Guide to Meeting & Event Planning in

Atlantic City

Learn why you should host your next meeting, event or conference in Atlantic City. 

Why Atlantic City for Your Next Meeting or Event?

The new and splashy Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort have injected fresh energy into this famed seaside destination. A string of new beach bars along the iconic Boardwalk add to the fun for meeting and event groups.

Only in A.C.

The 33,114-pipe organ at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall is the largest and noisiest instrument of its kind in the world. Take a free guided tour of the "Sonic Mount Rushmore," where guests can climb in and out of the instrument's chambers, enjoy a concert and even play a few notes. 

Transportation In & Around The Area

Atlantic City International Airport, 12 miles from the heart of the downtown district. Transfer cost by jitney, $15; by taxi, $30

Travel Essentials

Taxes: Luxury tax, 9%; sales tax, 4%; occupancy fee, 1%; tourism promotion fee, $5 per room for casino hotels; total tax on hotel rooms, 14% plus tourism promotion fee

CVB: Meet AC, (609) 348-7100 or (844) 855-6338

Convention Center: Atlantic City Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 486,600 square feet; meeting space, 109,100 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 45; (844) 855-6338

Total Number of Hotel Rooms: 17,500

2018 Stella Award Winners
  • Best CVB/DMO, Regional, Northeast: Meet AC

Meeting & Event Venues

Venue Additions & Renovations in Atlantic City

A.C. Esports Landscape
A.C. Esports Landscape
Northstar’s 2019 Esports Travel Summit, the only event of its kind for organizers of esports events, is being held at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, June 25-27. Destinations, venues and suppliers who want to understand esports and grow relationships in this rapidly expanding market will network at the event. 

• Caesars Entertainment is pouring $56 million into a renovation of the Harbour Tower at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City Hotel & Casino. Upgrades to the tower's 507 rooms and suites include a refreshed design, along with new high-speed Internet access, charging stations and 55-inch LED TVs. The Harbour Tower will be renamed the Coastal Tower once the renovation is complete in mid-2019.

• The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has undertaken an $11 million project to expand its sportsbook and integrate it with a "destination bar." Stay tuned for more details of the project, slated for completion this summer.
 
• A $10 million renovation of the lobby and atrium at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall is now underway. Scheduled to wrap up sometime in 2019, work includes a replacement of the venue's escalators and the addition of a set of stairs leading from the main lobby to the first floor. Interactive video boards also are being installed.

A.C. Recent Hotel & Venue Additions

• The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City debuted in 2018. The property, 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 and a signature spa/fitness center, as well as the Rocktane convenience store and car wash. The property's Mark G. Etess Arena, a holdover from the Taj Mahal days, remains and has been expanded to seat 7,700.

• Luxor Capital Group, a New York City-based hedge fund, has purchased the Ocean Resort Casino, part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt Portfolio. The property, which had been closed since 2014, was purchased by Bruce Deifik early in 2018 and reopened that June. 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. 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.

Tropicana’s Boardwalk light-and-sound display
Tropicana’s Boardwalk light-and-sound display


 
Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City  has reopened the Sea Spa, another part of the former Chelsea Hotel that was added to the resort when it acquired the property directly across the street. All 330 rooms in the Chelsea were renovated and integrated into the resort with access by the Skybridge, an enclosed pedestrian walkway. The added hotel, now called the Chelsea Tower, brought the Tropicana’s room count to 2,400. Last May saw the debut of a rooftop pool with a full-service bar, the Chelsea Five Gastropub.  
 
Bally's Atlantic City Hotel & Casino has completely remodeled its slot floor, adding machines with Asian games such as 50 Dragons, 50 Dragon Deluxe and Fortune King.

• Last year, the state of New Jersey saw its first gambling facilities kick off regulated sports betting. The Hard Rock, Ocean Resort Casino, Golden Nugget, Bally’s Atlantic City, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City all offer sports betting in Atlantic City. The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has undertaken an $11 million project to expand its sportsbook and integrate it with a “destination bar” that will debut in the summer. 

• Over the past five years, Resorts Atlantic City has completed more than $100 million in renovations to reposition and transform the property into a vibrant destination with offerings beyond casino gaming. Major expansion milestones included the $35 million Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville and Landshark Bar & Grill Entertainment Complex, a first-of-its-kind iGaming Lounge dedicated to the online gaming experience, and a completely remodeled casino floor adding more than 800 new slot machines. In 2015, a $5 million conference center added 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Additionally, last year, Resorts Casino Hotel completed the final phase of a $25 million room renovation featuring a completely revamped Ocean Tower. Altogether there are 942  guest rooms and suites in two hotel towers, an 80,000-square-foot casino, 10 restaurants, a food court featuring five eateries, two VIP slot and table player lounges, a casino bar, an indoor-outdoor swimming pool, a health club and spa, a salon, retail shops and 64,000 square feet of meeting space.

