Shelton hotel celebrates renovation

The Courtyard by Marriott in Shelton held a reception Thursday evening to celebrate renovation work completed at the 161-room hotel on Bridgeport Avenue.

“We’ve made the investment because of our confidence in this market,” said Brian Stage, president and CEO of Wedge Hotels Corp., which owns the lodging and conference facility.

Mayor Mark Lauretti, also speaking at the grand reopening, said he was pleased with the upgrades. “We appreciate your investment,” Lauretti told Stage.

The lobby and restaurant area were renovated last summer, and the ballroom/conference center during the winter.

In addition, 42 rooms have been upgraded so far, and work on the remainder of the rooms should be completed over the summer months.

Bill Purcell, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce president, said the Courtyard is “a wonderful hotel” where the chamber holds some of its own events.

Stage said the Shelton hotel benefits from “a strong corporate base. The number of major office facilities here creates a demand.”

Working with many nearby corporations

Kerry Lacey, the hotel’s general manager, said the hotel works closely with many nearby corporations in Shelton and other towns. Businesses such as PerkinElmer, Hubbell and Sikorsky create a strong demand for lodging on weeknights.

On weekends, the hotel keeps busy by hosting social events, and handling guests for nearby catering facilities such as The Waterview and Villa Bianca. In addition, weekend guests are in the area to visit universities and sporting venues.

Lacey said the hotel gives guests what they need and expect. “It’s important to listen to your clients and to deliver,” she said. “Everything is always changing in the travel and hospitality business, with new needs for business travelers, and we keep up with those trends.”

A place for businesses to grow

Lauretti said Shelton is a city that seeks to provide residents with a great place to live, work and pursue leisure activities, as well as to create an environment for businesses to grow.

“We have always prided ourselves on being a well-rounded community that appreciates our business community,” said Lauretti, who once operated a restaurant just up the street from the hotel.

Purcell said guests at the Courtyard reception represented “a who’s who of the region’s business community. Together, we will all thrive.”

The hotel’s reception had a Cinco de Mayo theme, with Mexican food stations and margaritas among the offerings. It included brief remarks by representatives of the hotel, the city and the business community, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Two decades of serving guests

The seven-story hotel opened in the early 1990s as a Ramada Inn, and has been a Courtyard by Marriott since 2007.

“I think it was the first hotel to open on the strip,” said Purcell, referring to the Bridgeport Avenue business corridor that includes development off Commerce Drive, Constitution Boulevard and other nearby streets.

The Courtyard by Marriott in Shelton has about 60 employees.

The facility offers conference and ballroom space, a new business center, free wi-fi Internet access, a restaurant, lounge, exercise room and indoor swimming pool.

‘Create a certain guest experience’

The current owner, Texas-based Wedge Hotels Corp., owns eight hotels. Three are in New England, with the other two of those being in Massachusetts.

The company operates the Courtyard under a franchise license with Marriott.

“They have standards to create a certain guest experience, so customers can trust what they will get,” Stage said of Marriott, which closely monitors the quality of its franchise hotels through visits and surveys.