What: Press Conference with elected officials and local leaders urging Governor Phil Murphy to allow for Conventions and Trade Shows to resume in Atlantic City.
When: Friday, April 30th at 10:00am
Where: Kennedy Plaza, 2300-2498 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Who: Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, Assemblyman John Armato, Commissioner Caren Fitzpatrick, Greater Atlantic City Chamber President Michael Chait, Director of Trade Shows and Special Assignments for the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters Robert Tarby, President of the Atlantic and Cape May County AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Roy Foster, Business Agent & Treasurer for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 917 Darrell Stark.
Media Instructions: There will be space designated for any videographer’s equipment. We ask that you arrive at least a half hour early to allow time to prepare such equipment. There will be time for questions after the press conference.

On September 21, 2020 and March 18, 2021 Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato sent letters to Governor Murphy urging him to ease the COVID-19 restrictions on Conventions and Trade Shows. Today, Atlantic County Commissioner Caren Fitzpatrick joins the Assemblymen in reiterating the need to ease these restrictions to revitalize Atlantic City’s economy. Commissioner Fitzpatrick is proposing a resolution to the Atlantic County Board of Commissioners to urge Governor Murphy to allow Conventions and Trade Shows.

“I know how important meetings, conventions, and trade shows are to the economic livelihood of Atlantic City and the surrounding area. As an Atlantic County Commissioner, I believe it is crucial to champion the unique amenities Atlantic City has to offer and work to ensure we are not left out of reopening plans. Governor Murphy has done a commendable job with the vaccine rollout, and it is because of those successes that it is now time to allow for conventions and trade shows in Atlantic City once again.”

“As mentioned in our previous two letters, conventions and trade shows account for $1.9 billion in revenue for Atlantic City, and the Convention Center, hotels and local businesses surrounding the area greatly depend on this revenue to survive,” said Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo. “New Jersey has been a national leader in the vaccine rollout, and with new CDC guidelines concerning gatherings among vaccinated individuals, New Jersey is on the right path to demonstrate to the country that we can successfully conduct business in Convention Centers, Sports Facilities and Casinos safely. To ensure Atlantic City’s economic success this year, Governor Murphy must take action immediately to allow for Show Managers and Convention Planners to bring their business to the area.”

“We need to work urgently on this matter because Atlantic City and the Second District can’t afford any missed opportunities to bring business into the area and provide jobs for those in need,” said Assemblyman John Armato. “By wearing masks, social distancing, comprehensive cleaning protocols, and using skilled labor who have completed nationally recognized COVID-19 preparedness training, there is no reason why conventions and trade shows cannot gather under the same guidelines as large sports and entertainment venues.”

The convention and trade show industry in Atlantic City in is an important economic engine for many in our area and the trained and skilled trade show professionals of the Carpenters Union are ready to reopen this industry safely,” said Senior Council Representative Bob Tarby of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, “Through our nationally recognized COVID-19 preparedness training, our local workers are prepared for a reopening that would rightfully put Atlantic City on the map as a premier destination for the trade show industry.”

“The regulations for indoor and outdoor gatherings need to be revisited now so that capacity restrictions are consistent and take into consideration the venues’ usable square footage,” said the Greater Atlantic City Chamber President, Michael Chait. “Permitting these larger venues to have more attendees for events and meetings would in no way undermine public health and safety. These venues can safely conduct these events with masking, social distancing and adherence to the various health and safety protocols that have brought us through this pandemic.Since reopening last July, the Atlantic City casinos have adhered to rigorous health and safety protocols and have proven that they can safely entertain customers at increased occupancy levels. These larger venues are certainly equipped to safely bring back conventions and meetings by employing comprehensive health and safety protocols. Failure to address this challenge will create a loss of events not just for the summer, but for early 2022, since these events take months to plan and execute. We ask that the Administration trust event experts that always prioritize the safety and health of patrons and employees.”

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Contact: Paul Weborg
Mazzeo, Armato & Fitzpatrick for District 2