Casino Resorts Offer Plenty of Excitement for Those Planning a Meeting or Event

  • Casino Resorts Offer Plenty of Excitement for Those Planning a Meeting or Event

    Place Your Bets on Fun

     
    FROM THE Winter 2018 ISSUE
     

    Foxwoods Resort Casino

  • Casino Resorts Offer Plenty of Excitement for Those Planning a Meeting or Event

    Place Your Bets on Fun

     
    FROM THE Winter 2018 ISSUE
     

    Mohegan Sun

  • Casino Resorts Offer Plenty of Excitement for Those Planning a Meeting or Event

    Place Your Bets on Fun

     
    FROM THE Winter 2018 ISSUE
     

    Resorts Casino Hotel

  • Casino Resorts Offer Plenty of Excitement for Those Planning a Meeting or Event

    Place Your Bets on Fun

     
    FROM THE Winter 2018 ISSUE
     

    Tropicana Atlantic City

While many people consider Las Vegas to be the gambling mecca in the U.S., it’s not for everybody and sometimes heading out West can be a chore. Luckily, the Northeast contains some of the biggest and more luxurious casino resorts around, which also offer plenty of world-class dining and fabulous entertainment. 

Atlantic City has long been known as the gambling capital of the East, and although the city was devastated by Tropical Storm Sandy in 2012, it’s rebounded strong and offers major appeal to corporate meetings. 

“Attendees can do it all under one roof: meet, eat and sleep,” says Jim Wood, president and CEO of Meet AC. “Attendees are also able to utilize the added amenities the casino property offers, such as the gym, indoor pool, spa and much more. In addition, attendees can explore the array of dining and entertainment options just steps from the meeting room.”

Atlantic City also offers a variety of nongambling attractions, such as the Steel Pier Amusement Park, which recently debuted its new Observation Wheel; the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum; the Absecon Lighthouse; and arcade games up and down the world-famous Boardwalk.

Heading north to Connecticut, planners will find two of the East Coast’s top casino resorts— Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket and Mohegan Sun in Uncasville. Both resorts have become favorites of the corporate meeting set because of their top-class facilities.

GAMBLING IN CONNECTICUT 

Karen O’Connell, executive director of resort sales for Foxwoods Resort Casino, says it offers diverse guest room options, meeting space flexibility, outstanding food and beverage from its catering team (or from one of its more than 35 dining options), as well as fabulous amenities including golf, spas, shopping and world-class entertainment all reasonably priced and under one roof

“Foxwoods has over 150,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, including our Fox Tower Boardroom with built in state-ofthe-art technology for an intimate meeting for 20,” O’Connell says. “Foxwoods’ three pillarfree ballrooms, ranging from 15,024 square feet to 47,553 square feet, are perfect for meetings and events for up to 5,000 people.”

Foxwoods offers lots of natural light throughout the entire property, including floor-to-ceiling windows in the pre-function area of the meeting space. This allows meetinggoers to get a break where the open-air ambience recharges them.  

“Foxwoods’ seasoned sales, catering and convention service professionals will guide you through the event planning process and customize the event to meet your group’s specific needs, whether it be managing your rooming list, the guest arrival experience, creating custom menus with the culinary team or working with our in-house audio visual company,” O’Connell says. “What better way to get your team motivated, or roll out a new product, than in one of Foxwoods’ world-class theaters, which offer seating for up to 1,400 [Fox Theater] and 4,000 [Grand Theater].”

What’s more, a group can have a week-long conference and Foxwoods can offer them a different experience every day without having to load everyone on to bus to go to the destination.

“When the meetings are over you have your choice of activities—head to the gym for a workout, a treatment in one of our two spas, team-building in our 20-lane luxury bowling alley, live entertainment in one of the theaters or nightclubs, a great meal, decadent dessert or try your luck on one of our casino floors,” O’Connell says. “In addition to having five  pools, including a seasonal outdoor pool at The Fox Tower, Foxwoods has the Tanger Outlet Mall, with more than 70 stores, connected to the property.”

At Mohegan Sun, John Washko, vice president of exhibitions and convention sales, says its corporate guests can depend on its staff to lessen the demands of their hectic day, revitalize their attendees and exceed the expectations of decision-makers. 

“The main thing that makes the resort a great destination for corporate meetings is the combination of high-end guest rooms and a variety of meeting venues, with all-encompassing entertainment that you can’t find anywhere else around here,” Washko says. “It’s really the quality and scope of Vegas.”

“The main thing that makes the resort a great destination for corporate meetings is the combination of high-end guest rooms and a variety of meeting venues, with all-encompassing entertainment that you can’t find anywhere else around here,” Washko says. “It’s really the quality and scope of Vegas.”

“We also offer 30 flexible and strikingly designed individual meeting rooms, accommodating 5,300 people,” Washko says. “Each meeting room complements the spirit of the Mohegan Sun design scheme—rich in color and prominent in quality. This space also includes an impressive executive boardroom, while most rooms provide 10-foot ceilings, drop-down LCD projectors and screens.”

There are also approximately 4,900 square feet of top-of-the-line pre-function space preceding these meeting rooms, allowing for a wonderful atmosphere for networking, small impromptu gatherings, registration, or foodand-beverage service.

In the summer of 2018, Mohegan Sun will open the Mohegan Sun Exposition Center, featuring 125,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. 

“There will be an Expo Hall with an additional 20,000-square-foot ballroom and breakout rooms and we’re going to have what I call our ‘high-tech boardroom,’ where we will be highlighting the uniqueness of the room and inlays.”

Washko says the appeal of holding a meeting at Mohegan Sun is its unconventional space.

