Elaine Zamansky, 609-343-5974, firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: Tourism Barometer information is now reported quarterly instead of monthly. The next report will be issued in January 2015, covering the third 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, Boardwalk Hall Events Drive Traffic to Atlantic City
(Atlantic City, NJ, January 14, 2015) – The fourth quarter of 2014 proved once again that conventions and Boardwalk Hall shows provide a strong economic benefit to Atlantic City.
Throughout the quarter, the Meet AC sales team brought 52 conventions and meetings to the Atlantic CityConvention Center and the city’s hotel properties, a 33% increase from the fourth quarter of 2013. Conventions and meetings booked directly by hotel sales staffs are not included in this count.
The 52 events brought more than 102,000 delegates to the city, who used more than 47,800 room nights. Delegate spending rose 12.3% from the same quarter as last year, to approximately $57.4 million.
“Our annual fall events generally provide a boost to delegate spending,” said CRDA Executive Director John Palmieri. “This year was no exception. November’s NJEA Annual Exhibition/Meeting drew 20,000 attendees and New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ annual fall conference brought more than 15,300 attendees. These are generally the two largest in the city.”
Palmieri also points to October’s annual NJ School Boards meeting with more than 7,000 attendees, the Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference with 4,800 attendees, and Herbalife’s North American Latin Extravaganza that brought more than 11,000. In December, larger events included the Triple Play 2014 realtor’s conference, which brought 7,500 delegates, and the Life in Color holiday event with more than 4,400 in attendance.
“If anyone doubts that the Convention Center is busy, they just need to look at these numbers as well as the many smaller events to see a bustling facility,” said Palmieri.
At Boardwalk Hall, eight events were held during the fourth quarter. They attracted more than 69,700 visitors to the Atlantic City Boardwalk, a 16% jump from the same quarter of 2013. Those events included the city’s highest attended boxing match in six years – the November 8 Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev bout, which drew 8,300 boxing fans.
Global Spectrum, the facility management company for Boardwalk Hall, surveyed fight attendees to determine the economic benefit to the city and found that 78% of ticketholders dined in Atlantic City restaurants before or after the event; 67% spent more than $200 outside of Boardwalk Hall on gambling, food, accommodations or retail; and 52% of ticketholders stayed at an Atlantic City hotel during their visit for the event.
Boardwalk Hall is one of the country’s highest rated event arenas of its size. Venues Today magazine lists it as the second busiest venue in the country for all arenas with 10,001 to 15,000 capacity, based on all concert and event grosses from October 16, 2013 to October 15, 2014.
More than 250,000 tickets were sold for Boardwalk Hall during the calendar year. A sampling of upcoming bookings includes blockbusters Linkin’ Park, Fleetwood Mac, Marc Anthony, Harlem Globetrotters, Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line and The Who.
“The diversity of events coming to Atlantic City satisfies all tastes, and we’re looking forward to hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors from a wide demographic, from young families to seniors, over the coming year,” said Palmieri. “Festivals and events like the upcoming annual Beer and Music Festival, parades for several holidays, and the Atlantic City Airshow provide opportunities throughout the year for visitors to enjoy our restaurants, nightlife, shopping, Boardwalk and beach.”
Such events have attracted the attention of many potential new visitors. Of the 615,000 visits during the fourth quarter to the official tourism Website, www.doatlanticcity.com, more than 592,000, or approximately 96%, were new to the site.
Spectrum Gaming Group provides the following additional independent insight to factors impacting the fourth quarter’s business climate:
The following factors may have impacted visitation and tourism metrics related to Atlantic City over the months of October through December, or in the 4th Quarter of 2014 (and on a year-over-year basis compared to 4th Quarter 2013, unless otherwise noted):
- Christmas Eve/Day and New Year’s Eve/Day holidays were on weekdays in both years (Wednesday/Thursday in 2014 and Tuesday/Wednesday in 2013).
- According to the National Weather Service (from theAtlantic City station):
- Overall, the average daily temperature over the 4th Quarter of 2014 was comparable to 4th Quarter of 2013, while there were no significant weather events over this period in either year, outside of two days with over one-inch of snow in December 2013 (on a Sunday and Tuesday).
- Overall, the 4th Quarter of 2014 had slightly more precipitation (in the form of rain) compared to 4th Quarter of 2013 (at 14.1 inches of total rainfall in 2014 compared to 13.5 inches of total rainfall in 2013). Moreover, the number of days with more than one-tenth and one-half of an inch of rainfall, respectively, was the same in the 4th quarter of both years (at 20 days and 11 days, respectively).
- According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average price for a gallon of gas in the region for 4th Quarter of 2014 was approximately 39 cents less compared to 3rd Quarter of 2013 ($3.11 vs. $3.50 per gallon – down 11.2 percent); moreover, the average gas price in 4th Quarter of 2014 was significantly lower than the average price over the preceding quarter, or 3rd Quarter of 2014 (when the average price was approximately $3.64 per gallon).
- Internet gaming was available to adults within New Jersey and offered through Atlantic City casinos during the 4th Quarter of 2014; this was not offered over the entirety of 4th Quarter of 2013 (as it commenced in late November 2013).
- Four Atlantic City casino hotels permanently ceased operations during 2014. Over the entirety of 4th Quarter of 2014 there were only 8 casino hotels operating compared to 12 casino hotels over the entirety of 4th Quarter of 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 over $2.1 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. CRDA is the first destination marketing organization in New Jersey to achieve prestigious Destination Marketing Accreditation by the Destination Marketing Association International.
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