Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia officially opens 15,000-square-foot event center
Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia held the grand opening of its event center on Thursday as demand begins to pick up in the local events industry.
The customizable 15,000-square-foot event center includes the 10,000-square-foot Market Ballroom, two breakout rooms, pre-function space and three executive boardrooms. The spaces can be combined to offer seating for up to 1,000 guests. Other available offerings include a performance stage and high-tech audio-visual systems throughout.
Some events have been hosted in the space since the casino opened in February, but business has been limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Officials declined to disclose exact buildout costs of the event center but noted the price tag is part of the $700 million development cost of the overall hotel and casino property. The property was developed by Stadium Casino RE LLC, an affiliate of Baltimore-based The Cordish Cos., which also built neighboring food and entertainment venue Xfinity Live!
Live! Casino has seen a lot of demand recently for galas and nonprofit events planned for the remainder of 2021, Vice President of Sales Kelley Maddox told the Business Journal. Customers are booking events into 2022, with some business booking as far out as 2025. The event center benefits from its location near the South Philadelphia Stadium Complex, which attracts smaller groups like wrestling and hockey organizations to the city for sporting events, she added.
As it is attached to the property’s 208-room luxury hotel, the Live! event center aims to cater to clients including mid-week business travelers and small corporate groups, Maddox said. The events team started to see “some great leads” in June, but the re-implementation of Philadelphia's indoor mask mandate seemed to stunt that as many companies halted plans to return workers to offices, she added. Many clients are again opting for hybrid events as some corporations balk at sending tables of 10 to galas and instead use livestreams.
Weddings are also booking the event space, Maddox said. Groups that initially reserved space for 50 guests are starting to increase in size. Maddox attributes the demand for weddings to the property being able to offer ceremonies, cocktails and dinner with on-site resources.
“Our differentiating factor is we're the only major event center in a casino hotel where you have all the entertainment that you could possibly want right at your doorstep,” Senior Vice President of Marketing Mario Maesano said. “You don't have to leave the building.”
Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia didn’t experience as hard of a hit to business during the summer as it initially anticipated, Maesano said.
Typically, casinos experience a spike in traffic during the first quarter and again in summer, he added. Seasonality trends were slightly askew this year with the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions in July followed by the mask mandate returning in August, he said, but are beginning to return to normal patterns.
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