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Historic Eastern Property Updates and a New Meetings Program

Wellsworth Hotel, Southbridge, Massachusetts


Southbridge’s Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center was rebranded to the Wellsworth Hotel.  

The change of name, brand reconfiguration and new website pays homage to the historic and entrepreneurial spirit of George Washington Wells, who was the owner of what became one of the largest and most respected optical companies in the world: the American Optical Company, locally known as “AO.”

Embracing the best elements of the former Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, the Wellsworth Hotel draws on the original brand ethos that balances beauty, form and function with rich historical significance. The property features 203 guest rooms and suites, a fitness center with a racquetball court and basketball court, indoor pool, outdoor courtyard, restaurant, lounge and more.

Guest room at Red Jacket Resorts
Guest room at Red Jacket Resorts

Accredited by the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC), the hotel’s event and meeting space offers 24,000 square feet of flexible space, including a ballroom, 250-seat auditorium and multiple breakout rooms. The space can accommodate almost any setting, from a 500-person company retreat to a VIP board meeting. Ergonomic chairs, high-speed Wi-Fi, audiovisual equipment and technicians are available to support any company gathering.

Red Jacket Resorts, a portfolio of Cape Cod-based destination resorts and one of the Mid Cape’s largest independent hotel brands, announced the first phase of a collection-wide renovation scheduled to be completed by May of this year, ahead of the region’s summer season.  

Three of its five Mid Cape properties—Red Jacket Beach Resort, Riviera Beach Resort and Blue Water Resort—will undergo a collective $40 million property-wide reinvention that includes 397 newly designed standard guest rooms, family suites and vacation cottages; seven updated food and beverage outlets; lobby spaces; meeting rooms; refreshed pool experiences; and beachfront amenities.

A Mid Cape institution, Red Jackets Resorts has been a popular choice for travelers since opening the eponymous hotel in the 1960s and now consisting of five hotels in the town of Yarmouth. 

[Related: New York City's New Renaissance Hotel and Renovations in Maryland]


The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP), which is commonly known for serving as Philadelphia’s Library of American History, completed a two-year renovation project to its facilities and technology. The purpose-built 1883 Georgian Revival building has the distinction of being the first fireproof library in the U.S.

Renovations include public spaces on the first and second floors. The newly renovated Patterson Room on the building’s second floor can accommodate up to 150 guests for events, lectures, workshops, corporate gatherings and receptions. The Information Commons on HSP’s first floor features the 19th-century card catalog, creating an impressive backdrop for receptions.

Another event space is the Reading Room, constructed in 1889 and originally designed as an assembly hall to host meetings, public lectures and celebrations. It now serves as the library hub and is an ideal location to host an event with its warm atmosphere, vaulted ceilings, arched windows and bookcases.

[Related: Nobu in New Jersey and More Eastern Developments]

King Street in Alexandria, Virginia. Credit: Chris Cruz for Visit Alexandria.
King Street in Alexandria, Virginia. Credit: Chris Cruz for Visit Alexandria.


Renowned for its historic charm and vibrant waterfront just minutes from Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, is set to unveil a new meetings program, Unlock ALX Perks. The initiative delivers a tiered set of offers and advantages to meeting planners and attendees who also want a convenient location served by three major airports, Amtrak and Metrorail. 

The Alexandrian Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection. Credit: Torch Pictures for Visit Alexandria.
The Alexandrian Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection. Credit: Torch Pictures for Visit Alexandria.

A unique feature of Unlock ALX Perks is the inclusion of discounts for local experiences in addition to an array of guest room rebates and meeting room rental discounts. The three-tier system is designed to cater to specific meeting or event needs. The packages are inspired by iconic landmarks in Alexandria, infusing a touch of local charm, and are categorized into three tiers:

  • Tier 1: The Spite House (20-50 room nights): 2% guest room rebate, 20% off room rental, 10% off AV, two destination welcome bags and 15% off destination experiences
  • Tier 2: The Carlyle House (51-100 room nights): 3% guest room rebate, 30% off room rental, 15% off AV, five destination welcome bags and 15% off destination experiences
  • Tier 3: The Market Square (101-250 room nights): 4% guest room rebate, 40% off room rental, 20% off AV, 10 destination welcome bags and 15% off destination experiences

To take advantage of the program, meeting planners can book with Visit Alexandria’s sales team. RFPs must be submitted by March 31, 2024.

Alexandria’s hospitality scene continues to flourish with new hotel openings. Following the spring 2023 debut of Hotel AKA Alexandria, the city is eagerly preparing for the grand opening of Hotel Heron in spring 2024. Hotel Heron boasts 134 guest rooms and an array of modern amenities.

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