forge, PA 70 Philadelphia, PA

PAGE 60 - Fearless Restaurants new Rosalie at the Wayne Hotel also expands into the hotel's lobby, Wayne, PA.


November z December 2020


Philadelphia: New Attractions & Hidden Gems




Around The Region

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 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sharon DeFelices ADVERTISING & SALES 215-947-8600, ext. 111 ad-sales@eventsmagazine.com




EDITORIAL OFFICES 1800 Byberry Rd Ste 901, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006 215-947-8600, ext. 110 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 - Green Meetings Industry Council - Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association

Vol. 34, No.1

International – Greater Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware - International Live Events Association – Greater Philadelphia, North Jersey & Washington DC - Meeting Professionals International – Middle Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Philadelphia & Potomac - Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives - National Association of Catering Executives – Greater Philadelphia/South Jersey - Ocean City, MD Convention and Visitors Bureau - Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association - Pennsylvania Society of Association Executives - PHL CVB - Pocono Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau

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

- Professional Convention Management Association 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 2020 by Tri-State Events Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine 1800 Byberry Road, STE 901 Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006 215-947-8600 www.eventsmagazine.com

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photo courtesy of Rivers Casino Philadelphia

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Resorts - Latest Offerings Casino resort properties have long boasted a one-stop meeting, event or group experience. While current circumstances have forced changes in the way these properties are able to host group business, they remain a top choice among planners. Throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regions, these casino resorts provide a wide range of offerings from diverse dining options and ample function space to recreational opportunities and entertainment choices. Here is a look at some of the latest offerings from several casino properties, along with a preview of some of their future plans. Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­13


Mohegan Sun Pocono photo courtesy of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment

Situated on 400 acres in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Mohegan Sun Pocono features a 238room hotel and adjacent 20,000-square foot convention center, live harness racing and a state-of-the-art Unibet Sportsbook sports betting facility with a fully customizable 28-foot wide, high-definition video wall. DINING: Mohegan Sun Pocono’s available dining options include: Ruth's Chris Steakhouse; Rustic Kitchen Bistro and Bar; Bar Louie; Molly O’Sheas sports bar; along with a food court. Group dining selections feature an array of customizable menus, individual packaged items, themed, served buffets, and formal plated entrées. MEETINGS: “We’re ready for your group to get back to business,” proclaims Sarah Farrell, director

of sales, adding that the property boasts the “meeting space and flexibility to suit your group’s needs. The convention center features 10 breakout options, perfect for live streaming and creating options for larger groups requiring smaller group spaces, and the in-house AV team can accommodate both hybrid and virtual components.” Specialized floor plans for optimal physical distancing and property-wide safety and sanitizing measures will welcome groups back safely. In addition, the property features a large outdoor patio overlooking the race track for an event of up to 250 guests.

MOUNT AIRY CASINO RESORT Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mt. Pocono, PA boasts the Keystone State’s first AAA Four Diamond-rated casino with nearly 300 upscale guest rooms and suites complemented by a one year old 20,000-square foot convention center and ballroom. DINING: Mount Airy’s restaurants have been awarded by OpenTable diners as some of the best in the Pocono area in several categories, including Best Ambiance, Best Service, Most Romantic, and Best Special Occasion. Indoor options include: Guy Fieri’s Mt. Pocono Kitchen; award-winning Bistecca by II Mulino; Lucky 8 Noodle and Sushi Bar; The Market at Mount Airy; Starbucks; and Pizzeria Montagna. RECREATION: This all-encompassing, full-service resort destination features a lakefront 18-hole golf course; spa, salon and exercise facility; a $6 million, luxury, indoor/outdoor swimming pool and entertainment complex; plus, a covered outdoor pavilion that hosts a summer concert series. MEETINGS: Mount Airy Casino Resort’s one-year old convention center/ballroom is a multi-functional, state-of-the-art venue with the capacity to accommodate seated dinners of up to 750 guests and 1,200 attendees for events and concerts. ­14 November­z December­2020

The outdoor deck at the clubhouse of Mount Airy’s nationally recognized golf course is perfect for events, dinner and receptions. Overlooking the picturesque Pocono Mountains, the patio is ideal for seated groups. In addition, Mount Airy also boasts a 15,000-square foot tented area that can accommodate trade show and concerts. “We recently launched our Elopement Package, which is geared toward the couples that intended on getting married this year and unfortunately had to postpone their wedding due to the unforeseen circumstances,” explains Glenn Cademartori, VP of marketing for the resort. “The package includes an intimate ceremony for up to 30 guests, a romantic candlelit dinner for two, an hour of photography, and so much more! We also have altered our Day Meeting Package to allow for boxed breakfast or lunch, and all new clients are receiving a discount of $10.00 per person.”

Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mt. Pocono, PA


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


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VALLEY FORGE CASINO RESORT The award-winning “All Under One Roof” Valley Forge Casino Resort complex in King of Prussia, PA offers an ideal location, accommodations, amenities and services for hosting successful events. DINING: “Since Valley Forge Casino Resort reopened, we have still been able to offer our guests a variety of dining options in safe, spaced ways,” notes David Zerfing, general manager. “Revolution Chop House is open for indoor, upscale dining. Our Food Court is available for lunch and dinner and features everything from pizza to sushi, along with made-to-order stir fry.” That also have partnered with the on-property Dunkin’ to offer breakfast throughout the day or a “pick-me-up” treat any time up until 3:00 am. RECREATION: Under normal circumstances, the casino resort offers 850 slot machines, 50 live-action table games, and the area’s only FanDuel Sportsbook, however, due to current circumstances, the resort has shut down every other slot machine and removed half the chairs at table games in order to keep guests safe and to provide appropriate physical distancing. “Although a few of our amenities have been closed, we still are offering 150 hotel rooms for those looking for a mini-vacation, and we are able to book events for up to 25 people in our 100,000square feet of flexible meeting space,” notes Zerfing. MEETINGS: “During these unprecedented times, we are working with each client to personalize their event as we have more than 30 separate meeting rooms,” Zerfing adds. “We’re happy to work with them to fit their needs and budget without sacrificing the quality of their meeting and while upholding VFCR’s professional standards. Our goal is to take the worry and pressure off the meeting planner and help guide them each step of the way to make sure we are adhering to the current guidelines set forward by the CDC and PA DOH, all while making sure their meeting a memorable one.” Valley Forge Casino Resort currently is offering a special, four-hour micro-wedding package inclusive of a ceremony and reception with food and drink for up to 25 guests.

photo courtesy of Valley Forge Casino Resort ­16 November­z December­2020


With overr 100,000 sq. ft. in event space and 37 3 meeting rooms, we have th he space to spread d your attendees ou ut in adherence to the best practices p of social distancing. We know the safety of eventt attendees is yourr top priority, and we’re making it ours, too. Speak to a Sales Manager to lea arn more about our newly l iimpllemented t d health h lth and d sanitation s it ti guidelines and to book your nex xt meeting.

(610) 768-3215 5 / vfcasino.com 1160 First Avenue, e King of Prussia, PA GAMBLING PROBLEM P ? CALL 1-800-GAMBLER 2020 BOYD D GAMING CORPORATION T N®


Mian Restaurant at Rivers Casino Philadelphia

RIVERS CASINO PHILADELPHIA Rivers Casino Philadelphia along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, PA features an array of world-class gaming and entertainment, outstanding restaurant options and more. DINING: “Per the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth, indoor dining capacity recently increased to 50 percent,” notes Pete Longi, assistant general manager. “Two of our popular restaurants, Jacks Bar + Grill and Mian, are serving up delicious dishes and exquisite entrees.” Jack’s Bar + Grill is a classic American-fare restaurant that offers waterfront views, while Mian features authentic, quick-service Asian cuisine with rich flavors and fresh ingredients. RECREATION: Rivers Casino Philadelphia features a variety of slots and table games, as well as the stateof-the-art BetRivers Sportsbook, which features a massive 56.5-foot wide by 10.5-foot high LED video wall. MEETINGS: The Event Center at Rivers Casino Philadelphia is a 10,000-square foot column-free, configurable space offering different rooms to suit a variety of needs, views of the river, and catering by Gibsons Restaurant Group, which operates Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House. With floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the casino’s Event Center makes for an ideal setting for group functions. The Event Center also features a private boardroom and private lounge areas. ­18 November­z December­2020

photo courtesy of Rivers Casino Pittsburgh

RIVERS CASINO PITTSBURGH Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, PA is an entertainment destination on the city’s North Shore boasting 2,900 slot machines, over 100 table games, a 30-table poker room, plus diverse dining and entertainment options. DINING: Dining options include: Wheelhouse Bar and Grill; FLIPT; Mian; Ciao; and even a popular hot dog cart adjacent to the gaming floor. Outdoor covered seating is available outside the main front entrance for takeout meals, and outdoor patio seating is available at Wheelhouse. RECREATION: “Fall is one of our favorite times of year on property,” declares Shannon Redmond, vice president of marketing. “With the NFL season [underway], our BetRivers Sportsbook is the place to be right now. We offer so many games, such as slots, table games, poker and more, as well as entertainment like live DJs on the weekends, and BetRivers Sportsbook is among our primary attractions.”

MEETINGS: The Event Center at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh boasts 25,000-square feet of grand hall “black box” space with a 5,000square foot reception area. The floorplan has the capacity to accommodate up to 850 guests for sit-down dinners and up to 2,000 for stand-up receptions, trade shows and concerts, and is customizable. On the casino’s second level, with floor-toceiling views of the city and the Point, is the property’s 10,000-square foot riverfront ballroom.

N OW B O O K I N G 2 0 2 1 -2 0 2 2 E V E N T S

W H E R E G R E AT E V E N T S H A P P E N . A N D T H E P A R T Y K E E P S G O I N G .



Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­19

photo courtesy of Live! Casino & Hotel

LIVE! CASINO & HOTEL Live! Casino & Hotel is AAA Four Diamond-rated gaming and entertainment destination in Hanover, MD and features 40,000-square feet of customizable event space at The HALL at Live! with its $10-million state-of-the-art AV system, three massive, high resolution LED screens, a ribbon board that wraps around the space, and breakout rooms with interactive screens designed to keep event attendees engaged. DINING: At Live! Casino, guests can enjoy cuts of USDA prime meats along with fresh and locally sourced seafood that changes weekly at the Zagat-rated #1 steakhouse in the Baltimore Area, The Prime Rib. The revamped menu at Luk Fu includes specialties from China, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Takeout is available at both restaurants. RECREATION: “Guests can enjoy a safe and enjoyable gaming and entertainment experience thanks to our Play it Safe plan, an enhanced health and sanitation program with numerous measures and precautions that follows guidelines directly from the CDC, State of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health,” explains Cynthia Jones, VP of sales and marketing, hospitality division. “Our casino and hotel also are steps away from the largest outlet mall in the state, the Arundel Mills Mall, which has implemented its own social distancing and sanitizing protocols.” ­20 November­z December­2020

The Orchid Gaming and Smoking Patio is Maryland’s first and only outdoor gaming area to feature both table games and slots. Here customers can enjoy their favorite smoke and spirit alongside a fireplace. Looking ahead to 2021, Sports & Social will open as a oneof-a-kind sports restaurant, gaming venue and social lounge located at the heart of the casino floor plus integrated casino and interactive social games like mini-bowling and oversized foosball. MEETINGS: Live! recently launched “Confident Meetings and Conferences” packages at its multi-use concert and event venue, The HALL at Live! The semi-virtual hybrid meeting format lets companies and organizations breakout of virtual meeting fatigue. All meeting and conference options come with physically distanced setups, which include touchless sanitation stations, thermal scanning at entrances, and boxed meals with individually wrapped disposable utensils. For hybrid functions, customized web productions with prerecorded and/or live video broadcasts allow virtual attendees to feel included, while an array of menus, floor plans and semi-virtual options allow for maximum flexibility. “Our hybrid meeting offerings follow the same health and safety protocols established in our Play It Safe plan. Event planners have called it another arrow in their quiver to help organizations navigate… semi-virtual gatherings,” declares Jones.

Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT photo courtesy: Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment

MOHEGAN SUN Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT is a destination that boasts some of New England's finest dining, hotel accommodations, retail shopping, live entertainment and sporting events. Featuring two unique casinos, Kids Quest/Cyber Quest family entertainment facility, two luxurious spas, two indoor swimming pools, world-class meeting facilities, as well as three major entertainment venues and an outdoor sun terrace. Mohegan Sun also is home to the world's largest indoor planetarium dome and the awe-inspiring Wombi Rock, a glowing crystal mountain made of imported stone that serves as the focal point of Casino of the Sky, plus a 55-foot indoor waterfall. DINING: Mohegan Sun currently offers over 30 world-class dining options, from celebrity restaurateurs and gourmet meals to burgers and Texas-style BBQ. All dining options are located indoors, though there are outdoor seating areas for guests who prefer takeout options. Seating at all indoor dining venues is reduced to allow for physical distancing and all dining venues adhere to strict COVID-19 safety protocols. Meeting and convention groups are offered catering services presented by award-winning chefs and an adapted banquet menu has been implemented along with options for ending breakout events at staggered times to limit congestion of common areas and special seating diagrams for dining. RECREATION: The Shops at Mohegan Sun is home to over 30 retail outlets offering one-of-a-kind treasures, fine apparel, top national brands, antiques, jewelry, custom furniture and handcrafted Native American goods. GAME ON, located just steps away from Mohegan Sun’s state-of-the-art Earth Expo and Convention Center, is an interactive restaurant with an eight-lane bowling alley, ping pong tables, expansive high-definition screens, a karaoke

room, live entertainment and more. Comix Roadhouse is the place to go for a boot stompin’ good time, while those looking for some laughs can check out the Comix Comedy Club. Supercharged, powered by Mohegan Sun, is just 20 minutes from the resort and offers the world’s largest indoor multilevel karting track, as well as a trampoline park. MEETINGS: Mohegan Sun offers a total of 275,000-square feet of indoor meeting space, 49 meeting rooms and outdoor meeting options. “Mohegan Sun has the ability, through two large and very customizable convention centers, to allow for a high level of versatility and uniqueness,” explains John Washko, VP of exhibitions and conventions sales. “We have beautiful outdoor space, spacious breakout rooms, divisible ballrooms and an expansive Earth Expo center that is clear-span with natural light, so the opportunities for group planners are virtually endless.” “Planners can work with us to put together their event concept in the near-term, and certainly as we continue to overcome the current challenges related to the global pandemic, bigger and broader plans will be possible in the future, as well,” he adds. “Mohegan Sun has the benefit of having medical professionals with the Mohegan Tribal Health Department operating on-site – they are armed with the knowledge, tools and direct pipelines to additional health agencies like the CDC and Yale New Haven Health Services. As a result, the health and safety protocols that are in place meet - and in many instances exceed - those set by the CDC and the Connecticut State Department of Public Health,” Washko asserts. The property’s meetings and conventions team also has developed a COVID-19 Resource Center where planners can receive up to date information and access a customizable experience for their event. In response to the global pandemic, Mohegan Sun offers hybrid meetings that include two-way, real-time videoconferencing, webcasting and recording for broadcasting to a large, dispersed audience, complete with the ability to offer simultaneous interpretation so attendees can understand each other in real time. Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­21

Resorts Atlantic City photo courtesy: Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment

RESORTS CASINO HOTEL Overlooking the Atlantic City, NJ boardwalk and Atlantic Ocean, Resorts Casino Hotel offers 942 guest rooms and suites, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville island-inspired entertainment complex and restaurant, themed coffee and retail shops, 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, and the innovative LandShark Bar & Grill – Atlantic City’s only year-round beach bar. DINING: All restaurants at Resorts Casino Hotel are open for indoor dining at regulated capacity, and many offer outdoor boardwalk dining. Recently, Resorts installed an enclosed awning on the veranda of their award-winning Italian Restaurant, Capriccio. This new enhancement offers outdoor dining overlooking the boardwalk. Current dining options include: Capriccio; Breadsticks Café; LandShark Bar & Grill; Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville; EastWind Chinese Restaurant; Mukashi Sushi Bar; Quick Bites Food Court and Gallagher’s Steak House. RECREATION: In addition to gaming on its casino floor, Draftkings Sportsbook at Resorts offers ultra-high definition video walls, betting windows, and 24/7 betting kiosks. Resorts also has retail stores, an indoor swimming pool, a salon and a spa, and all are open with COVID-19 safety guidelines in place. MEETINGS: Resorts Casino Hotel offers top-notch business facilities situated along the Atlantic City boardwalk with views of the Atlantic Ocean. “We regularly host a variety of events, from meetings and conventions to weddings and everything in between,” says Ritambra Verma, director of sales and revenue management for the casino. Options for group functions include the Resorts Conference Center, a 12,200-square foot facility with 12 conference rooms equipped with superior bandwidth to handle more than 1,000 meeting attendees using their devices simultaneously, as well as screen-sharing with colleagues in remote locations. Each room has built-in, 90-inch LED 1080P monitors, and most have cinema-quality DLP projection with oversized drop-down screens. Additional spaces are available for group functions at Resorts, such The Superstar Theater, a showstopping performance venue with a spacious stage and an impressive array of built-in audio, light and sound equipment, several ballrooms of varying sizes and capacities, and an exclusive and private meeting floor with four rooms that boast numerous amenities and offerings along with impressive views through floor-to-ceiling windows. “Regarding health and safety procedures, groups and guests will experience enhanced safety guidelines for all attendees from start to finish,” asserts Verma. “Resorts Casino Hotel is the only casino in Atlantic City that utilizes mobile UV light technology to disinfect surfaces. All elevators also are cleaned with UV light technology and buttons are nanoseptic, which provides continued cleaning. Additionally, Resorts is utilizing industry-leading technology to purify the air and disinfect surfaces. The air is purified using patented bipolar ionization and the technology is proven to be over 99 percent effective in neutralizing COVID-19.” ­22 November­z December­2020

CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT Caesars Entertainment plans to invest at least $400-million into its Atlantic City casinos over the next three years, which include Caesars, Harrah’s and Tropicana. These improvements will encompass guest room renovations, new gaming equipment, plus restaurant and recreational upgrades. Caesars Atlantic City is situated on the resort's world-famous boardwalk and offers an elegant Roman theme, superb dining, a luxurious spa, world-class shopping, an iconic casino, impeccable service and attention to detail, plus a variety of meeting and event spaces. Overlooking the Absecon Inlet, the gateway to the Atlantic Ocean and the iconic Marina District, the Waterfront Conference Center at Harrah’s Atlantic City offers innovative meeting space with the opportunity to sleep, eat and meet all in one location with more than 2,590 hotel rooms. The conference center is the largest hotel-conference center complex from Baltimore to Boston. Tropicana Atlantic City is home to an award-winning meeting and convention staff, over 122,000-square feet of meeting space and 2,400 guest rooms, as well as The Quarter, which features 200,000-square feet of retail, dining, entertainment and spa experiences, including an IMAX Theatre.

Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill at Caesars

DINING: “The restaurants at our properties reopened in early July, and we’re able to offer all of the dining options that we always have, just in a new type of environment,” explains Steve van der Molen, vice president, meeting operations - AC Region, Caesars Entertainment. “Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill, Nero’s Italian Steakhouse, Guy Fieri’s Chophouse – they all are open for indoor dining with a reduced capacity of 25 percent to allow for physical distancing and in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.” Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­23

CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT cont... Jim Ziereis, vice president hotel sales - AC Region, Caesars Entertainment, adds that at Tropicana, “Staying within these guidelines and offering indoor capacities of 25 percent, our restaurants are open, including Carmine’s, The Palm, PF Chang’s and numerous other options, as well, including Chelsea Five Gastropub.” Outdoor options are available at these properties, weather permitting, including unique offerings in tented space outside the Waterfront Conference Center at Harrah’s. RECREATION: “Guests can enjoy gaming, The Pool at Harrah’s – based on reservations, Bally’s Beach Bar and more. Plus, the outlet mall nearby is open and the boardwalk is a great option. We also offer free shuttle service between our casino properties. In the warmer months we featured a Bayside Concert Series with outdoor performances by The Eagles, Bee-Gees and ABBA tribute bands on Friday nights at Harrah’s,” notes van der Molen. MEETINGS: Offering a wide variety of expansive indoor spaces at each of its Atlantic City properties, Caesars Entertainment has worked with planners in coming up with some creative solu-

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tions outdoors to meet their needs for larger group sizes when the weather is warmer. One example was the transformation of a valet garage with the addition of carpeting, bistro lights and various amenities to provide a unique venue for hosting dinners and meetings outside. “We have a lot of options,” adds van der Molen. “We are able to host meetings in a safe and responsible way, with new SOPs (standard operating procedures) in place, our professional team has access to a lot of resources, adheres to all state, federal and department of health COVID-19 regulations and guidelines, and arranges room setups with physical distancing in place… Our properties are extremely versatile and flexible with a wide variety of spaces, state-ofthe-art amenities and services – all available to accommodate the planner’s needs.” “There are so many options, whether for meeting attendees or transient visitors on weekends,” explains Ziereis. “We can help the planner to seamlessly blend dining and activities into their meeting or event. Everything has gone very smoothly and we look forward to being able to offer even more experiences and opportunities in the future.”

photo courtesy of Ocean Casino Resort

OCEAN CASINO RESORT The Ocean Casino Resort also is situated on the boardwalk. Its tower encompasses 1,399 guest rooms and suites with unparalleled views. Ocean’s casino features live entertainment, ocean views, nearly 2,000 slot machines, 125 table games and a sportsbook in partnership with William Hill. Ocean Casino Resort also offers world-class dining, Exhale Spa + Bath House, three swimming pools, Topgolf Swing Suite, shopping and entertainment options, plus 160,000-square feet of flexible, indoor meeting and convention space and 90,000-square feet of unique outdoor spaces. DINING: Ocean Casino Resort Atlantic City is offering its traditional banquet menu that can be customized to any group’s needs, which can be served indoors on the meeting room level or at any of the unique dining spaces on-site, including Topgolf. For a la carte dining, Ocean offers American Cut Steak House, Dolce Mare Italian restaurant, Amada by Jose Garces, Villain and Saint, Zhen Bang Noodle, Rocco’s, Café 500, Harper’s, Pit Boss Barbeque and Topgolf. “Due to New Jersey COVID-19 restrictions, there is a maximum on indoor dining,” notes Peter Ciccone, senior vice president of hotel sales for Ocean Casino. “Ocean also offers unique dining experiences outdoors at our Sky Garden, 02 Lounge, or our new VIP Club, located in the parking garage.” RECREATION: Ocean Casino Resort currently offers guests and attendees a 131,000-square foot casino, sportsbook, the Exhale Spa, various retail shops, and an art gallery. MEETINGS: Ocean has its dedicated meeting room level with 20 separate meeting rooms in a self-contained area. Ovation Hall is the property’s largest venue at 70,000-square feet. The Den is a unique social space that has the capacity to accommodate up to 200 people and overlooks the casino floor. Topgolf is an interactive venue with the capacity to host 20 to 400 attendees and boasts 13 virtual golf bays, a putting green, plus bar and food options while overlooking the ocean and boardwalk. The property currently is offering groups one comp room for every 20 booked in 2020 and 2021, along with very flexible cancellation and attrition clauses on all contracts based on the pandemic. Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­25

Memorabilia on display at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, NJ photo courtesy: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City

HARD ROCK HOTEL AND CASINO Set on 17 acres with the boardwalk as its backdrop, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City boasts 2,200 slots, 120 table games, first-class restaurants and lounges, Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena, the beachside Sound Waves, and Howie Mandel’s Comedy Club. The hotel and casino also features the iconic Hard Rock Cafe overlooking the boardwalk, plus an endless array of upscale amenities, worldclass shopping, and the brand’s signature full-service Rock Spa® and Salon, as well as more than 150,000-square feet of meeting and event space. DINING: In compliance with New Jersey’s indoor dining capacity restrictions, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City offers patrons and guests dining at Council Oak Steaks and Seafood, Kuro, YOUYU, and Hard Rock Cafe for safe small group celebrations as well as individual reservations. Additionally, Fresh Harvest “All You Can Eat” has transitioned from buffet to a la carte plated service. RECREATION: All of the outlets on property at Hard Rock currently are open and following capacity restrictions and precautions as ­26 November­z December­2020

outlined by the state of New Jersey. Hard Rock Atlantic City currently offers its full-service Rock Spa & Salon, which features an extensive list of treatment and salon services, along with the excitement of its gaming floor and dedicated sportsbook. MEETINGS: “Hard Rock Atlantic City will debut the Soundwaves Studio concept, allowing for virtual meetings to pivot to hybrid,” says Shelley Williams, vice president of sales for Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City. “While planners and tech companies have been scurrying to take their programs online during Q2 and Q3 for their attendees, the property has been focused on how to engage and continue to offer production value of the corporate brands and the highlighted messages of the conferences.” Offering large spaces with great infrastructure puts professional production quality and broadcast ability in the hands of the planners to engage both virtually and physically with attendees for a hybrid experience for meetings and events. “Our flexibility and space capacities have been a unique opportunity for us. We are able to host meetings in areas of the resort where the group has very little contact with other groups or activities within the property. Our meeting space

Fort Pearce A-D is a compact area to host small events and keep attendees safely contained. Similarly, the Big Cypress room groupings allow for an unmatched self-contained experience,” Williams notes. Hard Rock Atlantic City has a wide variety of spaces from which to choose, such as small group meetings and celebrations within the property’s on-site dining destinations, as well as plenty of indoor and outdoor event space that includes three ballrooms, an expansive outdoor pool deck, DAER Night Club, the Fort Pierce and Big Cypress Patios overlooking the beach, and a collection of salon and studio meeting rooms that can safely host a group of any size. SAFE + SOUND: The casino has implemented its Safe + Sound program guidelines to provide “a good, clean fun environment” for patrons, guests and groups. Highlights of this program include: the requirement of face coverings and temperature scans for all guests and team members upon entering the building; more than 200 hand sanitizer dispensers in high traffic areas; as well as additional air filters to maximize the exchange of fresh air.

