CRDA OKs $45 million for AC regional conference center

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ATLANTIC CITY – The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has agreed to contribute $45 million toward a $134 million regional conference center project to be located adjacent to Harrah’s Resort in the Marina District.

The proposed two-story, 243,457-square-foot meeting space would be built with owner equity and third-party financing totaling just under $100 million, and $45 million from CRDA funds.

A CRDA news release from Tuesday, Nov. 20 called it “a bold move aimed at fast-tracking development of Atlantic City’s conference and meetings business.”

Groundbreaking for the Harrah’s Regional Conference Center project is scheduled for early spring, 2013. The project is expected to create approximately 300 construction jobs, 40 professional temporary jobs and 60 to 140 permanent jobs. 

The project supports recommendations from Gov. Chris Christie’s advisory commission report to increase meetings and conventions in Atlantic City by 30 percent over the next five years, the release said. An independent market impact study performed by Johnson Consulting, reiterated those recommendations. 

According to the study, the Harrah’s Conference Center would “…help contribute to the financial stability of Atlantic City by attracting new demand to the marketplace.” 

Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority President Jeffrey Vasser expressed his support for the project in the announcement.

“We believe that the addition of a meetings room facility in the Atlantic City market will complement the efforts of ACCVA as we draw more convention business to the city,” Vasser said.

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