by Matt Alderton | December 12, 2012
As the Jersey Shore commences rebuilding efforts in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Atlantic City is celebrating a forthcoming expansion of its meetings industry thanks to Caesars Entertainment, which last month received approval from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) for $45 million in financing for a planned convention center at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City.

While the Atlantic City Convention Center hosts primarily large trade shows and conventions, the new Harrah's venue — which will total 200,000 square feet, with 100,000 square feet of meeting space — will cater to corporate meetings and special events.

"Atlantic City is under-supplied in its meeting space and what is missing is a mid-sized conference center that would expand our offerings," said Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA) President Jeff Vasser. "We have a state-of-the-art convention center with 500,000 square feet of exhibit space and great hotel meeting space. This project is another tool in our toolkit to offer planners and drive incremental business to Atlantic City."

According to ACCVA, the Harrah's convention center would kickstart a much-needed new wave of non-gaming development in Atlantic City.

"It is ... envisioned that the development of the Harrah's convention center will spur additional development throughout the city and bring with it increases in revenue and ratables at a time when casino gaming revenues have been steadily declining and new non-gaming attractions and businesses are sought to energize the market," it said in a news release.