Event Venues, Additions & Renovations
TEAMS in A.C.
'21 Conference & Expo
, the world’s leading conference and expo for the sports-event industry, will be held at the Atlantic City Convention Center, September 27-30, 2021. Visit Northstar Meeting Group's website
for updates on this prestigious industry event.
AC has launched Our Plan to Keep You Safe, a resource for planning safe
meetings through the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The
resource features Together Again!,
which outlines the reopening plan for the Atlantic City Convention Center and contains details of staff, corporate and industry best practices to support
the health and safety of convention center visitors, employees and partners. In
addition to a reopening timeline and summary, the plan includes health,
safety, building, employee and food and beverage protocols; an outline of
employee responsibilities; venue requirements; information on meeting room
setup changes and more.
City’s casinos, restaurants, bars and amusement venues, along with many other
types of indoor business, can now operate at 50 percent capacity. In making
this announcement, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy also noted that the
allowable capacity for nonreligious indoor and outdoor events would also
increase at that date and time. General indoor gatherings can now include up to
25 people, up from 10 people. Large venues with a fixed seating capacity
of 5,000 people or more are permitted to host indoor events at 10 percent
of capacity; the 10 percent includes patrons and other members of the public,
but excludes participants, such as performers, athletes, ushers and staff.
Mask-wearing and social distancing requirements remain in effect. Meet AC
offers links to protocols being followed at each property.
AC has enhanced its Atlantic City virtual reality experience.
The experience now features two distinctly different virtual tours, Meetings
and Conventions and Destination. The Meetings and Conventions tour
spotlights everything planners and attendees need to know and see when it comes
to meetings and conventions in Atlantic City. The Destination tour focuses on
special offerings provided by the destination’s hotels as well as information
on its beach, Boardwalk and shopping opportunities.
• Bar32 Chocolate & Cocktails has opened in the Orange Loop district. Bar32’s menu includes a wide variety of
desserts made with its own hand-crafted chocolate, as well as cocktails. The Bar32
Chocolate & Cocktails experience also includes music, with playlists
tailored to each of the establishment’s chocolate bars. All chocolate is made
from premium cacao beans and incorporates ingredients from around the world.
• Atlantic City has bid “goodbye” to the Trump
Plaza Hotel and Casino, which was imploded in mid-February. Current owner and
billionaire investor Carl Icahn acquired the Trump Plaza in 2016, when he
assumed control of thrice-bankrupt Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2016 two
years after the property closed. Icahn has not announced plans for the site.
The Atlantic City Convention Center has achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council STAR Facility accreditation, indicating its readiness to welcome guests
safely based on adherence to the highest standards of cleaning for Covid-19 and
other infectious diseases. For the program, at least one staff member
completed a two- to three-hour online course covering a range of topics,
including proper procedures and training, as well as the chemicals, equipment,
tools, and personal protective equipment needed to prevent and respond to infectious
diseases. The center also demonstrated compliance with 20 GBAC Star program
Two iconic Atlantic City restaurants—the Knife & Fork Inn and Dock’s Oyster House have joined forces to introduce a new dining concept at Resorts Casino Hotel
in spring 2021. The restaurant will feature a classic
steakhouse menu, a raw bar, and live entertainment and replaces Gallagher’s
Steak House and Gallagher’s Burger Bar, both of which are slated to close on
January 1. Dock’s was opened in 1897 by Harry Dougherty,
great-grandfather of current owner Frank Dougherty. The Knife & Fork, also
owned by Dougherty, was launched as a men’s club in 1912; it served as a popular speakeasy
during Prohibition, and became a restaurant in 1927.
Atlantic City Hotel & Casino's new owner has pledged to pour at least $90 million into an upgrade of the resort. Plans call for renovations of more than
900 of the property’s guest rooms and the construction of 30 to 40 mini-suites,
along with the introduction of new bars and restaurants
slated to open by summer 2021. A permanent sportsbook is expected to open in March 2021.
• Caesars Entertainment Inc. plans to spend $400 million over the next three months for major improvements to its three Atlantic City properties. A capital expenditure proposal developed includes an investment of at least $150 million in hotel renovations, gaming upgrades and new food and entertainment offerings at Caesars Atlantic City. Improvements to Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City are also part of the plan.
