Jeffrey Vasser has resigned after 11 years as president of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority to take a new job as president and director general of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association.
Working from Miami, he will oversee a consortium of 36 national hotel associations all over the Caribbean.
During his tenure at the Atlantic City CVA, Vassar has overseen its 60 employees, the 500,000 square foot convention center and 14,000-seat Boardwalk Hall.
Under his leadership, the Atlantic City bureau and the Atlantic City Alliance created a $1 million incentive pool earlier this year to lure meetings back to the city after Hurricane Sandy, which had a significant effect on its events business.
The CVA earlier told Expo that, in the short term, about 90 events were canceled because of the storm that represented an estimated $31 million in economic activity.
“Jeff Vasser has served this destination well and accomplished many firsts for the convention center division,” says Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) Executive Director John Palmieri in a statement. “We are sincerely thankful for Jeff’s commitment to Atlantic City over the past 11 years.”
However, the statement from the Atlantic City CVA did not mention a search for a replacement and representatives of the CRDA did not respond to a request for comment. Vasser’s role in promoting the city has changed since 2011 when state legislation created the Atlantic City Tourism District and reorganized Atlantic City’s destination marketing program.
Six months ago, the CVA became a division of the CRDA. At the same time, the Atlantic City Alliance took over much of the responsibility for promoting tourism in the area, leaving Vasser and the CVA to develop its meetings and convention business.
Nevertheless, Vasser told the local media the changes within the organization he ran for 11 years had nothing to do with his decision to move on. “If all things had stayed the same, I still might be making the decision I made,” he told the Press of Atlantic City.
Vasser grew up in Atlantic City and attended Atlantic City High School. Still, he says he has an affinity for the Caribbean region: Vasser lived in Venezuela for a while; met his wife in Cancun, Mexico; worked as a consultant on development of the Puerto Rico Convention Center; and acted as an international election observer for the Clinton Presidential Center in Venezuela and Jamaica.