by Andrea Doyle | June 07, 2019

New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are always on the meetings industry radar -- ripe with boundless cultural associations and broad geographic diversity, along with easy accessibility. And more, these areas are evolving even further to accommodate events of all sizes.

Feel out of the loop? Here's what's new and improved throughout NY, NJ and PA for 2019.

2019 Hotel, Attraction and Area Updates

The Latest Hotels and Attractions in New York

In the Big Apple alone, a number of new projects are likely to lure even more group business, including the following.

In the West 30s of Manhattan, the first fruits of the massive Hudson Yards development have begun to open, including the Shed, a $475 million "flexible art space" that includes a large performance space, a small theater, various galleries and a large outdoor public plaza.

Next door at the Javits Center, an ambitious project to add a sorely needed 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space is on target for completion in 2021. The work will give the facility a new total of 3.3 million square feet under one roof. 

The 512-room TWA hotel has opened at JFK Airport, a repurposing of the landmark 1962 TWA Flight Center designed by Eero Saarinen.

The 512-room TWA Hotel has opened at JFK Airport, a repurposing of the landmark 1962 TWA Flight Center designed by Eero Saarinen. The property has 50,000 square feet of meeting and event space that can host up to 1,600 people, along with a spiffy new café, a lounge, an infinity pool and an observation deck with runway views.

Five years in the making, the new Statue of Liberty Museum opened in May on Liberty Island. Here visitors can toy with interactive exhibits and ogle the original torch and some of sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi's in-progress scale models of his most famous work -- priceless artifacts that had been in storage for decades. 

New Jersey's Recently Developed Resorts and Hotels

In Atlantic City, the 1,399 Ocean Casino Resort debuted last June, overlooking the Atlantic. The property offers 160,000 square feet of event space spread among 20 meeting rooms, plus 30,000 square feet of exhibit space and 90,000 square feet of outdoor event space. Those seeking the ultimate escape can head for the resort's 40,000-square-foot Exhale Spa.

The 2,590-room Harrah's Resort Atlantic City has finished a more than $50 million renovation to the 507-room Coastal Tower, which comes on the heels of the $40 million renovation of all 450 guest rooms in its Bayview Tower. The resort's Waterfront Conference Center offers 125,000 square feet for meetings.

In other news, last summer, Harrah's opened Gordon Ramsay Steak, the celebrity chef's first steak-house concept in the beachside city.

New Hotels and Refurbishments in Pennsylvania

Set to reopen at press time was the Mount Airy Casino Resort in the state's eastern Pocono Mountains. The room count has gone from 188 to 288, and a 16,000-square-foot ballroom/events center has been added. Coming to Western Pennsylvania's Beaver County from Mount Airy is a project that will be comprised of a 750-room casino hotel, plenty of slots and table games, a convention center and a fine-dining restaurant. Stay tuned for more details.

In Philadelphia, the first phase of an $800 million renovation of the 4.3-acre East Market has been completed with a mélange of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. On the same site, a 251-room Canopy by Hilton property will be opening in the historic beaux-arts Stephen Girard Building.

Opened last November, Philadelphia's Cherry Street Pier presents a host of artists-in-residence working out of repurposed shipping containers.

Adjacent to East Market lies Philly's new Fashion District, an 800,000-square-foot mix of retail, dining and entertainment establishments set to open in September. The complex will include national retailers as well as a dine-in movie theater and public art spaces. Opened last November, Cherry Street Pier presents a host of artists-in-residence working out of repurposed shipping containers. They sell their wares along an open-air corridor on the pier. The venue's Platform area is available for events.

Also coming to town is the swanky 219-room Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center, set to debut at summer's end. Crowning the new Comcast Technology Center, and at 60 stories the tallest building in Philly, the hotel will have a spa and an indoor infinity pool, along with Vernick Fish from James Beard Award-winning chef Greg Vernick, and Jean-Georges Philadelphia from Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Views from the top floor can be seen from the JG Skyhigh lounge. The property's 15,602 square feet of meeting space will include a ballroom that seats 400.

As if all that weren't enough for the City of Brotherly Love, a new $50 million esports and entertainment arena will rise in the heart of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, with a projected opening date set for early 2021. Adjacent to the Xfinity Live! dining and entertainment complex, the arena will seat 3,500.