Regarding the Oct. 17 story, "$134M conference hall proposed for Harrah's/ Some worry that facility would hurt existing center":
I am a banquet server at the Atlantic City Convention Center, and I feel that Atlantic City will not be able to sustain both the Convention Center and Caesars Entertainment's proposed new conference center at Harrah's Resort.
Caesars' Eastern Division President Don Marrandino stressed that while the convention center caters to trade shows and exhibitions, the Harrah's facility would focus on business conferences. But instead of Harrah's working with the existing Convention Center and marketing these types of business conferences together, it will most certainly compete with the Convention Center. Marrandino said, "We are not looking for trade shows and things like that." But will Harrah's refuse them and refer these conferences to the Convention Center?
The new facility would be able to handle small concerts and banquets of 2,500 to 3,000 individuals in addition to various-sized business conferences. Business at the Convention Center would definitely be decreased. This not only affects the center's employees but the cab drivers, jitney drivers and the surrounding merchants.
The state of New Jersey, Atlantic City and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority should require a thorough market analysis of this project. I agree with CRDA board member Edward Gant's comments that the Harrah's project appears similar to what the city already has, and I applaud him for saying he will not support the project if it would cause any harm to the existing facility. I truly believe that it will be devastating to the Convention Center and all the hard-working people employed there.