James Wood will be the chief executive officer of the newly formed Meet AC, a private non-profit sales organization with a sole focus on building the convention, meeting and group market for Atlantic City. He will begin on June 30 2014. His appointment was announced today by Meet AC Board Chairman Jeff Albrecht, general manager, Sheraton, Atlantic City.
Meet AC began operations on April 28, 2014, and is funded by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). The annual budget will be $8 million beginning July 1. For more information, visit www.meetinac.com
Wood will hire a staff and lead the Meet AC sales effort to generate both citywide and single-property bookings. Wood brings a wealth of experience to Atlantic City’s new, more efficient convention and group sales structure. He was formerly president and CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“The entire board was very impressed with Jim’s highly successful track record of accomplishments,” said Albrecht. “Everyone we spoke to about Jim reiterated his strong sales performance in every venture he took on. He is the perfect collaborator, strategist and leader to take meetings and conventions in Atlantic City to the next level.”
Atlantic City’s convention, meeting and group sales segment is continuing to show growth but is simultaneously being repositioned for the future. The New Jersey S-11 legislation, signed into law in February 2011, called for a transformation of Atlantic City’s tourism and economic development industry in response to the expansion of gaming throughout the U.S.
The NJ S-11 legislation called for the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA) to be merged into the CRDA. The former ACCVA included sales, marketing, visitor center operations, convention services, and ownership of the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall. The CRDA is retaining all of the former responsibilities of the ACCVA with the sole exception of convention and group sales and convention services. The decision to create Meet AC was the result of two independent studies.
The New Jersey S-11 legislation also called for the creation of the Atlantic City Alliance, a tourism marketing organization for the leisure market segment funded by the casino industry through 2016 with a $150 million initial investment. The Atlantic City Alliance began operations in September 2011 and launched the “Do Anything, Do Everything, DO AC” campaign in April 2012.
Meet AC will work in collaboration with the CRDA, the Atlantic City Alliance and Global Spectrum, a newly selected management company of the Greater Atlantic City Convention Center and Historic Boardwalk Hall.