MGM National Harbor Makes Grand Entrance

By Matt Swenson, December 8, 2016

Two years in the making, MGM National Harbor is now officially one of the highest-profile event venue options in the Washington, D.C., area. The $1.4 billion, 24-story property, which sits directly off Interstate 95 in Prince George’s County, Maryland, opened Dec. 8.

Impossible to miss from the outside, the sleek new gaming destination includes 50,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 3,000-seat theater.

While the 308-room MGM may not pry conferences away from the nearby Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, it should draw attendees in for off-site dining and entertainment options.

Among the chefs attached to the new hotel: Jose Andres, Marcus Samuelsson, and brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio. One of the world’s largest chocolate fountains will stand 12 feet tall at Bellagio Patisserie, an example of the over-the-top experiences attendees can expect at the hotel.

In the big picture, MGM National Harbor’s opening marks a milestone for National Harbor. The waterfront destination launched a convention and visitors association headed by Executive Director Bruce Gudenberg this year. With two established brand hotels, Visit National Harbor aims to drive events slightly outside the capital’s border.

The way Gudenberg sees it, the more options for events in the area, the better for everyone.

“The reality is the more people who come to region, the better off everybody is,” he says.

Nominations are due Jan. 15, 2018, for our next class of 40 Under 40 honorees. We are looking for the best young minds in corporate events and meetings.

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