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On September 30th the Meadowlands Liberty Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Meadowlands Regional Chamber presented MDEST ’14, an annual symposium on current Tourism and Hospitality hot topics.  The event, held at the New Meadowlands Racetrack, attracted a wide audience from the hospitality industry, as well as broader group of businesspeople who are invested in the region’s future.

 

The first panel presented “A Bet On The Meadowlands: Leaders Discuss Constituent Needs In New Jersey Gaming,” and included VP of Research at US Gaming Surveys, Larry Gibbs; Senator Paul Sarlo; East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella; and NJ Assemblyman Ralph Caputo.  These leaders’ comments painted a positive picture of the impact gaming in the Meadowlands would have on the regional economy and beyond, and reinforced the message that it is an ideal location for gaming within

the state.

 

The second panel included convention business executives speaking on the topic of, “Creating A Travel Destination In The Meadowlands: The Impact Of A Convention Center.”  Presenters detailed the far-reaching positive impact on a regional economy when convention business comes to town – hotels, restaurants, local shopping and other support businesses all get a boost.  Our current exhibit space is not sufficient for all of the events that want to come to the Meadowlands area, and Robin Cuneo, Executive Director of SMG at the Meadowlands Expo Center says that her facility has to turn away events because there just isn’t enough space to go around.  Other members of the panel agreed that more convention and exhibit space would benefit the region across the board.

 

The Keynote speaker was Carl Goldberg, Roseland Property Company, and formerly President of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority.  Mr. Goldberg’s topic was, “Reinventing The Region,” and he reminded the audience that the Meadowlands is part of the Greater Metropolitan region, with a huge audience that has easy access to the Meadowlands facilities and all the events we can offer.

Click here for further coverage of the MDEST panels.

 

At the conclusion of the Panels, the MLCVB Annual Hospitality & Tourism Awards were presented:

Best Visitor Experience – Hilton Hasbrouck Heights Employee Orlainy Cruz

Best Visitor Experience – In Thyme Catering & Meadowlands Expo Center

Best Green Initiative – Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Housekeeping Staff

Best Marketing Practice/Use Of Social Media – Homewood Suites by Hilton East Rutherford

Best Community Impact – Legal Sea Foods Paramus

The awards were followed by the Annual TASTE OF THE MEADOWLANDS Event.  Attendees were treated to a delicious sampling of foods from some of the region’s most-popular restaurants. From tantalizing appetizers to rich and flavorful main courses to sweet desserts – the array was extraordinary.  Attendees sampled and cast their ballots for crowd

favorites.  Our winners were given their awards by Chef Paul Dillon, of Let’s Cook TV fame, currently with the Hudson County Community College, Culinary Arts Institute.

Annabella’s Fine Foods in East Rutherford.  Proprietor Billy Pompeo accepted the Silver Platter for Best Presentation for his gorgeously displayed fresh antipasto.

Meadowlands Renaissance Hotel.  Jason Simmons, Director of Sales & Catering and his staff share the Silver Platter for Most Appetizing dish.

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