Elaine Zamansky, 609-343-5974, email@example.com
NOTE: The schedule is changing for reporting these non-gaming business indicators for Atlantic City. Tourism Barometer information will now be reported quarterly instead of monthly. The next report will be issued July 14, covering the second quarter of 2014. Monthly information will still be available at http://www.doatlanticcity.com/about/stats.aspx. This information is compiled to provide a more complete picture of Atlantic City’s tourism business climate, utilizing several important non-gaming indicators. Please note that some data presented in this press release is unaudited and may be changed when finalized. If so, results will be updated in the online archive.
Conventions and Social Media Contribute to Atlantic City Visitation and Awareness
(Atlantic City, NJ, April 14, 2014) – A flurry of convention activity in Atlantic City led to increased numbers of attendees and delegate spending in March 2014 over March 2013. At the Atlantic CityConvention Center, 12 trade shows, meetings and public events were held last month, two more than March 2013. Those events attracted 66,604 attendees, a 25.3% increase over March 2013. They used more than 8,600 room nights, a 12.8% increase over last March, and generated nearly $19.4 million in delegate spending, approximately 50% more than last March.
Events such as the Atlantic City Classic Car Show, Imported Sportswear Trade Show, Atlantic Builders Conference and Tri-State Camp Conference were just a few of the big draws to the Atlantic City Convention Center in March.
The Convention Center sales staff division of CRDA also booked two conventions and meetings at individual properties, bringing and additional 2,035 delegates who used 591 room nights and generated more than $246,000 in delegate spending.
Year to date, the Convention Center sales team booked events that attracted 191,086 attendees, 13% more than the same period of 2013, and generated $54.8 million in delegate spending for the region, a 12% increase over the same period of 2013.
Statistics for meetings and conventions at individual properties that are not booked through the Convention Center sales staff are not tracked.
Continuing a trend, more potential visitors are obtaining information about the destination via online and mobile channels than from traditional resources. Of the 191,864 unique visitors to www.doatlanticcity.com, 72% were new visitors to the site. Meanwhile, the www.facebook.com/AtlanticCityNJ Facebook page garnered 7,405 new “Likes,” a 70% jump from last March, and the mobile tourism app, mobile.accva.org, saw a 102% increase in use, with more than 149,800 users in March 2014.
Many visitors still prefer to get their information face-to-face , as 9,220 visitors stopped for directions, maps and information at the information centers on the Atlantic City Expressway and on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Another 561 people called the visitor counselors for information, and more than 2,200 sent inquiries by mail.
A busy month at Boardwalk Hall brought five sporting events, including the three-day New Jersey State High School Wrestling Tournament, WWE, two Albany devils ice hockey matches and professional boxing. All together, these events drew 55,185 guests. Year to date, the number of Boardwalk Hall events is up 8% over the same period last year.
Spectrum Gaming Group provides the following additional independent insight to factors impacting March’s business climate:
The following factors may have impacted drive-in visitation and tourism metrics related to Atlantic City in March 2014 (and on a year-over-year basis, unless otherwise noted):
- On a year-over-year calendar day basis, March 2014 had 14 weekend days (i.e., Friday through Sunday) compared to 15 weekend days last year (i.e., there was one less Friday this year and one more Monday than last year).
- According to the National Weather Service (from theAtlantic City station):
- Overall, March 2014 was colder compared to March last year, as the average daily temperature this year was 37.1 degrees compared to 38.9 degrees last year. Moreover, there were 4 days this year where the high temperature did not go above freezing compared to no such days last year.
- March 2014 had significant precipitation (either snowfall or rainfall amounting to a quarter-inch or more per day) occur on 9 days compared to only 7 such days in March 2013. However, significant precipitation impacted 3 weekend days over the course of two weekend periods in March 2014, while significant precipitation only impacted one weekend day (and one weekend) last year.
- Although total rainfall was comparable in March of both years, there was considerable snowfall in March 2014, with 5 days having significant snowfall (for a combined total of 15.6 inches of snowfall) compared to only 2 such days in March 2013 (with a combined total of 3.2 inches of snowfall).
- According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average price for a gallon of gas in the region for March 2014 was 14 cents less compared to March 2013 ($3.68 vs. $3.82 per gallon); however, the average gas price in March 2014 was higher than each of the monthly averages over the preceding five months (i.e., March 2014 was highest price since September 2013).
The figures quoted above and others are available in the monthly Tourism Barometer, available online at http://www.doatlanticcity.com/about/stats.aspx.
# # #
About the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) www.njcrda.com
The only agency of its kind nationwide, the CRDA has used Atlantic City casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents statewide, investing nearly $2 billion in more than 400 projects statewide since 1984. Under the 2011 Tourism District Act, CRDA’s mission evolved from statewide projects to becoming the state’s key economic development agency for Atlantic City. CRDA responsibilities expanded to include Land Use Regulation, Clean and Safe initiatives, group and leisure tourism marketing, attracting and retaining conventions and meetings at the Atlantic CityConvention Center and Boardwalk Hall, and partnership with the Atlantic City Alliance to brand and market Atlantic City. Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority division of CRDA is the first destination marketing organization in New Jersey to achieve prestigious Destination Marketing Accreditation by the Destination Marketing Association International.