"As we look at the next-gen meeting attendee—the millennial—one of the areas the hotel industry as a whole has really fallen off on is that millennials don’t learn in the same environment that the baby boomers did,” he says. “If you put a group of millennials in a square box—classroom set-up with a Power Point running on a screen—that is just counter to the interactive nature that they thrive in. What we’re able to do is get out of that ballroom box.” 

Some of the ways it accomplishes that is with its 10,000-seat arena, 300-seat cabaret and 325- seat comedy club—all available for meetings.

“We also can hold amazing parties on our roof decks with bands, we pull up food trucks and we have fire pits, and we can accommodate up to 3,000 people,” Washko says. “We’re utilizing the entertainment venues on the property to give the meeting attendee a unique and memorable experience.” 

AMERICA’S PLAYGROUND

There’s a reason Atlantic City has the nickname “America’s Playground,” as there is plenty of fun to be had. It’s something meeting planners appreciate about the city.

Mark Giannantonio, president and CEO of Mohegan Sun’s Resorts Casino Hotel, says a concept that makes the corporate meeting planner’s job much easier is an all-inclusive option for group meetings.

“With a peak room block of 500 rooms, the amount of meeting and function space the hotel provides for each guest room booked is nearly twice that of a typical conference hotel,” he says. “Mohegan Sun, an ownership partner and manager of the property, celebrated the opening of the new high technology conference center at Resorts Casino Hotel in 2015 and now offers 64,000 square feet of meeting space, encompassing 24 meeting rooms [14 with natural light and ocean views], four ballrooms and a multipurpose showroom.”

The largest ballroom can accommodate groups as large as 850 for banquets and up to 100 eight-foot-by-10-foot exhibits or 80 tenfoot-by-10-foot exhibits. Two theaters offer seating for 300 or 1,350 with state-of-the-art sound and light technology. 

Customized group packages are priced per person, per night and include upgraded guest rooms (the largest in Atlantic City and offering more than 100 junior suites with two bathrooms), morning and afternoon coffee breaks, Wi-Fi in meeting rooms and guest rooms, audio-visual, parking, all taxes, gratuities and meeting room rental, as well as three meals per day in the group’s choice of nine different dining venues throughout the hotel.

“More than 1,000 group meeting attendees at Resorts Casino Hotel can wirelessly connect laptops and personal media devices simultaneously, while sharing screens with each other and even with colleagues in remote locations,” Giannantonio says. “Convenient touch panel controls and built-in wireless microphones offer ease for presenters.”

Other highlights of the technology include full 1080P resolution screens and up to four devices can share the screen in QUAD view. Resorts installed higher resolution capabilities in anticipation of future needs, high capacity Wi-Fi, electrical and Telecom connectivity hidden in the floors, minimizing cables, and architectural LED lighting on dimmers with programmable pre-sets. Twelve breakout rooms keep productivity high with built-in 90-inch LED monitors, drop-down screens and cinema quality projection. 

“Gaming destinations have proven to be popular among corporate groups for easy access to fun 24 hours a day,” Giannantonio says. “Resorts Casino Hotel is energetic and keeps attendees enthusiastic and engaged with shopping, dining and entertainment. Younger meeting attendees are especially attracted to the beachfront themed functions, such as Atlantic City’s only year-round, on-the-beach restaurant, Landshark Bar & Grill. And then of course, there’s always the beach and the myriad activities along the famous Boardwalk.”

Resorts also recently opened the $35 million Jimmy Buffet-themed Margaritaville entertainment complex, which is part of a total of over $100 million spent on further expansion and renovation of the hotel.

Tropicana Atlantic City is conveniently located on the beach and Boardwalk and is focused on delivering successful meetings and events by partnering with corporate planners to learn what is most important to them.  

“Recently, we completed a $90 million renovation that included a complete refurbishment of all the rooms in our North and Havana Towers, as well as amenities that include AtlantiCare Life Center Fitness and Escape AC,” says Jim Ziereis, vice president of hotel sales. “We also completely refurbished all of our meeting rooms in the Havana Tower—which came out looking incredible.”

That space consists of 21 meeting rooms for a total of more than 16,000 gross square feet.  Four Apex Boardrooms are located on the 68th floor of the Havana Tower. 

“In addition to the Havana tower space we also have an 18,000-square-foot Ballroom and a 20,000-squarefoot Grand Exhibition Center, which each can host banquets for over 1,000 attendees,” Ziereis says. “Our showroom seats just shy of 2,000 with Broadway-style seating and is perfect for a larger general session of 500 people of more.”

Tropicana offers a professional catering, convention services and audiovisual staff on-site that Ziereis notes does “a tremendous job” in getting groups to return after their initial event. 

“There is a large saving for the customer in using a property that has an extensive audio-visual inventory and professional team in-house,” he says. “Hands down we provide more retail, entertainment and dining options than any of our competition. Having 24 restaurants to choose from at every different price point is a big selling point for us.”

The hotel recently partnered with celebrity chef Jose Garces on some food and beverage concepts such as Olón, Bar Olón and Okatshe. For meeting attendees that want to bring their families along, Tropicana has two seasonal outdoor pools, an indoor pool open year-round and an IMAX Theater. Additionally, it offers a Family Fun Center and a Family Sports Center.

“Atlantic City is making an incredible comeback after a few tough years and the group business is absolutely a key to that success,” Ziereis says. “Countless times we host a meeting or event and attendees who have not been to Tropicana or Atlantic City at all, or years ago, comment on how both the property and the city far exceeded their expectations. We are very fortunate to welcome many of these groups back again and again.” 

Planning for Our Nation’s Finest

 

The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau works with planners to match their interests with stately attractions.