In addition, the Safe + Sound Clean Team focuses on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces throughout the property with a special emphasis on high-touch surfaces and common areas, and Safe + Sound customer service reps are available to assist guests with any questions or concerns during their stay.

photo courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City

BACK T BU USINESS Get back to taking care of business safely, soundly and in style. With 150,000 square feet of spectacular meeting space, plus 2,000 luxury hotel roo o ms, we have the perfect place for you to get back on track. Our newly implemented Safe + Sound procedures are in place for your peace-of-mind. We are committed to remaining FLEXIBLE in the face of evolving conditions: • Zero attrition or cancellation fees • Zero risk in rebooking Visit hardrockhotela atlanticcit y.com/meetings or call 609-449-6060 today and receive additional booking incentives.

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photos courtesy of Wind Creek Bethlehem

WIND CREEK BETHLEHEM Wind Creek Bethlehem in Bethlehem, PA is home to 282 guestrooms, a wide range of culinary offerings, a spa devoted to pure relaxation, state-of-the-art meeting space, plus an on-site audio-visual team and meeting planners, and award-winning cuisine prepared by a team of professional chefs for events. DINING: At Wind Creek Bethlehem, guests have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of dining options. From the property’s signature fine dining steakhouse, Emeril’s Chop House, to the gourmet burger restaurant Emeril’s Burgers & More, individuals and groups have many great dining choices. For a quick bite to eat, there is the Marketplace, and guests can enjoy sweet treats from world famous Carlo’s Bakery, too. RECREATION: One of the main benefits to visiting a casino resort for leisure or business is that there are so many amenities under one roof. Guests of Wind Creek Bethlehem can enjoy shopping at the on-site Outlet Mall with stores like Michael Kors, Under Armor and Coach, escape to the casino floor to play favorite slot machines and table games, or relax at Steel Magnolia Spa.

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MEETINGS: “During this time, ensuring the safety of our guests and team members is our top priority and we are confident in our updated policies and procedures,” notes Alyssa Lippincott, CHSP, national sales manager for Wind Creek Bethlehem. “We are understanding of the time we are in, and we are working with each client to determine ways to make their group meeting or event both a memorable and safe experience.”



The property currently boasts 12,000square feet of meeting space as well as its 14,000-square foot Event Center, all ready and available for hosting group functions following specific banquet policies and procedures designed to host safe meetings. Heading into the New Year, Wind Creek Bethlehem is excited to be breaking ground on their Tower 2 expansion project, which, when complete, will bring the property’s total hotel rooms to more than 550 and total event space to 60,000-square feet. The project will be complete by mid-2022.




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Now, more than ever, people are looking for an “escape” that’s also close to home. Drive-to destinations offer the ideal solution and there are plenty of options in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. Mountain settings provide some of the most scenic, serene and enticing drive-to experiences available, and the region offers plenty of variety – from the Pocono Mountains to the Catskills to the Adirondacks to the Blue Ridge, there are outstanding opportunities available in numerous locations. Each of the following mountain destinations provides planners with a number of unique offerings and opportunities for group outings and adventures.

Sunrise at McAfee Knob photo credit: Brent McGuirt Photography, courtesy of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge ­30 November­z December­2020


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Bonfire Reception at Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains photo courtesy of Camelback Resort

THE POCONOS, PA Just two hours from New York City and within a three- to five-hour drive of other major cities like Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore and Washington, DC, the Pocono Mountains offers four seasons of fun and a tremendous variety of diversions that include luxurious resorts, fun things to do, outdoor adventures, bed and breakfasts and more. The four-county region is famous for its natural scenic beauty and wide range of outdoor opportunities for recreation, including: state and national parks, lakes, rivers, streams, hiking and biking trails, plus quaint, historic towns. The varied landscape inspires a range of experiences, from private and peaceful to bold and exhilarating. Cottages and condos and hotels promote restful mountain moments, while waterparks and adventure courses offer excitement at every turn. “All of our member properties are working closely with us and together, and we are all adhering to the guidelines set forth by the CDC and governor’s office,” explains Brian Bossuyt, executive vice president and CMO for the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. “We encourage all to continue to observe physical distancing, practice good hygiene, and to wear a mask.” In addition, The Pocono Promise is a combined effort of more than 250 member businesses that demonstrates the community’s commitment to protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of residents, employees and visitors by following all federal, state and local public health guidelines - a continued promise among local businesses, festivals, parks and restaurants. Woodloch provides an outstanding place for coming together as a group in the Pocono Mountains. “Vacations here are built on the concept of ‘togethering,’ or bringing loved ones together, spending time with one another, and creating memories to last a lifetime,” explains Lisa Hugaboom, director of corporate sales for the resort. “Through a unique array of home grown, team building type activities, a nostalgic, back-to-basics environment, pristine natural surroundings and a truly unique brand of hospitality, guests leave Woodloch with a renewed sense of connection with their own group.” Woodloch boasts more than 30 daily activities and amenities that leisure and business travelers alike can enjoy, such as go-karts, bumper cars, athletic and game show contests, boating, swimming, live music and more. “Additionally, our inclusive packages make for a seamless guest experience; beautiful accommodations, delicious meals, and non-stop activities, amenities and entertainment are all built in,” says Hugaboom. Spread across over 1,500 acres, Woodloch's picturesque mountain setting is an ideal place for guests to rediscover nature and seek solace in the outdoors. Even those who don't consider themselves particularly outdoorsy may be surprised by what an amazing escape nature provides these days, especially when most indoor entertainment has been greatly restricted. Many of Woodloch's activities and amenities take place outdoors, like hiking, biking, boating, fishing, snowshoeing, snowtubing and ice skating. The great outdoors is always open and provides a much needed and stress-relieving break for attendees. ­32 November­z December­2020

Camelback Resort is another great option in the Pocono Mountains for those in the region who are planning a retreat that is close to home. The resort’s picturesque mountain setting inspires creative thinking, and Camelback provides plenty of options for gatherings, from outdoor venues to indoor meeting rooms with spaced out seating. Team building activities are plentiful at Camelback, including a ropes course challenge, geo cache scavenger hunt, zip lining, snow tubing or even a good old-fashioned corn hole tournament. A little friendly competition can go a long way toward breaking down communication barriers and forging new internal partnerships. Not to be overlooked are the many indoor and outdoor food and beverage options available. From dining at Summit House at the top of Big Pocono Mountain with breathtaking views to noshing with fare from a variety food trucks to enjoying an outdoor welcome reception around campfires, Camelback offers many different scenarios and menus. In fact, the resort’s new culinary team is about to launch new menus highlighting the area’s many local farms, wineries and breweries, giving meeting attendees the opportunity to experience the Poconos through their palates in addition to sight and sound. “Many of our meeting attendees enjoy exploring the natural beauty of the Pocono Mountains,” notes Robin Lattinville, director of sales, Camelback Resort. “White water rafting, hiking, biking, fishing, golfing, horseback riding and snow sport experiences are nearby, as is the historic and charming town of Jim Thorpe, named after the Native American athlete. Jim Thorpe village boasts over 30 unique shops, a wide variety of restaurants, historic mansions, train rides and even a haunted jail. For a lively outing of slot machines and gaming tables, there is the Mount Air Casino nearby.” “Meeting in the mountains provides a very different perspective for most people,” adds Lattinville. “There’s a magical quality of getting up close and personal with nature in the crisp mountain air and listening to the soothing sounds of crickets, bull frogs and a crackling fire. For many guests, our setting brings back memories of their youth, and allows attendees to decompress in a relaxed environment. What better place to capture the undivided attention of a group and inspire collaborative problem solving?”


ocono romise .

Safety. y. Reliabilityy.. Hospitalityy..

Visit PoconoMountains.com/PoconoPromise for more information on how businesses are working together to ensure guests’ safety.

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Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian Castle Resort surrounded by 40,000-acres of forest and wildlife, located in nearby Ulster County, NY

THE CATSKILLS, NY The Great Northern Catskills of Greene County is an ideal location for groups because of its expansive offerings. From outdoor adventure to unique lodging, the region has something for everyone to enjoy. Physical distancing, a new safety precaution as a result of COVID-19, is seamlessly implemented due to the landscape of the region, and through the support of local businesses who have transformed their operations to keep visitors safe. In addition, with boutique hotels, quaint B&Bs, and larger all-inclusive resorts, the region can host groups of a wide range of sizes. "Connecting with nature is one of the benefits of meeting in a mountain setting. By participating in outdoor activities, such as ziplining, hiking and paddling, you can easily escape from your normal routine and relax," explains Heather Bagshaw, director, Greene County Tourism. From taking a walk along the Hudson River or through a tree-lined nature trail to sampling the flavors of the region at a local farm-to-table restaurant, the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County allows planners to create unique adventures for their groups. The outdoor experiences available in the region add a unique element to a meeting in this a memorable location. Located less than three hours from New York City, just over three hours from Boston, and under four hours from Philadelphia, the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County is a drive-to destination offering everything from hiking trails to cultural experiences to diverse eateries – boasting an exciting getaway that’s not too far from home.

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Kayaking on the lake and hiking in the Adirondacks photos courtesy of the Lake George, NY Regional Chamber of Commerce and CVB

THE ADIRONDACKS, NY The Lake George Area is another great destination for groups and visitors alike. Located in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, it offers pristine beauty, affordable lodging, numerous outdoor activities, a drivable location and a commitment to health and safety through its Lake George Health and Safety pledge. With plenty of team building activities like ziplining, rail biking and hiking, groups still can get together here safely while staying physically distant. “We can offer you the opportunity to host your next ‘summit on the summit,’” notes Kristen Hanifin, CSEE, special event and convention sales director, Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce and CVB. “Programs such as team building and networking hikes can help bring your team together, reconnect and spur creativity and innovation after months of ‘Zooming’ overload.” “After a guided networking, coaching or team building hike, continue to build the morale of your team by grabbing a socially-distanced beer at one of our many local breweries and/or dinner featuring locally grown produce,” she adds. For those who prefer a more relaxed approach, groups also can enjoy a boat tour and breathtaking mountain views as they cruise, share strategies and ideas, and catch up with colleagues. The Lake George region is a drivable drive-to destination that is 3- to 5-hours from most areas along the Mid-Atlantic. The region boasts over 9,000 guest rooms in season (6,600 off season), unique indoor and outdoor event spaces, affordable lodging options, cultural attractions, an expansive local craft beverage trail, numerous year-round outdoor recreational activities ranging from skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter, to hiking, kayaking, rafting, zip lining, and cycling in the warmer months. The region also is home to annual festivals, including the Adirondack Wine and Food Festival, Adirondack Balloonfest, and its annual village-wide Octoberfest.

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Blue Ridge Parkway Aerial View photo credit: Star City SkyCams, courtesy of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge

THE BLUE RIDGE, VA The Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge provides guests with a unique metro mountain experience, offering a blend of stunning natural beauty with a variety of urban and outdoor adventures. Virginia’s Blue Ridge boasts over 650,000square feet of unique meeting space with affordable amenities, and guests are never far from a breathtaking view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. “Fascinating art galleries and exhibits such as the Center in the Square and Taubman Museum of Art can be found just minutes from miles of hiking, biking and paddling trails, and double as unique meeting facilities. Planners can complement any meeting or event with a wide selection of local flavors, too, with more restaurants per capita in the Roanoke Valley than any other destination in Virginia,” observes Taylor Spellman, director of PR, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge. “We always look forward to our meetings in Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR),” notes Sandy Gharib, coordinator, learning and development for the Virginia Community College System. “Between the beautiful mountains, unique shopping and dining experiences and top-notch hotel and conference centers, VBR is an ideal place for our meetings and events.” “Whether you’re on the golf course, in a unique outdoor space, or at a convention center, mountains serve as the perfect scenic backdrop for any meeting,” explains Caitlin Schmelz, sales and sports development manager, Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge. “Attendees can relax among peaceful scenery or find an outdoor leisure activity only moments away.” Virginia’s Blue Ridge features a wide variety of outdoor activities for all comfort levels, with easy access to the Blue

Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Trail, and Upper James River, visitors can pick up a hiking, biking, or water trail and enjoy the scenic beauty and peaceful surroundings. Located off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Explore Park offers 14miles of multi-use trails for hiking, biking, and paddling, as well as an aerial adventure course called Treetop Quest. For the craft beverage enthusiast, the VBR Cheers Trail features two-dozen stops for local craft beer, wine and spirits. History buffs will enjoy the nationally acclaimed Booker T. Washington National Monument and the National D-Day Memorial. Schmelz notes that Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge currently is offering an incentive program for in-person meetings and events, as they will “play a critical role in bringing teams back together… and charting a course for the future.” For a limited time, planners can receive up to 5 percent back on their total meeting cost with a contract that is signed and takes place prior to June 30, 2021. The offer is based on availability and new bookings with 50 or more total room nights (not to exceed $10,000). Roanoke in Virginia’s Blue Ridge is approximately 250 miles from Washington, DC and 280 miles from the coast of Virginia. As the largest metropolitan area in Western Virginia, Roanoke offers convenient road access via multiple U.S. highways and the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway and is within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the nation’s population, making it easy to reach for meeting attendees. From Virginia to Pennsylvania to New York, the region provides plenty of opportunities for meeting amid mountain settings. These drive-to destinations offer ample options, not only for much needed diversions, but for outstanding meetings and team building, as well. Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­37



photo courtesy: Harrison Group Hotels

For those who prefer surroundings that include surf and sand as opposed to trees and mountains, beachfront locations provide excellent environments in which to meet. The Mid-Atlantic region offers plenty of options up and down the eastern seaboard, including Coastal Connecticut, Jersey Shore towns like Atlantic City, The Wildwoods and Cape May, the beaches of Southern Delaware, Ocean City and Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Virginia Beach and more. One stellar example of beachfront properties in the region that serve as a superlative choice for meetings and group outings can be found in Ocean City, Maryland. The Harrison Group offers over 30,000-square feet of meeting space in eight flexible venues, where all accommodations feature ocean views, and Ocean City is a vibrant coastal resort that has become a premier drive-to destination. Offering on-site catering, they can tailor meals to suit any taste and budget. “From the most intimate of board retreats to large scale corporate conferences and parties, you will find expertise, technology, and small-town hospitality to set your event apart while bringing your group together,” asserts Sara Sabia Simon, group sales and events manager for Harrison Group Resort Hotels and Restaurants. “From room blocks, meeting AV, and meal selections, right to your final billing, you will work with one team member.” She says that beachfront destination meetings yield higher attendance for events because these locations add an element of fun for guests. “Removing your team from the hus­38 November­z December­2020

tle of daily life and their typical metropolitan surroundings means undivided attention and the ability to enjoy each other's company through exciting team building and the familiar sound of ocean waves. With the largest portfolio of hotels in Ocean City, our team offers creative meeting solutions planners need in order to deliver experiences that will inspire.” Another great example can be found in Cape May, NJ. The Grand Hotel of Cape May not only is a destination resort, but also houses over 17,000-square feet of function space. “We are the largest beachfront hotel south of Atlantic City,” notes Katlyn Mogavero, director of sales and marketing for The Grand Hotel. “Our 172 newly renovated guestrooms, ranging from our standard ocean view king rooms to our two-story townhouse suites with oceanfront balconies, are the perfect fit for any group’s overnight requirements.” The property recently underwent a total Wi-Fi upgrade throughout that is complimentary in meeting rooms and guestrooms, great for programs that require Internet usage during their conferences. This is especially important today with the usage of Zoom meetings and virtual speakers. At The Grand Hotel, planners have a specific point of contact throughout the detailing process and while on-site to ensure all program details meet the needs of the group. During meeting downtime, attendees can enjoy The Grand’s Olympic-sized indoor and outdoor swimming pools and sea-

Canopy on the Beach at The Grand Hotel Cape May sonal outdoor tiki bar and a poolside food and beverage menu. In addition, each guest receives two complimentary beach chairs (seasonal) with their stay, and beach attendants will set up chairs and umbrellas for guests when they arrive. Just like the at the pool, there also is food service at the beach via the resort’s new beach hut. Also added are nine new cabanas available for rental.

photo credit: Jeff Casella

“Our in-house restaurant, Hemingway's steak and seafood, is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We offer wonderful Happy Hours, daily Sunset Dining menus, and every Wednesday is our FAMOUS Prime Rib Night,” says Mogavero. “Starting at 9:30 pm every Friday and Saturday year-round, Hemingway's turns into our inhouse nightclub.”

The Grand Hotel Cape May photo credit: Jeff Casella

In addition, its Grand Ballroom has been newly renovated and upgraded to a modern beach chic aesthetic. The enclosed porch off of the ballroom overlooks the outdoor pool and beach, while the Penthouse Ballroom overlooks the ocean. The Grand Hotel also has an oceanfront sundeck that many groups have used for team building, outdoor breakouts, clam bakes and barbeques.

Barefoot to Boardrooms IN OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND

“It is so wonderful to be able to break away from the ‘norm’ of a meeting, and enjoy the fresh ocean air,” observes Mogavero. Cape May is a scenic town with much to offer, including local wineries, breweries and distilleries, the Washington Street walking mall’s hundreds of shops and restaurants, Cape May Point’s historic lighthouse, as well as the Cape May County Zoo, Cape May-Lewes Ferry, historic Victorian architecture and more. These beachfront properties and destinations offer a glimpse into what is available for group meetings and outings by the ocean in the region. Choosing locations like these will surely invigorate and energize attendees while also providing plenty of scenic beauty and serene surroundings to enjoy.

A Drive to Destination.

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


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Van Sant Covered Bridge; photo credit: Reflections by Ruth, courtesy of Visit Bucks County Valley Forge National Historic Park; photo courtesy of the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board

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Places and Spaces that have Stood the

Test of Time

There is something very appealing about the past. It’s in our nature to want to reconnect with our shared history, and we take pride in it. To stand on the grounds where battles for independence and freedom were won, to convene in buildings where founders of the nation once met or new innovations were created, to enjoy architectural masterpieces from long ago – feeling connected to this past brings us comfort and helps us feel strong and secure as we look toward the future. A steadying presence is needed amid so much uncertainty, and a wide array of places and spaces throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions have stood the test of time – steeped in history, they provide planners with a range of options and opportunities for meetings, travel, events and group outings. Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­41

The Mainstay Inn, Cape May, NJ photo courtesy of the City of Cape May

Cape May appeals to a very diverse market and is a popular year-round tourism destination. Meeting and event planners can create unique experiences for attendees by taking advantage of Cape May’s niche demographic offerings. These include ecotourism adventures, such as birding and monarch tagging, recreational activities like fishing, sailing, running and biking, as well as “foodie” events at high-end dining establishments, wineries and breweries.

Cape May County, New Jersey Cape May is known as America’s oldest seaside resort and is still seen as the “Queen” of Jersey Shore resort towns. The entire City of Cape May is designated as a National Historic Landmark and features historic homes, bed and breakfasts, and exudes a rich, historic charm. “Cape May isn’t just another pretty beach. The history of Cape May speaks for itself with its visible beauty. The Victorian architecture and tree lined streets look like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The beautiful charm of Cape May will ‘wow’ attendees. Walking and trolley tours highlighting Cape May’s rich history are offered in town, and serve as the perfect way to enhance any group event,” observes Laurie Taylor, director of marketing, City of Cape May, Cape May Convention Hall.

“We hope we have all learned that less is more, simplicity is best,” offers Kate O’Connell, event sales and coordinator, City of Cape May, Cape May Convention Hall. “One of the biggest moves for events this past year has been from indoor to outdoor. We would like to see more of this in Cape May. Get outside and enjoy the natural, timeless beauty Cape May has to offer.” “We have had to reinvent not only the way we do business, but how we interact with our partners and how we communicate to our audience,” adds Taylor. “Cape May’s hashtag #CapeMayStrong - evolved from a task force to reopen Cape May. And, put into action, Friendly Faces and Open Spaces was our marketing theme around which we revitalized and utilized our outdoor spaces for dining, shopping and recreational activities, which was extremely well received.” They add that meeting planners can feel confident that Cape May continues to deliver a productive, successful meeting destination with the peace of mind that the town is committed to the health and safety of all visitors, residents and employees.

Annapolis, Maryland In 1650, Puritans seeking religious freedom settled into a spot on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay and called their new town Providence. They soon spread across the Severn River to the land that now makes up Maryland’s capital city. The small settlement grew and was renamed Anne Arundel in 1694 in honor of Lord Baltimore’s wife. In December of that year, the Maryland colony’s capital was named Annapolis in honor of Princess Anne, who became Queen of England in 1702. Annapolis grew into a center of political, cultural and economic life and construction of what is now Annapolis’ famed Maryland State House began in 1772. The state house has since hosted many significant events, including General George Washington’s resignation as commander in chief of the Continental Army back in 1783. Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris here in 1784, officially ending the American Revolution. In addition, it was the first and only state house to serve as the nation’s capital (1783-1784). Today, it is recognized as the oldest state house in continuous legislative use in the country. ­42 November­z December­2020

tecture. It’s especially well known for its colonial era fivepart Georgian mansions.” Annapolis is called a “Museum without Walls,” home to more 18th-century brick buildings than any other city of comparable size in the nation. Color-coded historic markers are affixed to hundreds of downtown properties and, in conjunction with a Historic Annapolis marker brochure, can be used for self-guided tours of architecture at City Dock, the Naval Academy, and a host of historic attractions.

photo courtesy of Visit Annapolis

A naval school was established at Fort Severn in 1845. In 1850, it was renamed the United States Naval Academy. Due to the growth of industry on and around the waterways surrounding and flowing through Annapolis, waterfront villages rapidly took root throughout the area. “Because Annapolis was laid out in the late 1600s according to a Baroque street plan that was popular in Europe at the time, the city has an intimate, personal, European feel,” explains Susan Seifried, vice president, public relations and communications, Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. “Individuals need merely walk down the brick-lined streets of the Historic District to experience four centuries of archi-


Visitors may want to tour the reconstructed two-acre pleasure garden behind the 1763-1765 National Historic Landmark home of Declaration of Independence signer William Paca. Around the corner stands an equally impressive architectural masterpiece, the National Historic Landmark Hammond-Harwood House. Built in 1774, it features some of the best woodcarving and plasterwork in America. Just down the street from the Maryland State House is the Naval Academy. Celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2020, the Academy is home to the 4,400-strong Brigade of Midshipmen and both trains and commissions officers in the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps. The Naval Academy “Yard” contains the largest group of Beaux Art buildings surviving in one location in the nation designed by a single Beaux Art's trained American architect,

Resilient to the core, Annapolis has been redefining itself for nearly 400 years. This Navy town has a track record of rolling with the punches and emerging ever new. But don’t take our word for it. We invite you to hop in the car and drive to a place where life’s simple pleasures abound. Treat yourself to an afternoon of sailing or cruising the Chesapeake Bay. Dine and shop al fresco along centuries-old brick-lined streets. Bike or hike our miles of trails. Discover best kept secrets on a ghost or history tour before calling it a day at a historic inn or hotel. Discover Annapolis redefined.


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Annapolis, Maryland continued Ernest Flagg, in the early 1900s. The Naval Academy is slated to complete the replacement of its green patina chapel dome at the end of November 2020 that has graced Annapolis for more than 100 years. Nearby is City Dock, the heart and soul of Annapolis, it is a place to see and be seen. While spring, summer and fall offer a host of opportunities for getting out on the water – from 40-minute narrated harbor cruises to two-hour sails to Day on the Bay journeys to Maryland’s Eastern Shore – strolling along City Dock during the winter months offers prime sightings of the red ribbons, white lights and green garlands that evoke images of a quaint European town at Christmastime. Just up the street is St. John’s College, the third oldest college in the country, established in 1696 as King Williams School, the Maryland colony’s “free” school. Completed in 1789, the college’s McDowell Hall is one of the oldest academic buildings in continuous use in the country. “Annapolis is an enduring city that has stood the test of time,” says Seifried. “It’s an 18th-century town that sup-

Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore is known as “a city of firsts” because of its long history of innovation, from the first U.S. stagecoach route in 1773 to the first fort built by the U.S. GovBaltimore Pennsylvania Station photo credit: Ken Stanek Photography, courtesy of Visit Baltimore ernment in 1798 (Fort McHenry – the birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner). When the first gas lamp was lit in Baltimore in 1817, it illuminated the American urban experience, both literally and figuratively. Today, Baltimore’s entrepreneurial roots and important place in American history are interpreted by museums and attractions. “Baltimore’s historical attractions and cultural sites provide opportunities for groups to experience living history while connecting with colleagues,” explains Sarah Schaffer, chief marketing officer, Visit Baltimore. “Baltimore also is a city full of adaptive reuse projects, and many of our most popular event venues and restaurants for groups are in these locations. For example, groups love meeting at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, which is located in an 1860s oyster cannery on a five-acre waterfront campus. For a stellar ­44 November­z December­2020

ports a 21st-century lifestyle. Our visitors often tell us they feel they’ve been immersed in history simply by walking down the street – without ever having visited one of our historic homes. Its architecture is a mix of the simple to the sublime. Because the city has been built over 300 years, modest frame early 20th-century town houses sit right next to elegant five-part Georgian mansions from the 1700s that are recognized as some of the finest in the nation.” “Annapolis’s enduring charm surrounds you at every turn,” she adds. “Discover handmade treasures along hidden alleyways. Enjoy international cuisine in centuries-old restaurants where our founding fathers mapped out the birth of a nation. From… brick-lined streets to our 18thcentury Georgian mansions to our eclectic City Dock and miles of waterfront, Maryland’s capital city is as appealing today as it was nearly 400 years ago.” New restaurants, attractions, and shops continue to open in Annapolis, and its arts and music scene continues to grow and flourish, too, along with new events that continue to enliven the visitor experience. group dining experience, groups can visit Gunther & Co. in our Canton neighborhood, which is located in the old boiler rooms of the original Gunther Brewing Company building.” With Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport located 20-minutes outside the city and Baltimore Pennsylvania Station located in the city itself, Baltimore is one of the easiest destinations for groups to visit. Once here, they can enjoy a walkable destination with waterfront views. A water taxi provides safer open-air transportation for meeting attendees who want to explore downtown and historic neighborhoods. “Our industry has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic, so we want to put Baltimore on the map as a safe and healthy destination for groups,” notes Schaffer. “Visit Baltimore recently partnered with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC), a division of ISSA, to help Baltimore City facilities achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. We hope this provides peace of mind to employees and visitors moving forward.” In addition, more than 200 Baltimore City facilities, including meeting venues, hotels, restaurants, museums, attractions, public markets, and more, have signed on to become GBAC STAR-accredited by implementing the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention.