Event Venues

• Relocated to the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino from its former site on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City can now host up to 450 guests for private events. The eatery, which has a state-of-the-art audiovisual system and two stages, is decorated with handpicked items from Hard Rock's collection of memorabilia — like a multicolored chiffon shirt worn by musical icon Prince during his "Lovesexy" tour.
 

atlantic-city-hard-rock-resort
The new and splashy Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort have injected fresh energy into this famed seaside destination.

• 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.

Meeting Hotels

Things To Do in A.C.

Getting Active & Outdoors

Get your golf on: Casino gambling and sports books are not the only games in town. Golf is another option, especially now that several previously private courses in and near the destination are open for public play. One of the oldest facilities of its kind in the U.S., the layout at the Atlantic City Country Club has been named the number-one public golf course in New Jersey by Golf Week, Golf Magazine and Golf Digest. The course is known for its finely manicured fairways and large sloping green complexes protected by sand bunkers. Long carries over natural ponds and saltwater marshes make a formidable challenge for any golfer. The Vineyard National Golf Course at Renault at Renault Winery Resort & Golf features a 7,200-yard layout with vineyard views. Meandering subtly through South Jersey’s Pinelands, the course offers challenges at every turn — such as an island green surrounded by treacherous bunkers at the third hole, and a bentgrass hollow at the 10th hole. Situated on 350 acres of land, the Ballamor Golf Club has wide, easy-to-hit fairways and large greens. One highlight is the 15th hole, a 347-yard par four with a challenging tee shot. After clearing the water, players must decide whether to carry a massive bunker on the left corner of a dogleg with a 220-yard drive or take a long shot with bunkers everywhere in sight.
 
Bike the boards: A bicycle ride is one of the best ways to experience Atlantic City's famed five-mile Boardwalk and all it offers. Cycle nonstop or pause to enjoy ocean views, shops, restaurants, bars and traditional beach-resort treats like salt water taffy and fudge. B&K Bike Rental (609-344-8008) operates two rental shops — one at North Carolina Avenue and Boardwalk and one at Iowa Avenue and Boardwalk. Rental rates are $8 for the first hour and $1 for each additional 15 minutes.

Ride the waves: Atlantic City has not one, not two but three surfing beaches: Crystal Beach at New Hampshire Avenue, Delaware Avenue Beach and Downtown Beach at Raleigh Avenue. Several surf shops on the Boardwalk, including AC Surf School and the Inlet Surf Shop (609-515-7640; no website), provide surfing lessons as well as rent out equipment. Paddleboard rentals and lessons also are available.

Hit the sand: Atlantic City's expansive beaches are great for a run or walk. There's no need to purchase a beach badge — admission is free, even during the busy summer months.

Extending Your Trip in Atlantic City

• Thrills and chills: The Steel Pier stirs up excitement with more than 20 rides, from classics like bumper cars to extreme options like the Slingshot. The Steel Pier's newest attraction, the Observation Wheel, transports riders 227 feet above Atlantic City to enjoy views of the Atlantic Ocean and skyline from inside one of 40 climate-controlled gondolas. Opportunities to play hoop-shooting, crane, and squirt gun games for prizes of all sizes, along with stands serving boardwalk fare, complete the experience.
 

Mad for Macaroons
Mad for Macaroons
The G. Carl Tripician Co. has been making macaroons since 1910, when the shop was set up on the Boardwalk. The almond and coconut delights are made with the original recipe and join a delicious slate of modern delectables. 

History lesson: Take a journey into time and above it all by climbing 228 steps to the top of the Absecon Lighthouse, one of the oldest beacons in the U.S. In addition to enjoying breathtaking views of the Atlantic City skyline, visitors can view the lighthouse's Fresnel lens (first lit in 1857) along with an educational museum and a replica of a traditional lightkeeper's dwelling.
 
Retail therapy: From quaint boutiques and kitschy stores on the Boardwalk to malls and outlet centers, Atlantic City is a paradise for shoppers. The Quarter at Tropicana beckons with more than 25 luxury shops, while The Playground at Caesars houses stores that feature high-end fashions, accessories, jewelry and more. Tanger Outlets The Walk is the place to go for discounts on a wide variety of brand-name merchandise, including apparel, shoes, home furnishings and accessories.
 
Cruise to the Cape: Not far from Atlantic City — and well worth the short trip — is the seaside resort town of Cape May. Stroll the Historic District for a look at the Victorian architecture for which Cape May is known. The Emlen Physick Estate, built in 1879, offers a glimpse of life as it was lived more than 100 years ago. Eclectic and traditional shops, along with restaurants, line the Washington Street Mall, a pedestrian promenade that spans three blocks.

