The Wildwoods Convention Center completed its fifth full year of continuing its mission to bring events and people to the resort community of The Wildwoods and surrounding seashore resorts of Cape May County and to provide an economic stimulus to what has traditionally been a seasonal marketplace.
Since opening in the second quarter of 2002, The Wildwoods Convention Center’s economic impact to the Wildwoods has been calculated at well over $178 million. In 2006, The Wildwoods Convention Center hosted 168 separate groups that hosted over 500 separate events and covered 212 event days on the center’s calendar. In the previous year, the center hosted 151 groups. From April 2002-March 2007 there were 739 total bookings, 690 of which were new bookings into the Wildwoods. Of the 168 groups who used the Wildwoods Convention Center in 2006, 131 of them were first-time group bookings and many of them plan to repeat their business with the center.
The Wildwoods is considered a secondary market and the Convention Center was designed to cater to small to medium-sized conventions and events. Within that market, the Wildwoods Convention Center has begun to carve a niche for youth and athletic events in addition to trade shows, conventions, associations meetings, consumer shows and entertainment events. The center now hosts several major cheerleading and dance competitions, band competitions, a large-scale high school basketball tournament, youth religious conferences and sizeable youth wrestling tournaments.
The resort of the Wildwoods is famous for its amusement-filled Boardwalk, enormous beaches, and Doo Wop architecture featured in the resort’s hotel and motel lodging facilities. The area’s attractions and amenities go hand-in-hand with convention center events that are geared toward families.
The mission of the Wildwoods Convention Center, to bolster the economy of the Wildwoods and Cape May County, is also evident by the number of motel/hotel room nights generated by the activity at the Convention Center. From January through March of this year alone, the Convention Center has hosted 28 groups generating 3110 room nights, 28 events days and over 22,000 in attendance bringing the total visitors over the one million mark. The totals to date since the opening of the Convention Center in 2002 show that over 739 total groups held a combined 930 event days in the Convention Center generating 619,700 room nights and it’s estimated that our one-millionth visitor will enter the convention center on March 31, 2007.
The Wildwoods Convention Center continues to be a major economic force in the Wildwoods redevelopment and will continue to grow to even greater importance in the coming years.