Loudoun County, Virginia Loudoun County is one of the most venerated corners of America, its towns and villages encompassing world-historic events from the nation’s founding to the present day. A few short decades ago, Loudoun primarily was known for its Civil War battle sites, stone-fenced country lanes, dairies, horse farms and fox hunts. But in the 1970s, due to its proximity to Washington, DC and the Defense Department, the eastern pocket of the county became the center of the world’s Internet traffic, as local tech companies found themselves first in line for contracts to develop the cable network that would power the Internet.



Today, Loudoun not only is home to the largest connection of unpaved rural roads in Virginia - and more than 75 wineries and breweries - but to 70 percent of the world’s Internet traffic, as well. “Visit Loudoun can help create customized experiences that bring the county - and the country’s rich history - to life,� notes Ann Hayes, director of sales groups and meetings, Visit Loudoun. “Take a guided tour of George Marshall’s home - architect of the Marshall Plan, watch a demo at Aldie Mill - which dates back to 1804 and is one of oldest preserved mills in Virginia, host a meeting in the oldest continuously run inn in America (Red Fox), or learn about Loudoun’s rich agricultural history with farming demos, winemaking experiences and more.�







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

THE ROLAND E. POWELLL CONVENTION CENTER PLAN A CONVENTION WITH A VIEW W. With multiple wide-open exhibit W. and meeting spaces, our baysid de venue is the perfect place for trade shows, sporting events, meet m ings, competitions and more. Plus, with a variety of accommo odation options, Ocean City is the destination you desire when pla anning your next event. Main Exhibit Hall –

Bayfront Ballroom – 19,126 sq. ft. • Exhibit Hall –

• 21 meeting rooms • Performing Arts Center –1, 200 seats with state-of-the-art sound spacious dressing rooms • 25+ hotels of fffering meetin ng space • •

Ocean City is a comfortable drive, less than 3 hours from major Mid-Atlantic cities and 30 minu utes from the Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport (SB BY). While you’re here, enjoy our 10 miles of beautifully maintain ned beach, famous 3-mile Boardwalk, 17 nearby golf courses, and mo ore!




To T o learn more about meetings and d events in Ocean City, or hotels that can accommodate your group p, contact Regina Brittingham at 800-626-2326 or RBrittingham@o oceancitymd.gov.

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­45

Loudoun County, Virginia continued Visit Loudoun also has developed a concierge program that helps meeting and event planners to create a memorable and seamless experience for guests, and Loudoun is offering hybrid meeting options, too. “Our vision is to incorporate the beauty and the activities of rural Loudoun with our meeting venues - both traditional and unique,” says Hayes. “Loudoun has been the choice for corporate new hires and training because our venues can accommodate the complexities needed for these programs, and Loudoun offers the ambiance conducive to creative thinking, collaboration and team building.” With an eye to the future, she adds, “I envision more retreats and meetings in the future if remote offices continue,

Bucks County, Pennsylvania Bucks County is one of the three original counties founded by William Penn, famously known as the Quaker founder of Pennsylvania, in 1682. It was named after Buckinghamshire, Penn’s hometown in England. General George Washington and his troops camped in Bucks County and launched from the area now known as Washington Crossing for the surprise Christmas morning attack in 1776 on Hessian troops in Trenton, New Jersey across the Delaware River. Bucks County also is home to twelve covered bridges. Ten are still open to vehicular traffic. Two other bridges, both located in parks, are open only to non-vehicular traffic. But all Bucks County bridges use the Town truss design. The Schofield Ford Bridge, located in Tyler State Park, was reconstructed in 1997 from the ground up after arsonists destroyed the original in 1991. Additional popular attractions in Bucks County include the shops and studios of New Hope, Peddler's Village (in Lahaska), Washington Crossing Historic Park, New Hope Railroad, Fonthill Castle, the Pearl S. Buck House, and Bucks County River Country. Today, visitors enjoy Bucks County’s scenic countryside, its history, the arts, downtown charm, miles of vineyards, gourmet dining, small town villages, award-winning accommodations, Ale Trail, and attractions like Parx Casino and Sesame Place. Events can be held at historic spots like Washington Crossing Historic Park, Pennsbury Manor, Aldie Mansion, the Mercer Museum, Michener Art Museum (which once served as ­46 November­z December­2020

because employers are going to want to have meetings and events to socialize, team build, collaborate and get their employees to ‘think outside the box.’ Our resorts, conference centers and hotels offer outdoor options and flexible food and beverage programs that cater to a planner’s specific clientele. Instead of serving a glass of wine or beer, I envision a winery or brewery at the event with the option to educate attendees about how a wine is made - from grapes to glass.” Loudoun is home to 1,200 farms, with many local venues continuously offering farm-to-fork options as well as interesting voluntourism and team building opportunities that incorporate the area’s history, equestrian presence, farms, data centers, and craft beverages.

Bucks County Prison), Hotel du Village, the Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm, Johnsonville Centrifuge and more. There are many team building activities throughout Bucks County, too, which include bike tours, escape rooms, axe throwing, cooking classes and D.I.Y. workshop classes. The growing culinary scene is attractive within Bucks County, as well. Places like the Salt House, The Deck, and Stella by Jose Garces, are located near the iconic Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope. The Black Bass Hotel and Restaurant has been around for years and was imperative to the original construction of the Delaware Canal. “The meetings and events industry will continue to rebound in Bucks County,” asserts Paul Bencivengo, president/COO, Visit Bucks County. “As a countryside destination, we have many wide-open spaces and unique venues that have been here for generations. We already are seeing several events move from virtual to hybrid and, when the time is right, we’ll be ready to welcome corporate meetings, social events and groups of all kinds to Bucks County. Our industry partners are currently implementing protocols to follow the local, state and federal guidelines, and will continue to do so as we move through COVID-19.” Peddler's Village, Lahaska, in Bucks County, PA

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Bryn Athyn Cathedral photo courtesy of the Valley Forge TCB

Valley Forge and Montgomery County are best known for Valley Forge National Historical Park, the site where General George Washington and the Continental Army encamped during that harsh winter in 1777-1778. Though no battle was fought in Valley Forge, it’s commonly known as the birthplace of the spirit of the American soldier due to the perseverance of the camp. The encampment also helped to change the course of Revolutionary War. Valley Forge and Montco are home to a dozen other historic sites and venues, too, including Joseph Ambler Inn and the John James Audubon Center. “The Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board (VFTCB) has used our destination’s history to help guide our marketing efforts,” explains Lisa Karl, vice president of sales and strategic partnerships, VFTCB. “For example, we use a brand called ‘Revolutionary Events’ to help meeting planners forge extraordinary meetings and events here. Our rewards program is named ‘Revolutionary Rewards,’ and our annual meeting planner event is called ‘A Revolutionary Event.’ We’re always connecting our messaging back to the history and leadership that was shown on the site of Valley Forge National Historical Park.”

meet • plan • discover • explore • relax • Discoverlancaster.com/meetings Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­47

Valley Forge and Montgomery County are easily accessible via major roadways and the Philadelphia International Airport. Meanwhile, lodging has come a long way from the Muhlenberg Brigade Huts at Valley Forge National Historical Park. For example, historic venues, such as Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center, offer unique architecture with exposed wood beans and original brick archways. This 18th-century landmark also provides a farm-to-table restaurant, art gallery, indoor swimming pool, and access to a championship golf course, Blue Bell Country Club. Normandy Farm’s historic ambiance and motivating team building activities provide a one-of-a-kind executive retreat experience. With more than 23,000-square feet of IACC-certified meeting space, the property boasts plenty of room for events with breakout space. VFTCB offers a free mobile app, Visit Valley Forge, to serve as a digital welcome guide to the area. They also created Montco Wellness for Events to help meeting planners feel confident in choosing Valley Forge and Montgomery County for hosting their events with informational resources, including hotel brand cleanliness details. Coming soon - virtual tours via Montco360. “Valley Forge and Montco are rooted in the past, but leading the future,” says Karl. “We keep the history of our destination in mind as an ideal place for gathering, recharging, and preparing for what’s to come – much like modern day meetings. Our community is becoming stronger through this crisis by focusing on relationships and celebrating local, such as our Montco Makers, award-winning breweries, wineries, and distilleries. And, stay tuned for our Main Streets initiative!” ­48 November­z December­2020

Continental Army encampment site at Valley Forge National Historical Park photo courtesy of the Valley Forge TCB

Washington Crossing Reenactment photo credit: Brooke Hillman, courtesy of Visit Bucks County

The Lighthouse in Cape May Point photo courtesy of the City of Cape May

Baltimore Museum of Industry photo courtesy of Visit Baltimore

Each of these destinations and historic venues provide planners with the opportunity to give their groups an experience that harkens back to days gone by while also moving forward with a host of modern amenities and offerings. By paying homage to history with a nod to the past, attendees will feel a connection that brings comfort and reassurance without any need to sacrifice contemporary conveniences. Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­49

Continuing Conversations to Inspire

Forward Motion

by Sharon DeFelices, CMP

I don’t know about you, but I feel like we slid on the Candy Land board from 4th of July to today! All of sudden, we’re talking about the holidays. Well…. the holidays as they relate to safe gathering practices. Some states are seeing spikes in case numbers and some are relaxing their gathering guidelines, but no matter where you are, the holidays are coming. We’ve all seen that corporate meetings are starting to happen and that recent surveys are showing that 2021 contracts are being signed. Safety practices and protocols are really coming into focus across the country and we’re getting better at hosting groups every day. I’ve been having conversations with clients and other planners about end of year and holiday parties. And I’ve been talking with hotels about the creative ideas that they have for keeping guests safe while celebrating. How fun is this idea? Contract for a few event spaces in a hotel, each with a different theme for décor, food and music. Each room would only be accessible to a small number of guests, based on Hot cocoa party that state’s mandate, with a staff person stationed at the door to ensure that the room does not become overcrowded. The group could cycle through each holiday “experience” in each room as the night wears on. It’s a great way to gather a larger group, but keep within the region’s mandates. And who wouldn’t love to enjoy food and fun in a space that is decorated and themed around holiday movies? Or a room decorated for Holiday Carol-oke, complete with karaoke machine? Some companies are looking for family-friendly options; ways to thank their employees and their families. Drive-through light shows with a hot cocoa and s’mores outdoor party, a local farm with holiday hayrides or your local zoo all are viable outdoor solutions for daytime or nighttime events. It’s refreshing to think that the end of year party is being seen through such a creative lens. Recently, I was introduced to the SRV, or show-ready-vehicle (www.showreadyvehicles.com). This Transformers-style vehicle is the brainchild of Turtle Transit and APA Music + Pictures, built as a creative solution to requests for outdoor music and entertainment this past summer and used at drive-in style concerts. While it is a wonderful solution for concerts and drive-in movies, it can be utilized for so much more. The SRV comes equipped with 24-foot stage, lights, rigging and an 8-foot by

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SRV (Show Ready Vehicle) by Turtle Transit and APA Music + Pictures 16-foot screen atop the vehicle. The stage folds down and the rigging for lights and cameras are quickly and easily put in place making for a short set up time. In talking with Ray Razzi, owner and president of APA Music + Pictures, the SRV can be used for many types of events and comes ready for 5G streaming. How fun would it be to host an outdoor event with music, comedy or even magic – for employees and their families? I was able to see this vehicle in action recently and was so impressed that I couldn’t wait to suggest it for a Friday afternoon employee appreciation event. Food trucks were the perfect addition, and a good time was had by all. It made me think about the potential for a holiday event. The SRV is an outside-the-box concept, which is just what we ordered for 2020, right? It’s perfect for gathering teams who have been working from home since March for some fun and entertainment. I sat down with Jane Dempsey, the director of sales at Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA (www.elmwoodparkzoo.org) to chat about all the fun ways they can entertain groups. They’ve got their famous Wild Lights tradition again this year and, I promise, you will not be disappointed to host your corporate fun among the lights, animal experiences and entertainment. Groups can enjoy some unique food and beverage options to make it a truly festive party. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate some corporate camaraderie among the bison, bobcats and jaguars? OH MY! The end of year, corporate holiday party is a tradition, and while this year has been somewhat non-traditional when it comes to work, we all could use some laughs and group fun. Wrap up a scarf for the holiday Pollyanna gift exchange and grab your mittens. It might be a little chilly, but getting to see your work friends will warm your heart.

