When it comes to a seaside setting that beautifully blends business with pleasure, it’s hard to top Atlantic City, New Jersey. Continuing its compelling comeback from the impact of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the resort town is seeing numerous top properties revamped and reimagined all along the boardwalk and beyond.
“I like to remind people we’re a resort destination at heart,” said Jim Wood, chief executive officer for Meet AC, which oversees the city’s convention and group sales. “We’ve got a beautiful beach, the boardwalk, casinos, resorts, a great nightlife — and we’re on 24/7.”
For groups of any substantial size, the first place to consider is the modern Atlantic City Convention Center. Boasting award-winning architecture as well as interior design that embraces the seaside locale, the sprawling structure provides 500,000 square feet of exhibit space and more than 100,000 square feet of meeting areas. Dramatic artwork abounds as well, from flying fish sculptures to large paintings of William Wegman’s iconic Weimaraners enjoying numerous New Jersey experiences.
“The convention center can accommodate about 85 to 90 percent of today’s conventions,” said Wood, adding that the size of groups coming to town has grown over the past three years.
“Larger conventions have been finding their way back to Atlantic City,” he said. “It’s been very exciting for us.”
For a different type of setting, Wood recommends Boardwalk Hall, a historic gem built in 1929 that is home to the Miss America Competition, frequent concerts and other events. A member of the National Registry of Historic Places since 1987, the cavernous venue has received numerous industry accolades since undergoing a $90 million makeover in 2001. To give an idea of its voluminous setting, its past includes the nation’s first indoor college football game and first indoor helicopter flight.