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The Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center

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The main plant of the American Optical Company was in a huge brick complex in Southbridge, Massachusetts. It was owned by the Wells family, who also founded Sturbridge Village.

After the company ceased operations in Southbridge, the area was economically devastated. With a government grant and a contract with the Department of Defense for use as a training facility the main plant was beautifully restored. It is now home to the Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center.

The hotel’s interior decor reflects the building’s optical heritage, from the lens-like shapes in the wall decor, contours of lamps and lighting fixtures, and names like Prism Auditorium,  Focus Fitness Center,  Visions Restaurant, and Shades, the full-service lounge.

A “Too Early to Focus” card with a plastic eyeglass frame dangled from the doorknob. No conventional “Do Not Disturb” sign here!

It opened in 2001 with 203 spacious and well-appointed guest rooms, a 4,800 square foot ballroom, and a 250 seat auditorium. The health club includes an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, racquetball and basketball courts, and the latest fitness equipment.

The 24,000 square feet of meeting space is one of the most technologically advanced around and is staffed with onsite audiovisual technicians.

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Guest rooms and conference spaces facilities are available to the public when not being used by the Department of Defense. Use of pool tables, dart games and building-wide wifi is included. A number of package specials are offered that include things like the breakfast buffet, use of the fitness center, and, of course tickets to Old Sturbridge Village. Recent fall packages included a hayride, apple picking, and the popular ice cream-topped apple dumplings at Brookfield Orchards.

Other packages included skydiving or a flight lesson. Holiday promotions have included luxurious overnight accommodations for two and passes to the Old Sturbridge Village with a daily Christmas by Candlelight activity. For current pricing, packages, and availability contact the Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center.

2 Comments

  1. How much are the package deals.

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