We invite you to join us as part of an ongoing conversation and sharing of ideas with regard to all aspects of face-to-face meetings and events. Now, more than ever, we need to pool our collective energy to create the momentum necessary to move forward. Through such a dialogue, we can find ways to manage the many challenges we all are facing right now while working together to find new and creative solutions. By staying nimble and collaborating with industry partners, we will not merely survive - we’ll thrive!

Click here to email us with your thoughts and ideas! sharon@mosaicmeetingsandevents.com Sharon DeFelices, CMP is the owner of Mosaic Meetings and Events, LLC in New Hope, PA, a comprehensive meeting management company with a division specializing in food and beverage management, as well as accommodating dietary preferences and restrictions for events.

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Bucks County, PA visitbuckscounty.com

ROOF at the River House at Odette's, New Hope, PA. Photo Credit: Don Pearse WHAT'S NEW River House at Odette’s, a new luxury lifestyle hotel in New Hope, opened along the Delaware River in September. The hotel features an edgy, yet elegant design inspired by the its previous life as actress and musician Odette Myrtil Logan’s boisterous cabaret, Chez Odette. For over two decades, Chez Odette was the social hub of New Hope’s lively artistic community. River House at Odette’s weaves historic elements from Chez Odette’s colorful past into the contemporary architecture and design of the hotel, creating an environment ideal for leisurely stays, fine dining, and special events. “After many years of careful planning and curation, Refined Hospitality is pleased to announce River House at Odette’s opened its doors to both guests and locals on September 28th,” stated Ron Gorodesky, president of Refined Hospitality, the management company overseeing River House and its sister hotel, The Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor, NJ. “We’ve carved a unique luxury hospitality experience that pays homage to not only Odette’s legacy, but also the vibrant community of New Hope.” The boutique hotel features 36 guestrooms and suites offering classic elegance coupled with sweeping views of New Hope and the Delaware River. Just steps away is The Residences, a stand-alone two-story building housing two suites ideal for groups, bridal parties and guests desiring an extended stay. The Residences are scheduled to open in the spring of 2021. ­52 November­z December­2020

NEW H O PE' S A L L - NE W LU XU RY L I FE ST Y LE HOT E L Edgy yet elegant, and urban in design, River House is culturally rich and highly stylized, complete with sweeping riverfront views and vibrant local art for luxurious stays, elevated events, and curated dining experiences.

New Hope | 215-682-2022 | riverhousenewhope.com |


River House also offers refined, yet accessible, menu items along with a robust mixology program in three unique dining establishments, including: its main namesake restaurant, Odette’s Restaurant and Lounge; Piano Lounge iconic cocktail parlor; and members-only ROOF, an elevated nightlife experience inspired by the 1970s. For meetings and events, River House boasts a waterfront ceremony space, a 200-guest ballroom overlooking the river, and meeting rooms equipped with a range of technical capabilities and array of team building experiences.

THINGS TO DO Visitors to Bucks County can enjoy a self-guided driving tour of Bucks County's 12 remaining covered bridges. There are two main tour routes, the first of which takes about two hours to complete, while the second about an hourand-a-half. Experience the local flavor with a Wine Trail, Ale Trail or Distillery tour. Bucks County is home to three locally-owned and operated distilleries, beautiful wineries, plus 11 breweries along the Ale Trail.

Lobby at the River House at Odette’s photo credit: Don Pearse

PLACES TO MEET Peddler’s Village is a 42-acre shopping, dining, lodging and family entertainment destination in Bucks County that features graceful 18th-century-style buildings, lush gardens and winding brick walkways. Its historical storybook setting includes 65 distinctive retail shops, seven restaurants and the 66-room Golden Plough Inn.

Explore the 200-mile Delaware River Water Trail and enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, camping, hunting, hiking, bird watching, sightseeing, cycling and more. Byers' Choice offers a Christmas Museum and visitor center, a life-sized, walk-through London street, awardwinning gardens, plus an observation deck for watching skilled artisans at work.

Peddler’s Village typically hosts numerous year-round festivals and seasonal events for the public, and has long been a popular site for events with offerings such as private murder mystery theater, scavenger hunts and team building that incorporate the picturesque spaces. The property also boasts spacious banquet rooms above the historic flagship restaurant, the Cock ‘n Bull, and light-filled space above the more contemporary Earl’s New American. The James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown is housed in a beautifully restored historic site that began as the Bucks County prison in 1884. Today, the Michener has been transformed into a welcoming center of culture and beauty providing a dramatic and elegant setting. Landmark Hospitality's Hotel du Village and the Landmark Inn, both in New Hope, have been transforming and expanding their properties for tourists and corporate groups.

Black Bass Hotel photo credit: Kevin Crawford, courtesy of Visit Bucks County

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HOLIDAYS Peddler’s Village will continue its longstanding tradition of celebrating the holiday season with a million lights on display in the Village, holiday shopping, food and beverage specials, and a gingerbread house competition and display. “While 2020 has presented us with myriad challenges we never expected, we are planning very creatively for the holidays, with safety as a top priority,” said Bob McGowan, chief operating officer for Peddler’s Village. “We feel very fortunate to be an outdoor destination where we can offer some holiday magic in the fresh air.”

pm, and 6:30 pm. Santa also will make physically distanced appearances during those two weekends as well as December 5-6. In accordance with Pennsylvania state mandates, masks are required outdoors when it is not possible to maintain at least a six-foot distance from others. On weekends from November 20 through January 10, in partnership with Without a Cue, Peddlers Village will present a family-friendly outdoor walking mystery event called “Elf on the Stealth.” On Thanksgiving Day: Cock ‘n Bull is presenting a safely served buffet, and Earl’s New American will be presenting Thanksgiving specials along with its regular menu.

Instead of the annual Grand Illumination Celebration in mid-November, Peddler’s Village will host a daily series of “mini lightings” beginning on November 19-22, and again from November 27-29, with lights turning on in one of three key areas of the Village at 5:30 pm, 6:00

COVID-19 RESPONSE “From the start of the shutdown, Visit Bucks County has remained a responsible marketer,” said Paul Bencivengo, president and COO of Visit Bucks County (VBC). “During each phase of reopening in Pennsylvania, we adapted our strategy to promote those activities that were open and/or faced restrictions. With so many outdoor experiences and venues, Bucks County was able to leverage these opportunities to continue to move forward with recovery.” “Visit Bucks County also increased its outreach to support our industry partners,” he continued. “With so much information out there and guidelines changing, VBC was able to work with industry associations (such as the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association) to disseminate up-to-date regulations to all partners and markets. VBC also continued to keep the lines of communication open with stakeholders and legislators – helping them understand the impacts of the shutdown on hospitality businesses and the local economy.”

Peddler's Village Holiday Lights photo courtesy of Long Island Pulse Magazine

Have a countryside adventure Shopping • Dining Entertainment Weddings • Private events

Bucks County, PA

PeddlersVillage.com Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­55


Chester County’s Brandywine Valley, PA brandywinevalley.com

New restaurant and bar at Embassy Suites by Hilton Philadelphia Valley Forge in King of Prussia, PA. rendering courtesy of Chester County CVB

OVERVIEW “We Have Room” is Chester County’s anthem, welcoming back all who are ready to visit, dine, meet or celebrate. From accommodations, restaurants and venues to vineyards and craft breweries, this countryside location is an ideal destination.

WHAT’S NEW The Embassy Suites by Hilton Philadelphia Valley Forge recently completed more than $12-million in renovations that have transformed its guest suites, meeting and event space, fitness center, indoor swimming pool and lobby. The hotel also unveiled Cool River, an upscale steakhouse and seafood restaurant experience with signature dishes and drinks created by Executive Chef Brian Harmon in a modern setting with its own wine bar. In addition, Embassy Suites offers open air atriums and a Hilton CleanStay/EventReady program to ensure comfort and safety. ­56 November­z December­2020

Celebrate in Chester County’s Brandywine Valley Choose Chester County’s Brandywine Valley for your next special event. Discover distinctive venues, elevated cuisine and tailored lodging options for your party. Step back in time at our historic venues like Loch Aerie Mansion, or embrace a modern twist on the traditional farmhouse at Terrain Gardens. Whatever your event, find the perfect place to gather in the Brandywine Valley. Visit our website to explore venues using our Facility Finder, or contact Courtney Babcock for more information.

Courtney Babcock Director of Sales Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau (484) 840-7213 Courtney@BrandywineValley.com MeetinCC

BrandywineValley.com/Meetings Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­57

Homewood Suites, Great Valley, also has completed renovations. Conveniently located near The Conference Center at Penn State Great Valley for business and The Grove for leisure (think brewpubs and axethrowing) guests will enjoy its modernized full-kitchens and bathrooms and check out the newly renovated saltwater pool.


Historic Stottsville Inn combines the best of both worlds with fine dining and charming overnight rooms. The Inn has gone through an incredible transformation under new ownership; features include a beautiful dining room, spacious bar and patio plus nine guest rooms.

Visit BrandywineValley.com anytime for venues, restaurants, accommodations, attractions and events and reach out to Courtney Babcock, Director of Sales (Courtney@BrandywineValley.com) for information on the 2021 incentive program.

After much anticipation, owners Steve and Dana Poirier have unveiled the spectacularly restored Loch Aerie Mansion. This 150year-old treasure features spaces that include the first floor of the mansion for smaller events, plus a large ballroom added as new construction to the back of the building. The elegant new ballroom works with culinary partner John Serock Catering, while accommodations are available at Sheraton Great Valley and Hampton Inn Great Valley.

Restore Chester County is a countywide initiative developed to assist businesses and residents impacted by COVID-19 with the reopening process and beyond. The Initiative has assisted local industry leaders in creating health and safety plans and protocols, along with public health officials, to help guide the reopening of businesses. As part of the initiative, small working groups of industry experts were organized to provide input in a variety of key segments including tourism.

The Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau staff offers assistance in choosing the right venue as well as complimentary services such as RFP distribution, attendee welcome bags, and scheduling of off-site activities. As an added incentive for 2021, any new meeting or event that books in a Chester County lodging property with 25 or more room nights will be eligible for a $500 signing bonus, plus $5 per night on rooms picked up.


Policies put in place have helped provide health and safety for all as we continue recovery efforts in Chester County. Learn more about the Health & Safety Protocols the hospitality community is taking to keep customers safe in Chester County at RestoreChesterCounty.org.

FOOD AND DRINK New dining options continue to populate Chester County’s culinary landscape. The latest addition to West Chester’s vibrant dining scene is Sedona Taphouse. West Chester joins the Phoenixville Sedona location to cover both ends of Chester County with this 140-seat taphouse that boasts hundreds of craft brews, including 50 on draft. A first quarter 2021 opening is expected. Chester Springs will welcome an exciting new dining experience in the location of Eagle Tavern - Bloom Southern Kitchen. This farm-to-table fine dining experience will feature a smaller seasonally changing menu and the talented chefs will source the freshest ingredients from local farms with a southern flair. Chester County’s Brandywine Valley is home to over 20 amazing craft brewing companies many offer space for small gatherings and special events. BVBrewScene.com is a valuable source to find brewers, events, accommodations and more.

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Expansions are creating both unique spaces in favorite breweries and larger volume productions. Stolen Sun is completing an attention-grabbing extension in Exton, almost tripling its footprint to 10,000-square feet, which includes a larger dining area, increased events space, a beer garden and live music venue. An early December opening is planned. East Branch Brewing Company in Downingtown has expanded into the full first floor, while the second floor features a room-length bar plus seating for 60 in a renovated space along with an amazing rooftop space with spectacular views. All the new space has allowed the brewers to double their output, while comfort food remains a staple of their creative kitchen. Partnerships with PA Distillers, wineries and Downingtown’s own Dressler Estate Cidery combine for a recipe featuring fresh, local and delightful. Chaddsford Winery opened their newly renovated Barrel Room, a unique and inviting indoor/outdoor space where up to 25 guests can enjoy a glass of Pennsylvania-made wine as future vintages age in French, American, and Hungarian oak barrels. This unique space will be available in late 2020.

