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New Harrah's Convention Center to be a "Game-Changer" for Atlantic City

Lou Perri

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 • 4:01pm

Thinking big and seeking to appeal to untapped markets, Atlantic City is reaching high with game-changing projects and visions that look to spice up the resort.

Caesar's Entertainment took a giant step towards broadening the city's appeal to the larger corporate meeting and special event market on Tuesday, November 20 when the gaming company received approval from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) for $45 million in financing for its planned 200,000-square-foot convention center at Harrah's.

Bringing a dash of Las Vegas-style glitz and glamour, and located on the southwest side of the property, the convention center project's upscale design will feature large glass windows overlooking the bay, two floors complete with 100,000 square feet of meeting/conference space and the opportunity to attract a new type of clientele that is currently underserved in Atlantic City.

"Atlantic City is under-supplied in its meeting space and what is missing is a mid-sized conference center that would expand our offerings," said Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority President Jeff Vasser. "We have a state of the art convention center with 500,000 square feet of exhibit space and great hotel meeting space. This project is another tool in our toolkit to offer planners and drive incremental business to Atlantic City."

As Atlantic City seeks to attract more visitors beyond the traditional gambling market, development like the Harrah's convention center are geared towards a marketplace that that wields tremendous economic potential for Atlantic City and the region.

While the current convention center mainly attracts trade shows and large-scale conventions to its facility, the proposed Harrah's addition would strive to pull in a corporate meeting and special event segment of the industry that Atlantic City currently misses out on. The Harrah's convention center would fulfill the wishes of many groups that have expressed a desire to come to Atlantic City, but only if the proper facilities are in place.

It is also envisioned that the development of the Harrah's convention center will spur additional development throughout the city and bring with it increases in revenue and ratables at a time when casino gaming revenues have been steadily declining and new non-gaming attractions and businesses are sought to energize the market.

The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority serves as the destination's principal marketing arm, stimulating economic growth through convention, business and leisure tourism development. The Authority oversees the management of the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall. The Authority is the first destination marketing organization in New Jersey to achieve prestigious Destination Marketing Accreditation by the Destination Marketing Association International. For complete Atlantic City information, visit www.doatlanticcity.com. Also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AtlanticCityNJ.

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