• All nine of Atlantic City’s casino hotels are now welcoming
gamers at 25 percent capacity. Indoor dining in casino hotel restaurants and
other Atlantic City eateries is also back, at 25 percent capacity and with
tables spaced six feet apart.
• Atlantic City took
the number-three spot on TripAdvisor’s
new list of best travel destinations in the United States.
• Showboat Hotel owner and real estate developer Bart Blatstein plans to break ground on a $100 million indoor waterpark in 2020. The waterpark would be located on the site of what is currently a parking lot between the Showboat and the Ocean Casino Resort and would be connected to the Showboat’s Premier Lite tower, which is set to undergo a complete renovation. The waterpark will include water slides, pools, lazy rivers, food and beverage outlets, retail stands and lounge areas.
• Meet AC has appointed Larry Sieg as its new president and CEO. Sieg replaces Jim Wood, who stepped down as the head of the CVB at the end of 2019. Sieg brings more than 30 years of experience to the new role. He currently serves as director of communications and marketing for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and previously worked at the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority, which was dissolved in 2011.
off-again Phase II of Stockton University’s residential expansion project is back
on: Ground has been broken on a student residence hall at Atlantic and South
Providence avenues, across from O’Donnell Memorial Park. The 416-bed dorm joins
the 533-bed Boardwalk residence hall and a three-story academic building, which
opened in the fall of 2018. It is scheduled for completion by 2023.
• Meet AC offers a number of digital tools designed to help planners become better acquainted with the destination and the CVB’s services. A virtual reality experience tool offers multiple options, from a tour of Atlantic City properties to surfing in the Atlantic Ocean, while a YouTube channel features podcasts captured throughout the city, along with client testimonials and behind-the-scenes footage of past events. Also available are a meeting planning guide that contains specs for Atlantic City’s venues, a convention services kit, and an Atlantic City Convention Center event planning guide where planners can find information about holding future events at the venue.
retail and entertainment complex is back in the hands of Caesars Entertainment.
Real estate developer Bart Blatstein
has sold the property to a Caesars subsidiary for an undisclosed price,
reversing a transaction completed five years ago when he acquired it from the
hospitality giant. Caesars has not yet announced plans for Playground Pier,
while Blatstein will now focus his attention on returning gaming to the
Showboat Atlantic City.
• Meet AC, the city’s convention & visitors bureau, booked a record 394,029 hotel room nights in 2019, injecting more than $400 million into the local economy.
• More dining and retail outlets are coming to Atlantic City International Airport. Among the planned additions are three dining outlets: two Great American Bagel & Bakery shops and a BeachHouse Restaurant & Bar.
• Harrah's Resort is spending $24 million to refresh the 416-room Marina Tower, which will be renamed the Laguna Tower once complete. The project calls for an updated design, new furniture and remodeled bathrooms. The rooms were expected to debut in April 2020, but have been pushed back to a later date due to a statewide halt on all nonessential construction. The renovation follows a full transformation of the 507-room Coastal Tower last year.
• Historic Gardner’s Basin—home to the Atlantic City Aquarium as well as to several small businesses and recreational amenities—is getting a facelift. A $1 million grant from the New Jersey Green Acres Program will be used to pay for restroom and maintenance building renovations, LED lighting, parking lot upgrades, and a public address system. New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs is chipping in an additional $1 million to address improvements to the Gardner’s Basin marina.
• Fins Bar, billed as "a whole new way to experience the Boardwalk" in Atlantic City, has debuted at the Resorts Casino Hotel. Designed as an outdoor component of the property’s LandShark Bar & Grill, Fins Bar features a 2,300-square-foot boardwalk deck, as well as an additional 150-seat bar, cozy fire pits, outdoor speakers and string lights. Live entertainment, including performances by regional bands, is presented seven days a week on a portable stage.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
has reopened The Poker Room following its closure earlier this year. The
gaming space offers 30 socially- distanced tables, in accordance with the
gaming resort’s comprehensive health and safety protocols.
Borgata recently opened the Moneyline Bar & Book —
which offers a 40-foot wide LED video wall and six
betting windows and a
35-foot-long bar with 19 built-in slot machines.
• The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is the newest property in town. The resort, formerly the Trump Taj Mahal, underwent a $500 million, head-to-toe transformation into a shrine to rock art and memorabilia. The gaming property offers a revamped casino with 2,200 slot machines and 120 table games; 150,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and the Hard Rock Café (relocated from its former site on the Boardwalk). New dining outlets include the Sugar Factory, a cosmopolitan casual dining spot and confectionery, and Kuro, an upscale Japanese eatery. Other new features include a lobby lounge. The property's Mark G. Etess Arena, a holdover from the Taj Mahal days, remains and has been expanded to seat 7,700.