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS A Longwood Christmas this year will celebrate the traditions of its renowned holiday display. Revel in the elaborate outdoor light display, the towering, festively decorated trees both indoors and outdoors as only Longwood can create. On view Friday, November 20 through Sunday, January 10, tickets to A Longwood Christmas are available without time restraints at participating Chester County accommodations. Upon check in, guests also will receive a reusable Brandywine Valley Welcome Bag with discounts, giveaways and a $25 AMEX gift card. Plan ahead for summer’s Great American Festival Citadel Country Spirit USA, Philadelphia’s Country Music Festival, which has announced the August 27-29, 2021 GMC Sierra Stage lineup. Headliners include: Brantley Gilbert, Miranda Lambert and Chris Young. Additional country stars include Justin Moore, Brett Young and Josh Turner, plus many more - 20 acts on two stages during the festival. The Loch Aerie Mansion includes a grand ballroom, smaller sophisticated rooms and combines innovative event planning with Serock Catering

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Delaware County, PA visitdelcopa.com

Streetlight Kitchen and Bar at Drexelbrook in Drexel Hill, PA offers wood-fired specialties, local brews, hand-crafted cocktails and an outdoor patio, with a focus on “local made, local consumed;" photo credit: Mike Morby WHAT’S NEW Hotels in Delaware County, or Delco, as it is known, have seen a slow but consistent rise in occupancy each month since April 2020, and several have undergone reflagging and significant renovations. The Clarion Hotel in Glen Mills recently rebranded as a Comfort Inn and Suites. It is a price-friendly hotel with spacious guest rooms, a bustling hotel restaurant and bar, six meeting rooms and a 2,500-square foot auditorium. The Radnor Hotel, which suspended operations in the spring, re-opened in August with new luxury suites and 173 newly renovated guest rooms, each offering enhanced safety, sanitizing and no-touch protocols. The hotel’s entire event space also was fully renovated, and new tools in AllSeated’s® floorplan design program are being used to ensure safe distancing for meetings and events. In January, the Renaissance Hotel at PHL will become one of Marriott’s Premium Brand Delta Hotels, a modern line of properties with contemporary streamlined service, mobile check-in and a commitment to cleanliness and guest service. ­60 November­z December­2020




Fresh Air & Fresh Ideas CHANTICLEER GARDEN


In-person, Virtual, or Hybrid — Delaware County, PA makes it easy to meet exactly how you want. Our scenic hike & bike trails, historic attractions, and vibrant towns afford your next event or meeting the perfect blend of making and taking connections.

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Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­61

Chaddsford Winery looks forward to welcoming groups to their newly renovated Barrel Room. A unique and inviting indoor/outdoor space, up to 25 guests can enjoy a glass of PA-made wine as future vintages age in French, American, and Hungarian oak barrels. Available late 2020.

FOOD AND DRINK Summer brought birth of extended outdoor dining options and Delco restaurants will depend, in part, on their ability to serve limited numbers of patrons inside - while still capitalizing on the newly developed markets for both curbside and home food delivery. Even during this uneasy time, several restaurant groups have opened already successful brand establishments in neighborhoods across the county. Fearless Restaurants opened two new restaurants in Delaware County – the group’s fourth White Dog Cafe opened in the Shoppes at Brinton Lake in Glen Mills serving chef-inspired dishes that use fresh ingredients from local farms plus décor that boasts a love of dogs that is artistic and playful. And, Fearless also replaced the former Paramour Restaurant in the Wayne Hotel with Rosalie,

PLACES TO MEET Meeting, event and wedding planners have had to forsake traditional indoor spaces in larger hotels and catering venues in favor of new homes in Micro-manifested formats such as B&Bs, boutique hotels, and large tentable outdoor landscapes. Indian Orchards Farm in Media more than 100-year-old family farm, has been hosting weddings and other types of events since late spring. Owners Ben and Gaile Bernhardt explained, “We’ve hosted events at various locations on the property including spots overlooking our pond, or in sunny glades nestled against verdant forest, or on our large stone terrace where beautiful open stairs lead to a flowing fountain overlooking picturesque meadows.” The Gifford-Risley House B&B, an 1877 Gothic RevivalChalet style B&B located in the Town of Media, features seven historic guest suites, each decorated to a differ-

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Recently opened White Dog Cafe in Glen Mills, PA photo courtesy of Fearless Restaurants

which combines rustic comfort with culinary simplicity and serves authentic Italian Soul Food. Rey Azteca Mexican Restaurant opened in Newtown Square and is the third franchise owned by Alan Lamarca and Jenny Palacios who wanted to bring “a piece of Mexico” to Newtown’s restaurant scene. It offers authentic Mexican food in a vibrant and family-friendly atmosphere. Boardwalk Vegan recently opened in Havertown, with the perfect slogan for 2020 – “Have fun: eat happy.” This unique restaurant serves favorite "down the shore" foods with a plant-based twist, transforming those treats into vegan, plant based and animal-free dishes as part of its ever-changing menu.

ent period theme. Owners Monika and ‘Z’ Rehoric actually opened their doors just as COVID arrived, so, their official Open House took place in September, the same month they hosted a wedding rehearsal dinner. According to Monika, “All guests who have stayed here while attending newly ‘downsized’ events in the area, have expressed how personal and memorable their experiences were,” notes Monika, adding “ I foresee smaller events like these being held throughout next year and beyond.” 2020 forced many couples to either postpone or reconsider how their wedding day would look – But the Radnor Hotel provided a host of fresh new ideas while breaking from the traditional format of having the ceremony and reception on the same day. Vice President of Sales for Main Line Hotels, David Brennan, explained, “We offer couples the option of holding an intimate ceremony on their original date while also planning a big celebration with a vow renewal on their first anniversary.”

c COVID-19 Response According to Steve Byrne, Executive Director of Visit Delco, PA, “During the spring and early summer we worked with our partners in Philadelphia and the Countryside to create a positive campaign that highlighted our joint efforts to make sure our region was a safe place to meet and visit.” Using #HospitalityReady themes and mantras in video, digital and print marketing, this regional campaign highlighted the significant measures that hospitality venues in all five counties were taking to ensure safe travel, safe places to meet and safe, beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy while visiting this area. “The team at Visit Delco, PA also used the summer to strategize fun new programs like our current Delco Trail Mix Photo Contest,” Byrne added. “The campaign reminds people that the best of Delco scenery is right here in our own backyard and invites them to ‘get outside and snap a picture of your favorite Delco trail.’ There is a great interactive trail map to help participants locate the trails, and we invite them to share their photos with us for a chance to win a $150 Amazon gift card.” #DelcoTrailMix #ExploreDelco https://visitdelcopa.wishpondpages.com /photocontest


WORTH MEETING With over 45,000 sf of exceptional meeting space, complemented by award-winning cuisine, and

He also noted, “Our agency joined with the County and its department of Parks and Recreation to co-sponsor fun and safe outdoor events, like our recent October DRIVE-IN MOVIE WEEKEND.” For more information on these and other programs, go to VisitDelcoPA.com for local attractions, restaurants and other family-oriented activities.

100 spacious well appointed guest rooms,

Drexelbrook takes the work out of meetings.




Located in Delaware County, PA – 20 minutes from the Philadelphia International Airport. Easily accessible by major interstates and highways.

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­63


Montgomery County & Valley Forge, PA valleyforge.org

Bar and lobby at the Alloy King of Prussia - a DoubleTree by Hilton; photo courtesy of the Valley Forge TCB OVERVIEW Valley Forge and Montgomery County, PA are the ultimate meetings destination because the region is home to more than 80 world-class hotels, 300 cutting-edge meeting venues, 1,600 restaurants, and unique team building opportunities - all away from busy city life. In fact, the hotel occupancy tax of 4 percent is one of the lowest in the region. Besides the iconic Valley Forge National Historical Park, the area also is home to dozens of other historic sites and parks, and some of the best shopping in the country between King of Prussia Mall, the Philadelphia Premium Outlets (outdoor), and small, downtown main street boutiques. Plus, the county has plenty of adventurous ways to build leadership skills with colleagues or extend their stay with family after an event: almost 100 miles of trails, 30 award-winning Montco Makers (breweries, wineries, and distilleries), 200 arts and culture venues, and 50 golf courses.

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1. Convenient Locaation 40% of the United Sttates population can drive to our easst coast destination witthin one day.

2. Value Offered Valley Forge and Mon ntgomery County offers affordable room rates, low taxess and free parking throughout the majority hotels j it off our h t ls.

3. Montco Wellness for Events Provides easy access to information planners need to ma ake y, PA. Montgomery County

4. World Class Hottels and Venues Valley Forge features more than 80+ world class hotels and a ns over 300 meeting venues. Large or small, we have option

5. Unique Teambuilding Possibilities Numerous breweriess, indoor sky diving, ziplining, escape e rooms, culinary challenges, outdoor activities and a world class zoo.

6. A Craveable Resstaurant Scene More than 1,600 resta aurants make up our incredible


m restaurant scene. Our restaurants feature everything from farm to table, top nottch steakhouses, unique counter y fea aturing g private p dining g spaces. p service with many

7. Best Shopping inn the United States! With the largest shop pping mall on the east coast, quaintt main street boutique es and shops and tax free shopping on

See it today. Live it tomorrow. Explore e nearly 100 hotels and attractio ons in Montgomery County, PA

a shop-a-holic’s dream come true. t clothing and shoes, we’re w

8. Complimentary Planning Services The Valley Forge Tourrism and Convention Board offers



complimentary planning assistance to help create a



morable Revolutionary Event! productive and mem

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­65

WHAT’S NEW Recently renovated and newly rebranded, the Alloy, King of Prussia, a DoubleTree by Hilton, went through a multi-million rejuvenation project that completely transformed the property into a self-contained hotel that pairs top-notch hospitality, outstanding dining, and high-end fitness amenities with the modern comforts and conveniences that today’s travelers have come to expect. With 327 newly-renovated, luxurious guest rooms, 25,000-square feet of event space, an outdoor venue, and two dining options, the Alloy is a onestop shop and is able to host a variety of functions with enough room to keep guests spaced at a safe distance. The Holiday Inn Express King of Prussia recently went through a $2.5-million renovation that included its guest rooms, breakfast room, meeting room and fitness center. The Valley Forge Casino Resort’s brand-new 54,000-square foot event space’s meeting and exhibition area can accommodate up to 3,000 people, and hold up to 230 exhibits (once state regulations allow). The Crowne Plaza King of Prussia also recently completed renovations to its guestrooms, lobby, restaurant, and public space. Meanwhile, the Courtyard Collegeville and the Fairfield Inn Valley Forge both also have finished full-property revamps. Karamoor Estate Vineyard & Winery in Fort Washington hosts private tours and events and a public tasting room is to open in the future.

Additionally, Sheraton Valley Forge is preparing for full guest room renovations, and the Holiday Inn Lansdale is currently renovating guestrooms and lobby through 2021, while Best Western Fort Washington and Comfort Inn and Suites Pottstown both are planning renovations of their own.

Chubb Hotel & Conference Center Virtual events are the new normal.

The Valley Forge National Historical Park’s $14 million major overhaul of its Visitor Center also continues through the end of 2020 with anticipated completion in early 2021.

Let our expert conference planning managers take care of the details. From on-site video conference equipment to high speed internet and on-site technicians, our team is happy to make your next event a success

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The Element King of Prussia is scheduled to open in early 2021, and a Residence Inn in Bala Cynwyd in October 2020.

800 RIDGE PIKE, L A F AY E T T E H I L L , P A 1 9 1 4 4

GROUP INCENTIVE The Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board is offering the #MakeItMontco Hotel Package, which includes $300 in exclusive deals through the organization’s free Visit Valley Forge mobile app, and is being promoted through digital and social media advertising. The VFTCB is working on a partnership consumer marketing campaign with county officials to push small, local businesses, and also offers incentives like the Revolutionary Rewards Program, where groups can earn up to $2,500 or more for new meetings with at least 25 total room nights. Wild Lights at Elmwood Park Zoo returns this holiday season.




COVID-19 Response The VFTCB created Montco Wellness for Events to help meeting planners feel confident in choosing Valley Forge and Montgomery County to host their event with informational resources, including hotel brand cleanliness details.