A corking good time: Take a break from cocktails and casinos with a visit to one or more wineries in the Atlantic City region. Bellview Winery in Landisville produces more than 20 estate-grown varietals and more than two-dozen wines. Renault Winery, one of the oldest continuously operating establishments of its kind in the U.S., is now being revitalized by Vivamee Hospitality to reflect the vision of Master Vintner Louis Nicholas Renault, who hailed from Rheims, France, and established his winery in Egg Harbor City in 1864. Hamilton is home to Plagido's Winery, which specializes in hand-crafted, artisanal wines produced from small lots of grapes using a basket press, as well as DiMatteo Vineyards and Winery, whose Pasquale Red, Chambourcin, Niagara and other varietals are consistently featured in the Winner’s Circle at the prestigious International Wine Competition and other events.

Sports Betting in A.C.

Atlantic City has no sports teams, but it does have sports betting now that wagering on various professional and collegiate sports at New Jersey's casinos and racetracks became legal last summer. Six Atlantic City casinos currently accept such wagers: Bally's, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Resorts Casino Hotel, Harrah's Resort Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino.

In Walking Distance

The following are in walking distance of the Atlantic City Convention Center:

Grab a bite (and a brew): The historic Tun Tavern, Atlantic City's first brew pub, offers a rotating menu of handcrafted beers along with casual fare. Lunch specialties include a "super-sized pretzel" served with Ale-infused cheese sauce, sweet stout mustard and cheddar crab dip; or try the Blue Claw Fries covered in melted cheddar cheese and blue claw crabmeat, and dusted with Old Bay seasoning.

For another extensive beer menu plus pub fare prepared from locally sourced ingredients, check out Wingcraft Kitchen & Beer Bar. Wingcraft's "The Manhattan Project" burger, named the "#1 Burger in South Jersey" by At the Shore magazine, is topped with smoked gouda cheese, crispy fried onions and honey barbecue steak sauce. Voted "Best Tequila & Rum Bar" in Atlantic City Weekly's Reader's Choice 2018 Nightlife Awards, Los Amigos goes beyond nachos and tacos in its culinary repertoire to feature creative and Southwestern-inspired dishes. A vegan menu is available.

Bring on the bargains:
Tanger Outlets The Walk comprises 109 stores that offer great deals on top brands of apparel, shoes, home furnishings and more. Bonus: In New Jersey, there's no sales tax on apparel and shoe purchases.

Atlantic City Excursions

• John Barleycorn, Meet Paul Bunyon: Already home to the Little Water Distillery, Atlantic City’s Little Water district on the north side of town will soon see the opening of two new venues with interesting twists. The Seed: A Living Beer Project, will serve a wide variety of beers brewed exclusively from locally grown grains, stone fruits, berries, flowers and leaves. Westecunk Axe Throwing will give visitors a chance to channel their inner lumberjack by throwing axes in the safety of enclosed lanes with instructors nearby (the outfit also has a mobile axe-throwing unit available for group events). Both venues are expected to debut sometime this spring.

• Just steps off the Boardwalk — starting with the beach block of Tennessee Avenue and extending into St. James Place and New York Avenue — lies The Orange Loop. Promoted as "the best of the new Atlantic City," the three-block expanse is chock-full of one-of-a-kind restaurants, bars and live music venues. The Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall provides a hip alternative to the glitzy Atlantic City bar scene. This spring, the Rhythm & Spirits cocktail and pizza bar will debut in this lively enclave. Live music and craft cocktails will be the order of the day; an indoor bar and entertainment area plus an outdoor entertainment area and a food truck round out the venue’s offerings.

• Nearby Ventnor offers several great dining options. Cardinal Bistro serves contemporary American fare with a French twist, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. At Domenico’s (609-822-1300) guests can enjoy traditional Italian favorites (try the Lobster Sinatra, which is sautéed with littleneck clams, shitake mushrooms and pignoli nuts in a light cherry tomato broth on a bed of spaghettini). Stella Restaurant features innovative menu items like Medjool dates stuffed with goat cheese, almonds, applewood bacon and arugula; meatballs with creamy polenta and fontina in a pomodoro sauce; homemade sweet fennel sausage with orecchiette pasta and roasted peppers; and shrimp with smoked bacon, soft polenta, shiitake mushrooms, lemon, garlic, parsley and scallion.

Bourre brings a New Orleans vibe to the area with frozen Hurricanes and other drinks from the Big Easy, along with Cajun barbecue cuisine.

• Over-the-top cocktails like the Alice In Wonderland-themed Unusual Tales G&T; the Bright Idea, served in a lightbulb with a flamingo straw; and the Kentucky Supper Club, made with Woodford Reserve and Sweet Vermouth Foam, are the order of the day (and night) at 2100 Bar & Lounge at Caesars.

Among other top restaurants in Atlantic City are: 

  1. Capriccio - Italian
  2. Buddakan - Asian fusion
  3. Dock's Oyster House - Seafood, American
  4. White House Sub Shop - Delicatessen, American
  5. Cafe 2825 - Italian
  6. Knife & Fork Inn - Seafood, American
  7. Chef Vola's - Italian
  8. The Continental - Bar, American
  9. Kelsey & Kim's Southern Cafe - American
  10. Eastwind - Singaporean, Asian