by Lisa A. Grimaldi | December 01, 2013

A $1 million group incentive initiative from the Atlantic City Alliance and the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority has been extended through 2016. The initiative was launched last year to attract groups and meetings; funds for the campaign are provided by the destination's 12 casino-resort properties. Planners can use the incentives to defray meeting expenses such as transportation from the airport, receptions, space rental, electric bills, and food and beverage. To qualify, new group or meeting business booked must take place by 2016 and generate a minimum of 1,000 room nights. Details are available at

Ground has been broken for the new Harrah's Resort Atlantic City conference center. The facility, which is adjacent to the 2,590-room gaming resort in the city's Marina District, will open next year with 125,000 square feet of meeting and event space. At present, Harrah's has 10 meeting rooms totaling 25,000 square feet.

 The Margaritaville complex, based on the brand created by famed entertainer Jimmy Buffet, debuted this summer at Resorts Casino Hotel. The venue includes the Five O'Clock Somewhere Bar, retail stores, and the LandShark Bar and Grill.

Revel Casino Hotel, the troubled luxury gaming resort that debuted in 2012, emerged from bankruptcy in May. As the property tries to rebrand itself, it has instilled several measures: Patrons now can smoke in the casino (reversing a ban); several pet-friendly guest rooms have been added; and two casual eateries, Relish and the Noodle Bar, have opened. The 1,800-room resort has 160,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and 90,000 square feet of outdoor function space.

Jeff Vasser, who led the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority for 11 years, left his post in October to head the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association. At press time, a successor had not been named. As of 2011, the ACCVA became part of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which is headed by executive director John Palmieri.

Bally's Atlantic City is undergoing a $5.6 million renovation of its casino floor. The three-phase project, slated for completion in February, includes a new floor layout, new chairs at table games and slots, and color-coded slot locations.

Rational Group U.S. Holdings, parent of online gaming firm PokerStars, has ended its bid to buy the 804-room Atlantic Club Casino Hotel. At press time, no new buyers had been announced.

One of the Boardwalk's historic landmarks, the Steel Pier, will become a year-round attraction after undergoing a $100 million, three-phase makeover. Among the enhancements will be a food court, new rides (including a 250-foot-high Ferris wheel) and the 2,000-seat Marine Ballroom. The project is slated to debut in 2015.

The 270-room Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club has unveiled the Turtle Course, a 9-hole bent-grass putting course. The property, in Galloway, a few miles north of Atlantic City, has two additional golf courses.

The fourth and final phase of the expansion of The Walk, the city's huge shopping-outlet district, is slated for completion in late 2014. Among the featured retailers will be Bass Pro Shops; the 70,000-square-foot store will include an expansive boat showroom.

Meeting Hotels
Properties in this fabled gaming mecca include the 2,590-room Har­rah's Resort Atlantic City; 2,133-room Tropicana Atlantic City Casino & Resort; 2,010-room Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel; 2,000-room Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa; 1,800-room Revel Casino Hotel; 1,756-room Bally's Atlantic City; 1,331-room Showboat Casino Hotel; 1,140-room Caesars Atlantic City Hotel Casino; 942-room Resorts Casino Hotel; 800-room Water Club, a Signature Hotel by Borgata; 728-room Golden Nugget Atlantic City, and 502-room Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel.

Find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, at

Convention Center
Atlantic City Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 486,600 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 45; (888) 222-3683;

Airport Transit
Atlantic City International Airport, about 10 miles northwest of the Board­walk. Transfer cost by airport shuttle, $13; by taxi, $25-$35

Luxury tax, 9%; sales tax, 4%; occupancy fee, 1%; tourism-promotion fee, $2 per room for casino hotels, $1 per room for others; total tax on hotel rooms, 14%, plus tourism-promotion fee

Group Venue
For old-style glamour and traditional Italian fare, head to Il Mulino New York at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. Groups of up to 40 people are accommodated. (609) 449-6006;
Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, (888) 228-4748;