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Atlantic City sees jump in convention center attendance

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Attendance at Atlantic City Convention Center shows were 67 percent higher this March than the same time period last year, but the jump was attributed to moving an annual classic car show from February to March, according to a report by the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority.

Nearly 39,000 people attended shows at the center, and were responsible for more than 1,400 additional room nights — a 27 percent increase. Some convention and trade shows were moved to different months this year because of Easter and Passover, leaving a dent in March’s convention attendance and room night figures.

“By the end of April, we’ll see it balance out and have a fair year-to-date comparison,” said Gary Musich, vice president of convention sales for the ACCVA. “More importantly, we’re on track to grow the convention market by 10 percent this year, with more than 371,700 projected room nights. It will be the fifth consecutive year of growth for this market.”

Spending from conventions, trade shows and public shows citywide added up to $48 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Interest on Atlantic City’s digital sites increased, with increased traffic through e-mail, mobile apps and social media, the report found.

Tourism may have received a boost this year because March 2013 had an additional weekend day that March 2012 did not have, or because gas prices were slightly lower. But the weather in March 2012 averaged 51 degrees, compared to this year, which averaged 39 degrees and brought twice as much rain as the same month last year.

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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