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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Newark! Newark!

Courtesy Brick City Development Corp.

Where is Newark, N.J.?
New Jersey’s largest city (population 277,000) is eight miles west of New York City on the Passaic River.

How do we get there?
Newark is home to the first airport in metro New York and one of the busiest in the country, Newark Liberty International, about 10 minutes from downtown. By train, the trip from Manhattan to Newark Penn Station takes 20 minutes. There are two other train stations in the city: at Broad Street and at the airport. Penn Station houses New Jersey Transit, PATH and Amtrak. The New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway and Interstate 78 provide highway access.

What types of meetings best suit Newark?
Corporate is a top market because of the many companies headquartered there. In 2013, Panasonic will open its new headquarters in Newark. Associations and sports-related groups also choose the city.

What’s new?

• The first new downtown hotel in nearly 40 years is expected to open in 2012. The 150-room Courtyard by Marriott is being built next to the Prudential Center. There are also plans for a 110-room Hotel Indigo with a rooftop bar near the Prudential Center.

• Brick City Bar and Grill has expanded to a second level because of the restaurant’s popularity. It opened in 2009 in an abandoned building across from the Prudential Center.

• With help from Newark native Shaquille 
O’Neal, Newark Screens is doubling the number of its movie screens to 12 and adding a 3-D projector.

• Efforts are under way to turn Halsey Street into a round-the-clock destination for residents, students and visitors.

Where could we meet?
• The 253-room Hilton Newark Penn Station, renovated this year, is attached to Penn Station and has 11,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 4,400-square-foot ballroom. It is four miles from the airport and has a complimentary shuttle.

• Across the street from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the 170-room Best Western Robert Treat Hotel has housed five presidents and numerous other dignitaries in its almost 100 years. The 12,000-square-foot Tri-State Ballroom dominates its meeting space.

• A number of large full-service hotels are clustered around the airport, among them the Hilton Newark Airport and the Newark Airport Renaissance, both popular for meetings.

Tell me about some sites to see.
• Depending on the season, “The Rock,” as the Prudential Center is called, can fill an evening with sports, concerts, boxing or other entertainment. More than 200 events are held there each year. It is home to the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils and, for the 2012-2013 seasons, the NBA’s New Jersey Nets.

• Visit Newark in April and enjoy the pink profusion provided by more than 4,000 cherry trees. Branch Brook Park is home to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Newark claims to have more cherry trees than any other U.S. city.

• Dylan, the Dali Lama — you never know who will be on the stage at NJPAC, the country’s sixth-largest performing arts center.

It is also home to Broadway shows and special events such as the 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, which attracted some 20,000 poets, fans, students and teachers.

• The 80 galleries of the Newark Museum keep visitors engaged for hours. Among the types of art to be seen there are American, Asian, African and Egyptian collections. There’s also a planetarium.

• Symphony Hall, built in 1925, is the place for performances of the symphony, the ballet, the opera, professional theater and popular music.

Tell me about some local places to get good food.
Visitors travel from around the region to dine in the Ironbound, a district of hundreds of restaurants and stores. Many of the restaurants are Portuguese, Spanish or Brazilian. Two of the most popular are Iberia Peninsula Restaurant and Mompou Tapas.

Downtown, next to the Prudential Center on Edison Place, Restaurant Row is the home of several new restaurants and bars, such as Brick City Bar and Grill, Edison Ale House and Loft 47.

What can the CVB do for you?
A Greater Newark CVB staff member was on hand at a recent National Association of Women’s Judges conference to help with the group’s needs. The bureau also worked with the 2010 Dodge Poetry Festival, 2011 NCAA March Madness and the 2011 Newark Peace Conference.