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Fresh Hotels, Restaurants and Attractions Elevate Atlantic City Events

The Hook Show in Atlantic City
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Photo Credit Visit Atlantic City

This August, I attended the 20th annual Visit Atlantic City Airshow. Produced by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber, sponsored by Visit Atlantic City and coordinated by David Schultz Airshows, the two-day event, billed as “A Salute to Those Who Serve,” was a thrilling demonstration of the destination’s major event hosting capabilities.  

Attracting 485,000 people, the beachfront spectacular, featuring aerial performances by ace military acts including the U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier Demo Team, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team and 177th Fighter Wing of the N.J. Air National Guard, was also a resounding success. 

“This free, signature event continues to be our most important event of the year,” offered Visit Atlantic City President and CEO Larry Sieg. “The economic boost the Airshow brings to the destination is incredible and our casinos and businesses truly look forward to this week. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership and premier sponsor title in 2024.” 

Inspiring to behold, the Airshow is an apt reference for Atlantic City’s continuing group market ascendency. 

Catches of the Day 

Sieg and Visit Atlantic City’s sales, marketing and communications leaders, along with resort partners including Bally’s Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort, took to the skies themselves this October, jetting west and setting up for business in an attractive expanded booth at IMEX America 2023. Complemented by sales directors for Atlantic City operators including MGM Resorts International and Hard Rock International, the nine-person delegation came home smiling. 

“IMEX 2023 was hugely successful for Visit Atlantic City,” said Sieg post-show. “Having a full slate of quality appointments each day with qualified meeting planners, we were pleased to receive several RFPs for new business to our destination.”

[Related: IMEX America 2023 Obliterates Attendance Records]

D.C.-based national sales manager Howard Munves was also bullish on IMEX.  

“We had steady booth traffic throughout the show,” he said. “Our partners also received future RFPs and we expect five to seven new business leads with follow-up.” 

New and repeat customers alike have many new reasons to book Atlantic City, including the impressive rejuvenation of Caesars Atlantic City.  

Part of Caesars Entertainment’s three-year, $400 million reinvestment in Atlantic City launched in 2021, the 40-year-old flagship boasts 600 refreshed rooms, a world-renowned Nobu restaurant and integrated Nobu Hotel, and a Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen.  

Visit Atlantic City Team at IMEX 2023
Visit Atlantic City Team at IMEX 2023. Photo Credit: Visit Atlantic City

Partnering with Vegas-based producer Spiegelworld, Caesars introduced the first-ever permanent residency to Atlantic City with The Hook. Featuring acrobats, contortionists and circus performers, the risqué ocean-themed show is staged in a 420-capacity theater inside the reengineered 1929 Warner Theater. The reimagined heirloom, adjacent to Caesars Atlantic City, also incorporates dining at wild Vegas export “Italian-American-Psychedelic” Superfrico restaurant and four cocktail bars, and is a game-changer for groups. 

Three properties that shifted and elevated the Atlantic City group landscape celebrate milestones this year. Opened in 2003 as the destination’s first new resort in 13 years, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and its non-gaming sibling The Water Club (2008) set a luxurious new standard for the market. Following a $55 million redesign, the latter is now MGM Tower. 

Both marking five-year anniversaries in 2023, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort reenergized the scene with premier meeting space and agenda-enhancing dining, entertainment, spa and other amenities. 

Continuing product diversification includes the new $100 million indoor Island Waterpark at The Showboat Resort, where rentals include the 30-foot-tall Tree House. 

Could Atlantic City become Hollywood East? That’s the vision behind plans announced this September to transform the moribund Caesars Atlantic City-connected Playground Pier into a live entertainment and production facility called AXC1 Studios. 

The call sheet is out for top guns and high-performance groups—set your coordinates for Atlantic City. 

Read this next: An Exclusive Interview With Atlantic City Chef Michael Brennan

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About the author
Jeff Heilman | Senior Contributor

Brooklyn, N.Y.-based independent journalist Jeff Heilman has been a Meetings Today contributor since 2004, including writing our annual Texas and Las Vegas supplements since inception. Jeff is also an accomplished ghostwriter specializing in legal, business and Diversity & Inclusion content.