State and local officials are betting the launch last of month of United Airlines service to Atlantic City will boost the destination's meeting and leisure travel business. United now offers daily nonstops from its two largest hubs, Chicago and Houston. Previously, Spirit Airlines was the only large carrier serving Atlantic City.
• The 804-room Atlantic Club Casino Hotel was shuttered in January, following its late December sale for $23.4 million to Tropicana Entertainment and Caesars Entertainment. According to press reports, the buyers do not plan to operate the property. The decision left 1,600 people without jobs and reduced the total number of gaming resorts in the city to 11.
• In March, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement revealed that Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment has filed documents inquiring about a gaming license for Atlantic City. In 2012, Hard Rock shelved plans to build an 850-room casino resort due to "market conditions." At press time, there was speculation among politicians and the press that Hard Rock was among the parties interested in purchasing the Revel Casino Hotel, the 1,800-room luxury gaming resort that debuted in 2012 and emerged from bankruptcy last May. To date, neither Hard Rock nor Revel has commented on the rumor.
• Management firm Global Spectrum has taken over operation of the Atlantic City Convention Center and the city's Boardwalk Hall. The two venues had been managed for the past 17 years by SMG.
• A $1 million group incentive initiative from the Atlantic City Alliance and the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority has been extended through 2016. The program was launched last year to attract groups and meetings; funds for the campaign are provided by the destination's 11 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 no later than 2016 and generate a minimum of 1,000 room nights. Additional details are available at meetinac.com.
• Ground has been broken for the new Harrah's Resort Atlantic City conference center. The facility, 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.
• Margaritaville, based on the brand created by entertainer Jimmy Buffet, debuted this summer at Resorts Casino Hotel. The venue includes the Five O'Clock Somewhere Bar and retail stores.
Meeting Hotels: Properties in this gaming mecca include the 2,590-room Harrah's Resort Atlantic City; 2,133-room Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City; 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.
To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, go to mcvenues.com.
Convention Center: Atlantic City Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 486,600 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 45; (888) 222-3683; accenter.com
Airport Transit: Atlantic City International Airport, about 10 miles northwest of the Boardwalk. Transfer cost by airport shuttle, $13; by taxi, $25-$3
Taxes: 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: One Atlantic, a waterfront event space near to all Boardwalk properties, has 10,000 square feet of indoor event space and a 2,500-square-foot terrace. Up to 550 guests can be hosted for seated events, and 1,000 can be hosted for receptions. (609) 343-9902; oneatlanticevents.com
Contact: Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, (888) 228-4748; atlanticcitynj.com