ATLANTIC CITY — Despite a slight drop in meetings and conventions booked in 2017, the city’s convention marketing and sales group, Meet AC, reported another record year during its annual Year in Review meeting Friday.
Chairman Jeff Albrecht opened the public meeting by congratulating the Meet AC team on achieving a number of goals, including marking the year end “just under budget.”
A video presentation, introduced by President and CEO Jim Wood, highlighted several of the large-scale conventions and sporting events the agency coordinated in Atlantic City.
In 2017, Meet AC booked 255 meetings and conventions, representing 313,451 future hotel room nights for Atlantic City. According to the 2018 marketing plan, Meet AC is projecting $10,493,488 gross revenue, a 10 percent increase over 2017’s $9,517,000 gross revenue.
Meet AC also reported that for every $1 of the luxury tax revenue the agency receives, through Casino Reinvestment Development Authority funding, they are returning $48 to the city’s economy.
Marketing Director Karina Anthony introduced a new initiative Meet AC plans to use to draw convention and meeting business to Atlantic City. In a partnership with tech company YouVisit, a virtual reality tour website will let potential meeting planners, brands and visitors experience landmarks such as the Atlantic City Convention Center, Boardwalk Hall and the city’s beaches and Boardwalk.
Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam and Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo spoke about the impact the convention and visitors bureau has had on the city and offered support to Meet AC.
“2018 is definitely going to be a better year than the ones we’ve had in the past” said Gilliam.
“By exceeding our room night goals for the fourth consecutive year, this allows us to continue to grow our meetings footprint and confirm why Atlantic City is heading toward being named a top meeting destination” Wood said.
Wood also said there’s a positive momentum in the city, with the proposed summer openings of the Hard Rock and Ocean Resort Casino, the former Revel.
“It’s great news. With the openings of the two properties, we know that will bring additional sales people, fresh strategies and ideas, and marketing dollars to A.C.” said Wood.
The emphasis for 2018 seems to be maintain growth and surpassing set goals, according to Wood.
In the four years since Meet AC was formed, the agency has made 965 bookings, representing more than 1 million hotel room nights.