Youth sports tournaments have proven to be recession-proof, and the VFTCB sales team has been working with couples on micro-weddings for smaller ceremonies and receptions to adapt to limited gathering numbers.

accommodate any function big or small. Let us make

With space for 10-200 guests and group-friiendly dining options, our private banquet roomss can

The sales team also has been encouraging clients to postpone, not cancel, as well as develop short-term opportunities, and cultivate future business for the recovery phase and beyond.

your next corporate event a memorable success! CHERRY C HERRY HILL HILL 2000 ROUTE 38, SUITE 1180, CHERRY HILL, NJ 856.792.4480 KING K ING OF OF PRUSSIA PRUSSIA 205 MALL BLVD, KING OF PRUSSIA, PA 610.992.3322



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Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­69


Philadelphia, PA discoverphl.com

Steak 48 is an award-winning, upscale steakhouse concept that opened in September, adjacent to the Kimmel Center; photo courtesy of Cashman and Associates WHAT’S NEW Hyatt Centric Philadelphia opened in October of 2020, a 332-room upscale lifestyle hotel with 22 suites that is centrally located in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. It offers more than 5,000-square feet of customizable function space in seven meeting rooms, all of which boast natural light and state-of-the-art technology built in that allows for contact-less meetings with audio-visual, microphones, smart TVs and food service that can all be controlled by phone. Each of these meeting spaces is named after groundbreaking Philadelphians to help inspire creativity and innovation. Philadelphia’s Canopy by Hilton opened in August with 236 rooms. Located in the East Market neighborhood, the property is an adaptive reuse of the historic Stephen Girard Building that features approximately 3,600-square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, complimentary Canopy Bikes for exploring the city, rooms and suites with signature Canopy beds, plus curated retail that features products from local artisans. With an anticipated opening in March of 2021, W Hotel will offer 295 rooms and suites with expansive views of Philadelphia, a ground-floor 90-seat restaurant, Dolce, that will feature regional Italian dishes, a ­70 November­z December­2020

7,000-square foot outdoor terrace with a year-round heated swimming pool and bar, spa, gym and 40,000-square feet of event space, including outdoor options. The rich history, dynamic art galleries and eclectic music scene that define Philadelphia are just steps from the hotel. Element Hotel also is slated to open in March of 2021, and features the bright Sky Lobby and Motion Fitness Center, 460 spacious rooms and suites with fully equipped kitchens, and the signature Westin Heavenly® Bed. The property also shares event space at the connecting W Philadelphia. Slated to open in early 2021, Philadelphia Live! Hotel and Casino will be an all-in-one hotel, dining and entertainment complex in Philadelphia’s Stadium District. The property will feature more than 1.5-million square feet of gaming, hotel, dining and entertainment space. The upscale hotel will be home to over 200 guest rooms, as well as two new restaurant concepts from Food Network star Guy Fieri. Philly Tour Hub has partnered with Amazon to expand its virtual experience offerings to include: Historic Highlights of Old City, where guests can explore the oldest section of Philadelphia and learn how the city grew from a religious experiment into the largest and most influential city in Colonial America. Last fall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrated the reopening of its North Entrance, an architecturally significant space originally built in 1928 and intended for public use, and the museum continues to work towards the completion of the Core Project. Slated to be finished in 2021, the Core Project will bring more than 90,000-square feet of renovated space to the museum, including 23,000-square feet of new gallery space.

Histor s oric Meets e t Hip

AT THE NATIO ONAL C ONS TITUTION CEN NTER BOOK YOUR EVENT TODAY! Y Call 215.409.6653 or email facilityrental@constitutioncent e er.org Visit constitutioncenter.org/facility-rentals

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­71

THINGS TO DO Known as Philadelphia’s "Garden District,” Chestnut Hill boasts lush gardens and trees lining the cobblestone streets of Germantown Avenue that shower residents and visitors in autumn with the warm tones of fall foliage. With over 200 businesses, including 12 health and beauty retailers, and over 70 specialty stores, the Chestnut Hill Business District features cultural and community centers like the Woodmere Art Museum and Morris Arboretum, as well as the sophisticated, boutique Chestnut Hill Hotel. The restaurant scene here is highly regarded, too, with culinary offerings on every block.

Lobby of the Renaissance Philadelphia Downtown Hotel within the historic area of Philadelphia.


Gran Caffe L'Aquila

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ncept from highly reing, upscale steakhouse co inn -w ard aw an is 48 ak Ste Michael Mastro lture, brothers Jeffrey and cu e us ho ak ste in ns era vet to modern garded a non-traditional experience ers off t ran tau res e Th lio. d cockand Scott Tro s and an extensive wine an he dis e sid ve ati cre h wit steakhouse dining tail list. ors, indining rooms and cozy corrid ate im int of n tio llec co a Steak 48 houses t. Additional highe with a view of Broad Stree nin zza me s iou ac sp a g din clu en, intimate to-ceiling glass expo kitch orflo r, ba t ran vib a e lud lights inc rooms. ll as multiple private dining dining kitchen suites, as we ek celebration quila has started their 52 we L'A ffe Ca n Gra lar pu po y d have added The ver ough wines and cuisine an thr ly Ita in s ion reg the all by visiting s this year. delivery of these experience

PLACES TO MEET The Pennsylvania Convention Center recently received the Global Bio-risk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation on outbreak prevention, response and recovery. The PCC is one of the largest venues in the northeast to receive the GBAC STAR™ accreditation. “The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority is proud to join the list of meeting and events facilities that have received the GBAC STAR accreditation. The health, safety, and security of all who enter the Pennsylvania Convention Center is our top priority,” said Greg Fox, chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority.

Hilton’s lifestyle brand, the 236-room Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City opened in August in the lively East Market neighborhood of the City. COVID-19 Response In July the PHLCVB launched the PHL Health Pledge which is designed to tell Philadelphia’s recovery story. It highlights efforts being undertaken to keep visitors safe throughout the city’s tourism ecosystem, from the moment a visitor lands at the airport to arrival at their hotel, visiting a museum or attraction, dining in a restaurant, and attending a meeting. Dr. David Nash, Dean Emeritus of Jefferson’s College of Population Health, is serving as the PHLCVB Chief Health Advisor working directly with meeting planners to bring events to the city. In short: Philadelphia stands ready to receive and welcome visitors safely when they are ready to visit. In addition, the bureau implores residents to “act like a visitor” and support favorite local restaurants and shops, visit a museum and spend a night in one of the city’s hotels.

Hugo's Frog Bar & Chop House at Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

The newly built, 332-room upscale lifestyle hotel Hyatt Centric Center City Philadelphia. Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­73

PHILADELPHIA'S NEW ATTRACTIONS AND HIDDEN GEMS Despite everything going on, many new attractions, restaurants, shops and hotels have opened in Philadelphia. That's one reason why National Geographic named the city to its list of best places to visit, and why there was a compelling reason to update the book 100 Things To Do In Philadelphia. 100 Things to Do in Philadelphia provides the inside scoop on the city's newest attractions plus hidden gems, along with tips on getting the most out of each experience. This updated guide includes more things to do, see and taste, new itineraries, and updates to every page. The newly-published book includes tips that Irene Levy Baker has discovered while working with five local tourist bureaus, celebrity chefs, hotels and attractions as the owner of Spotlight Public Relations, a firm specializing in hospitality and restaurants. Prior to starting her public relations firm, she spent nearly a decade at the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. The book's mix of tried-and-true attractions and hidden gems makes it ideal for locals looking for staycations or weekend adventures, newcomers getting to know the city and, of course, for tourists. Businesses can use the book for recruiting and welcoming new employees once they arrive in the area.

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EvENtM ­ AkErs CONNECTICUT Uncasville – Mohegan Sun announced the promotion of Kim Noto to Vice President of Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer, and Dan Webster has been named Senior Vice President of Resort Operations. In Kim's new role, she will take the lead on all marketing efforts, including overseeing Mohegan Sun’s Player’s Club, VIP Services, Hotel Sales and Marketing, Sponsorships and Special Events. Dan will oversee and implement strategies for various departments.

NEW JERSEY Atlantic City – With the merger of Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment now complete, industry veteran Jim Ziereis has been promoted to Vice President Hotel Sales-Atlantic City Region for Caesars Entertainment. This includes Tropicana Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Bally's Atlantic City and Harrah's Resort Atlantic City Hotel and Waterfront Conference Center.

Philadelphia - Melissa Horine-Rizvi has been hired by Boston Market as Catering and Community Relations Manager. Philadelphia – Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia announced the appointment of Angela Lustig as Director of Sales. In this role, Angela will lead the development and implementation of strategic sales and marketing initiatives, as well as serve as key liaison for all group meetings and event bookings. Pocono Mountains – Stephani Bann recently was named Assistant Director of Sales at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. Stephani has been with Kalahari since pre-opening. While primarily working with Pennsylvania-based accounts, she also works with clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. In this new role, Stephani will oversee the sales team, continue to build on existing relationships, and expand new business for Pennsylvania's largest convention resort.

PENNSYLVANIA King of Prussia – Jayna Garner and Melissa Mezick have both been promoted to Regional Sales Managers for Maggiano's Little Italy handling the Northeast region. Philadelphia – Rivers Casino Philadelphia, which just celebrated 10 years, has a new General Manager. Rush Street Gaming announced that Las Vegas gaming and hospitality executive Eric Fitzgerald has joined the property as GM. Eric comes to Philadelphia by way of the Vegas Strip, where he most recently served as president and COO of Excalibur Hotel and Casino.








Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­75

Around Th ON MAIN STREET The VFTCB also has launched Make It Main Street, a robust and targeted consumer marketing campaign that puts the spotlight on small, local businesses impacted by COVID-19 – a first for the organization. The initiative highlights unique visitor experiences throughout the suburban county’s hundreds of local, family-owned businesses across dozens of small, quaint downtowns and beyond. The goal is to help the once vigorous hospitality industry bounce back by inspiring consumer behavior, invigorating economic recovery for a strong impact that benefits the entire region, driving results for tourism entities, and stimulating jobs. The VFTCB has partnered with Montgomery County and the Commerce Department on the $300,000 project, which is being funding by the county through CARES Act monies, and will continue through the first quarter of 2021. WWW.VALLEYFORGE.ORG/MAKE-IT-MAIN-STREET

NEW: VIRGINIA BEACH LEARNING ADVENTURES Virginia Beach is welcoming visitors with a unique “bring the classroom to the beach” promotion. Now through March 2021, the new Surf, Sand and Study program by the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau encourages the exploration of the destination’s rich history, abundance of outdoor adventures, and unique educational opportunities at parks, museums and the arts in a series of safe, engaging and physically distanced experiences. Surf, Sand & Study includes exclusive offers via a downloadable Passport at more than 50 Virginia Beach tourism businesses for outdoor adventures like ziplining, surfing, eco-tours, fishing charters and other aquatic activities. These complement visits to Virginia Beach’s museums, mural art scene, the Virginia Aquarium, local farm fare, family-friendly classes and interactive experiences from horseback riding to gaming centers to yoga classes. The promotion also features shopping perks and entertainment options, plus multiple discounts on destination dining and lodging. www.visitvirginiabeach ­76 November­z December­2020

he Region DRIVE-THRU HOLIDAY EVENT PHestivaL of Trees is a festive drive-thru family activity featuring 200 uniquely decorated holiday trees, a live nativity scene, 10-foot Hanukkah menorah, Kwanzaa display, 30-foot live decorated tree, a light show and Santa himself. The 200 trees will be decorated by individuals, businesses and organizations and proceeds from the sale of the uniquely decorated trees will benefit local animal rescues and shelters. There is something for everyone, including adoptable pets from the local shelters and rescues. The event will run the evenings of November 2729, 2020 at the Fairgrounds at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA. PHESTIVALOFTREES.COM

Staff of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland, wearing their OC masks, as they gather for an informal meeting to discuss best safe practices in welcoming convention attendees. Left to right in the front row are: DJ Lockwood, Maintenance Manager; Larry Noccolino, Executive Director and Sarah, building mascot; Robert Taylor, Building Superintendent, Regina Brittingham, Sales Manager, Reatta Tate, Operations Manager and Sharon Bradford, Contract Administrator.

Mid-Atlantic­EvENts­Magazine ­77

Around The Region EVENTS DC LAUNCHES GATHER Events DC has developed an innovative and creative way to shift capabilities and resources to host events with clients in an either hybrid or 100 percent virtual capacity through the launch of GATHER, a new multiplatform virtual venue and production studio. This 19,000-square foot state-of-the-art production studio is housed within the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and will provide a turnkey experience for customers looking to host and create virtual experiences. The studio is fully equipped with rigging, AV and lighting capabilities, as well as dynamic LED screens. gatherthedistrict.com

THE OTESAGA – NOW OPEN YEAR-ROUND The Otesaga Resort Hotel, which since 1909 has graced the shores of Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, “America’s Most Perfect Village,” will make history this year by remaining open throughout the winter months for travelers looking for winter getaways where they can remain healthy and safe. To make things a little easier for guests, the resort has unveiled a series of packages and specials. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is always open year-round, and a winter visit means plenty of room to explore and take a deeper dive into baseball’s evolving story. Guests also can do as the locals do, strapping on snowshoes or cross-country skis and setting off across the fresh snow that blankets Leatherstocking Golf Course for a bit of exercise and plenty of fresh air. The Otesaga has implemented new safety and hygiene protocols, Otesaga CARE, a program that exceeds the sanitation standards recommended by state and federal agencies to provide a Clean And Responsible Environment for all. The Otesaga also offers modified operations of its restaurants, all in accordance with guidance from federal, state and local health authorities. www.otesaga.com ­78 November­z December­2020

MORE MEETING G SP PA ACE, LA AV VISH BANQ QUETS AND LUXUR RY Y RO OOMS. Planning the perfect meeting, meeting conference conference or banquet requires experience, experience efficiency and passion... all qualities found in our team of experts. Choose Tropicana for your next meeting and rest assured in knowing you have the very best in your corner. • Over 2,400 Rooms • Over 100,000 Square Feet of Meeting Space • 2,000 Seat Showroom which is Ideal for your General Session

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