The Garden State produces more than 100 different varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs, according to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture
Fertile, too, is the group market, with a diverse crop of venues and experiences for New Jersey meetings and events on every corner.
From casino resorts in Atlantic City to historic mansions and an alpaca ranch, New Jersey’s high-yield venue harvest awaits.
Casino Hotels Offer Venue Diversity in Atlantic City
Each of Atlantic City’s gaming resorts offers a self-contained universe of options for groups. Here are five unique venues and experiences at each of the four leading properties:
- Unveiled in 2017, the $11 million, 18,000-square-foot Central Conference Center complements Borgata’s 70,000-square-foot Event Center with highly customizable spaces including five meeting rooms and 6,500-square-foot clear span ballroom.
- With plush stadium seating for up to 1,000 guests, superior acoustics and broadcast-ready, media-rich technology, The Theater is made to measure for corporate meetings, presentations, award shows and more.
- Vegas-style Premier Nightclub features three full-service bars and can flexibly host private events ranging from 250 up to 1,400 people throughout its two floors.
- Dating to 1868, NYC’s Old Homestead is one of America’s oldest steakhouses and is nearly as old as Atlantic City (1845). One of Borgata’s five signature fine dining restaurants, this outpost faithfully adheres to the Gotham flagship.
- Adjacent non-gaming sibling The Water Club offers 18,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Luxurious amenities include the two-story Immersion Spa on the 32nd floor, featuring dramatic ocean and skyline views from the facility’s indoor pool.
Borgata Hotel and The Water Club, Credit: Borgata
- The 7,000-seat Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena for A-list and other entertainment. Versatile uses include general sessions and 300-plus booth trade shows.
- The 1,200-seat Sound Waves is ideal for concerts and flexible group programs.
- Divisible into six sections, the 29,000-square-foot Seminole Ballroom flexibly accommodates banquets, corporate events, intimate private concerts and more.
- DAER Nightclub is available for receptions, ocean-facing outdoor patio included.
- Seafood-focused Council Oak Fish offers upscale private dining along the Boardwalk.
- The Resorts Conference Center on the Ocean Tower’s second level offers 12,500 square feet of contemporary high-tech space in 12 rooms, including the Atlantic Ballroom.
- Landshark Bar & Grill, Atlantic City’s only year-round beachside full-service bar and restaurant, can accommodate events of 500.
- Offering stunning panoramas from atop The Ocean Tower, the four-room Tower Conference Center hosts meetings and events for 10 to 100 participants.
- For big groups, the Superstar Theater can seat up to 1,350.
- Gourmet Italian restaurant Capriccio, rated USA Today’s number one U.S. casino restaurant in 2018, is ideal for group dining.
Landshark Bar & Grill Tent Party, Credit: Resorts Casino Hotel
- Named second best hotel pool in the U.S. in USA Today's 2018 “10 Best Readers' Choice Awards,” Cabana Five Bar & Pool Deck at the new 330-room, skybridge-connected Chelsea Tower is event capable.
- Oceanfront group dining can be accommodated at Ecuadorean-inspired Olón restaurant and accompanying bar from Latin-American celebrity chef Jose Garces.
- The 2,000-seat, Broadway-style Tropicana Showroom, offering “Business by Day, Pleasure by Night” is available for groups.
Four More New Jersey Event Venues Guaranteed to Inspire
In 1989, multi-media artist Ricky Boscarino, then 28, purchased a dilapidated cabin on five wooded acres in northwestern New Jersey.
With no master plan, the Rhode Island School of Design graduate, specializing in cement and ceramics, began transforming the property into an artful wonderland.
Now covering nearly nine acres, Luna Parc features his multi-story fantasy home-museum New Alchemy and outdoor sculpture park.
Both are filled with his artistic creations and oddities from his global travels. Planners can contact the Luna Parc Foundation to organize seasonal (May to October) customized programs including tours, workshops, lectures and private events for groups of up to 25.
Housed in an updated 1913 Georgian mansion, the Morris Museum in historic Morristown offers an eclectic and engaging mix of art, science and theater. Running through this October, “Steampunk Fashion” continues a four-year kinetic art series.
Versatile rentals for events include Museum Court, joined to the mansion via a two-story skylighted promenade, and 312-seat Bickford Theatre.
The first-ever facility dedicated to the “business of inventing,” Thomas Edison’s laboratory complex in West Orange, from 1887, is preserved to time-capsule perfection as Thomas Edison National Historical Park. The 14-building campus is ideal for executive teams and corporate groups in the innovation, technology and scientific sectors.
Statue at Thomas Edison National Historical Park, West Orange, Credit: Jeff Heilman
Programs include teambuilding visits with guided tours that focus on Edison’s research and development methodology. Rentals can include the 60-capacity Visitor Center and 40-capacity Building 11, plus tented outdoor events from May to October. Nearby, Glenmont, Edison’s historic mansion-estate, is open for tours and outdoor tented events.
At Highland Airs Alpaca Ranch in northwest New Jersey, Scottish owners Colin and Joy Scott offer the unique experience of haltering and then walking their resident alpacas around the property and through the woods. As part of private tours and hosted functions at the seasonal ranch, groups can also hand-feed the curious, friendly animals.
Event spaces include a private picnic area beside the Musconetcong River.
Alpaca at Highland Airs Alpaca Ranch, Hackettstown, Credit: Jeff Heilman
Additional Meetings Updates in New Jersey
- Announced in April 2019, the Atlantic City Convention Center was awarded LEED Gold certification. Recent measures behind the recognition include new LEDs, reducing lighting loads by nearly 63 percent, and new low flush valves in the venue’s 32 restrooms, reducing water usage by 20 percent.
- American Dream Meadowlands is projected to be the third-largest multi-use center in North America at some three-million square feet. With construction proceeding, venues include an “International Tourism Center” with hotel and convention center.
- Targeting a fall 2019 launch, the Barrymore Film Center will feature a 260-seat cinema, museum and archives. Programming, in consulting partnership with NYC’s American Museum of the Moving Image, will include film screenings, festivals and education.
- Slated for fall 2019, the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center is a $172 million, 450,000-square-foot, redevelopment project incorporating the group-capable 462-seat proscenium-style Lyric Theatre. Other announced rental spaces include the 252-seat Playhouse Theatre and 5,400-square-foot lobby.
[Meetings Today Podcast: Seaview, A Dolce Hotel – A Garden State Classic Blooms Again]
New Jersey CVB Contact Information
Cape May County Department of Tourism
Central New Jersey CVB
Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority
Meadowlands Liberty CVB
Monmouth County Department of Tourism
New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism
New Jersey Highlands Coalition
Ocean County Tourism
Somerset County Tourism
Visit South Jersey