Small Market Meetings

JUN 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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W i l m i n g t o n , D e l a w a r e June 2017 41 tourism director for the Ocean City Department of Tourism and Convention and Visitors Bureau. The city has a host of venues that front the water, either the bay or the ocean, and most of the larger hotels offer function space, among them the oceanfront Clarion Resort Fontainebleu Hotel, the Carousel Hotel, the Princess Royale, the Dunes Manor, the Holiday Inn, the Hilton and the Grand Hotel. Seacrets, a bay-front restaurant and nightclub with a tropical vibe and its own beach and pier, is popular for social receptions. Harrison's Harbor Watch is a two- story restaurant that sits at the southern tip of the island overlooking the inlet; dinners and receptions there are right across from the boardwalk and "have a beautiful view of Ocean City," Abbott said. Housed in an 1891 building next door, the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum offers tours for groups of up to 60 and welcomes small gatherings and receptions. www.ococean.com Wilmington, Delaware Wilmington, Delaware, sits at the confluence of Brandywine Creek and the Christina River, which flow into the Delaware River. Visitors will find a walkable riverfront and plenty of nearby attractions along the Christina River in downtown. The Chase Center on the Riverfront is the city's largest conference center, with 90,000 square feet of function space and the attached 180-room Westin Wilmington hotel. Both front the 1.3-mile Christina Riverwalk trail, which leads to several riverfront restaurants and a brewpub. About half a mile south of the center is the DuPont Environmental Education Center — DEEC to locals — on the Wilmington Riverfront in the 212-acre Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge. The center features a 10-acre ornamental garden, a trail through the fresh- water tidal marsh and a four-story environmental cen- ter. A top-floor meeting room with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views can accommodate about 75 guests for receptions, said Jessica Bittmann, director of sales for the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau. In downtown, several attractions front the river. Constitution Yards is a seasonal beer garden at Justison Landing along the Christina Riverwalk with 30,000 square feet of outdoor space for bocce ball, cornhole or whiffle ball; in the winter, "the beer garden turns into an ice skating rink," Bittmann said. The Riverboat Queen is a replica riverboat that just resumed cruises in May. It offers brunch and dinner cruises on the Christina River, and private charters for up to 80 passengers. The Hagley Museum and Library sits on 235 acres on the banks of Brandywine Creek, the original site of the DuPont gunpowder works. Today, the historic soda house, the library and the visitor center, which features exhibits and a riverfront patio, can accommodate seated meals for 20 or receptions for up to 200 people. www.visitwilmingtonde.com Courtesy Ocean City CVB Ocean City sits on a barrier island.

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