Atlantic City is all in, according to Successful Meetings.
Atlantic City has had its fair share of challenges, some more exaggerated than others. After Hurricane Sandy, many TV networks reported that the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk was destroyed. Not true. More recently, the focus of many stories is that Atlantic City is losing ground in gaming revenue to nearby states. That, unfortunately for the destination, is more accurate.
“Gaming has expanded from three states to 36 states over the last 10 years. There was no way this mega growth wasn’t going to affect gaming numbers,” says Gary Musich, vice president of convention development for Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA).
However, Musich adds that gaming now represents 55 percent of the city’s revenue, down from a high of 90 percent. He says the real story is the growth of Atlantic City’s non-
“Spending in [the non-gaming] sector is up double digits,” says Musich. “Plus, our meetings business has been up for five straight years.”
Kim DePalma, director of conference operations for auto dealer and manager consultancy Dealer Communications, may be based in Boca Raton, FL, but she is a Jersey girl at heart. The last four years, she has held Dealer Communications’ Digital Conference & Exposition in Orlando. But when the event company she had been using wasn’t able to secure suitable dates there for this year’s conference, she started lobbying for Atlantic City. “I grew up in Monmouth County and still have family there,” she says. “Plus, my dad, an engineer, was part of the Atlantic City tunnel project. I am excited to be bringing the conference and revenue into the city.”