• The Atlantic City Convention Center has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification in accordance with the LEED rating system developed by the U.S. Green Buildings Council. Steps taken at the center that led to the certification included replacing all metal-halide fixtures in the exhibit halls with LED fixtures, reducing lighting loads by nearly 63 percent. Last year, more than 2.9 million kWh of electricity (roughly 13 percent of the building’s total energy) were produced from solar panels. Operation of lighting and HVAC systems was made more efficient by minimizing their use during non-peak times, and improved operating efficiency of climate controls was achieved during changing seasons. Finally, efforts undertaken in 2018 allowed more than 158.2 tons of recycled materials from the facility to be diverted from landfills, and 9,583 pounds of lamps, ballasts, batteries and electronics were recycled.
• In other ACCC news, a $9.1 million renovation of the facility's 32 restrooms has been completed. The project included the installation of new
lighting, auto-flush toilets, porcelain-accented flooring, and glass and
porcelain wall tiles. New vanities with long trough sinks, quartz surfaces,
backlit mirrors, and automated soap dispensers and faucets have been added as
well. Modern entry portals and signage now direct visitors to each restroom.
• Luxor Capital Group, a New York City-based hedge fund which purchased the Ocean Resort Casino, has been granted
a license to own and operate the property.
The gaming resort sits on 20 acres of beachfront and accommodates groups in 160,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and 90,000 square feet of outdoor function space. Amenities include 16 restaurants, a 5,500-seat entertainment venue, a 138,000-square-foot gaming floor, a state-of-the-art sportsbook, a 40,000-square-foot Exhale spa, six swimming pools and the world's largest Topgolf Swing Suite virtual-golf facility. A new 1927 Lounge & Speakeasy has also been added to the property. Under Luxor’s ownership, the resort will be enhanced to the tune of $70 million. In addition to the construction of a “long-awaited buffet,” improvements will involve wrapping up incomplete work that had been underway on 12 floors in the middle of the hotel tower, which will add another 500 guest rooms to the existing 1,399 rooms. Casino enhancements and other improvements also are on the drawing board.
• About eight miles from Atlantic City on 670 acres along Reed’s Bay in Galloway, the historic Seaview Dolce Hotel & Golf Club has reopened following a multimillion-dollar renovation. All 296 guest rooms and suites, as well as the lobby, public spaces, meeting and event spaces, and the Grille Room restaurant now feature art deco design elements combined with cool blues and modern finishes. Part of the Dolce Hotels and Resorts Collection by Wyndham, the property offers 27,000 square feet of event space, including 21 meeting rooms, plus two championship golf courses, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts and an Elizabeth Arden Red Door spa.
• Atop the Playground at Caesars restaurant and shopping complex, the independently owned One Atlantic offers sweeping views of Atlantic City's beach, Boardwalk and skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows and an open-air terrace. More than 10,000 square feet of flexible event space accommodates groups of 50 to 1,200 people for cocktail receptions, 30 to 500 for seated luncheons and dinners, and 30 to 750 in theater- or classroom-style configuration.
• An atmosphere reminiscent of Old Havana — complete with period décor, exotic tropical foliage and music — creates a backdrop for colorful events at Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar. A buyout of the restaurant provides space to accommodate up to 850 people. Choose from several different entertainment options, including choreographed floor shows, salsa lessons and appearances by professional dancers, a cigar roller or a rum expert.
• The 23,100-square-foot Adrian Philips Theater at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall features a stage with a 48-foot proscenium opening, as well as an open-air loggia that overlooks the beach and Boardwalk. With a capacity ranging from 1,000 people in rounds to 3,200 in theater-style seating, the facility is suitable for a variety of functions, including theatrical events, concerts, galas and banquets.
• Hold your event in a tented space perched 1,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. The Ocean Reef Oasis at the Steel Pier serves a wide variety of fare, with catering packages that include everything from barbecue favorites, sliders, crab cakes and a clam bake to Italian specialties and freshly carved roast beef. Groups using the venue can also enjoy optional extras, like bonfires on the beach, assorted rides and amusements, and helicopter journeys.