Weathering one challenge after another, Atlantic City, New Jersey, is more than ready to welcome NAEC.
Atlantic City is a survivor. This jewel of the Jersey Shore has weathered the Great Recession of 2008-2009, reimagined itself when other cities in the region got in on the casino gambling craze and rebuilt its reputation as a first-class tourism destination post-Hurricane Sandy. Today, this seaside resort city sparkles with confidence, ready to welcome visitors looking to relax and have fun.
This confidence was evident a year ago, when, with hardly any notice, Atlantic City stepped up and put out the welcome mat for the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) annual convention, which had been chased away from Orlando less than two weeks earlier by Hurricane Irma (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2017).
At the time, plans were already in place for this year’s NAEC 69th Annual Convention & Exposition in Atlantic City, and with all the amenities and made-for-fun diversions, it’s not hard to see why. Of course, the NAEC folks did their homework and have several activities built into this year’s program (details available at www.naecconvention.com/agenda; note, some require an extra fee).
Monday, September 24
- The Official Golf Tournament — 8 a.m. shotgun start at the Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Resort
- Inside AC Tour — 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., a narrated tour featuring the colorful history of Atlantic City, from organized crime figures to the Miss America Pageant; also includes a ride on the Steel Pier’s new Observation Wheel
- EESF Party — 8-9:30 p.m., hors d’oeuvres, drinks and fun to benefit the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation
Tuesday, September 25
- Fun Run ’18 — 6-7:30 a.m., a 5K run/3K walk along the Boardwalk
- Wine, Chocolates and Water: An Atlantic City Cruise & Tour — 1-5 p.m., an on-the-water tour of the city, enjoyed with a favorite beverage
Wednesday, September 26
- Cocktail Reception — 7-8 p.m., libations and dinner
- Throwback Beach Party — 8 p.m.-midnight, enjoy retro music and carnival games, along with your favorite beverages
Thursday, September 27
- Dregs Party — 7-8:30 p.m., relax and unwind with friends at the Wild Wild West, inside Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino
The great thing about a resort city is there are always options, and, for things to do, Atlantic City is exceptional — it won’t be a problem keeping the hours occupied. The 4-mi.-long Boardwalk, lined with shops, eateries and other diversions, is perfect for your morning (or evening) stroll and offers world-class people- watching opportunities. Like shopping? Look for bargains at the Tanger Outlets The Walk, an open-air shopping mall with more than 100 stores specializing in designer and name-brand clothing, housewares and more, all within a short walk of the Sheraton Atlantic City (the NAEC headquarters hotel). For a luxury shopping experience, visit the Playground Pier, a high-end mall adjacent to Caesars Atlantic City.
Other Atlantic City attractions:
The Steel Pier — Built more than 100 years ago, today it is home to amusement-park rides, arcade games and state-fair- style snacks. The pier’s Observation Wheel carries riders up to a height of 227 ft., offering grand views of the ocean and city lights.
- Absecon Lighthouse — Though decommissioned, this light still shines, and welcomes guests who want to climb up New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse and visit the educational museum.
- Atlantic City Aquarium — Fascinated by fish? The Atlantic City Aquarium has a large collection of sea life and exhibits, including touch tanks, strange creatures and a 25,000-gal. tank displaying the Fish of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean.
- Casinos — With table games and slots, Atlantic City is a magnet for those who enjoy games of chance. Two casino hotels — Caesars and Bally’s — have been booked as overflow hotels for NAEC conventioneers.
- The Beach — After all, sun, surf and sand are what drew vacationers to Atlantic City in the first place.