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Turning the Tide in Atlantic City

In the past year, four of Atlantic City, New Jersey’s 12 casinos have closed, and a fifth, Trump Taj Mahal, may be shuttered in November. But city officials hope to turn the tide by courting meetings and conventions to boost weekday visits and room nights.

The convention, meetings and group sales side of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Association was spun off to create Meet AC, and the rest of the ACCVA was absorbed into the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). In June, Jim Wood was named CEO of the new destination marketing organization, which is being funded with $8 million from the CRDA.

Meet AC’s focus is building midweek visits — those in-Sunday/out-Thursday events, Wood said. To do that, Meet AC will “emphasize a lot of themed fam trips for 2015” to target clients specific to the 500,000-square-foot Atlantic City Convention Center and the city’s eight remaining casino properties, he said. Market segments that work well for Atlantic City include corporations, national associations, labor unions and fraternity/sorority groups, Wood said.

Meet AC will also attend “just about every trade show out there” to meet clients and invite them to explore Atlantic City during  microfams, he said. The new destination marketing organization also plans to expand its advertising both online and in print.

Wood added that the organization is redesigning the website and will relaunch it in early 2015 as The new website “will be a comprehensive meeting planner website for both small meetings and large meetings,” he said.