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Atlantic City Continues to Draw Large Numbers

By Brittany Trevick

Conventions and Boardwalk Hall shows proved once again to be a huge boon for Atlantic City after a strong fourth quarter in 2014.

Throughout the quarter, the Meet Atlantic Sales team brought 52 conventions and meetings to the Atlantic City Convention Center and the city’s hotel properties—a 33 percent increases from 2013’s fourth quarter. Conventions and meetings booked by hotel sales staff are not included in this count.

These 52 events brought more than 102,000 visitors to the city, who used 47,800-plus room nights. Delegate spending increased by 12.3 percent to approximately $57.4 million.

 “Our annual fall events generally provide a boost to delegate spending,” says John Palmieri, executive director, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. “This year was no exception. November’s NJEA Annual Exhibition/Meeting drew 20,000 attendees and New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ annual fall conference brought more than 15,300 attendees. These are generally the two largest in the city.”

Other large events in the fourth quarter included October gatherings like the annual New Jersey School Boards meeting with more than 7,000 attendees; the Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference with 4,800 attendees; and Herbalife’s North American Latin Extravaganza with more than 11,000. December’s events included the Triple Play 2014 realtor conference with 7,500 delegates and the Life in Color holiday event with 4,400-plus.

“If anyone doubts that the convention center is busy, they just need to look at these numbers, as well as the many smaller events, to see a bustling facility,” says Palmieri.

Boardwalk Hall also saw plenty of event action during the fourth quarter. The venue hosted eight events that brought in more than 69,700 attendees—a 16 percent jump from 2013’s fourth quarter. Global Spectrum, the facility management company for Boardwalk Hall, found 78 percent of attendees dined in Atlantic City restaurants; 67 percent spent more than $200 outside the venue; and 52 percent stayed at a local hotel during their stay.

“The diversity of events coming to Atlantic City satisfies all tastes, and we’re looking forward to hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors from a wide demographic—from young families to seniors—over the coming year,” says Palmieri. “Festivals and events like the upcoming annual Beer and Music Festival, parades for several holidays and the Atlantic City Airshow provide opportunities throughout the year for visitors to enjoy our restaurants, nightlife, shopping, boardwalk and beach.”