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Travelodge introduces conference center plan

December 01, 2009
STURBRIDGE — Keeping in step with the ongoing push to cultivate and retain businesses in Sturbridge, the Planning Board met Tuesday, Dec. 1 to discuss two business-related proposals.

Despite a scheduled public hearing, a request for a special permit to operate a bed and breakfast on Charlton Street was withdrawn by the petitioner.

Mike Loin of Bertin Engineering, however, was on hand to meet with the Planning Board to request a waiver of site plan, which will help an existing Sturbridge business stay viable.

Representing the Haynes Road Travelodge, Loin explained that the 75-room motel maintains only about a dozen overnight guests for most of the year, other than the three weeks the Brimfield Flea Market and Antique Show is in the neighboring town, and over the weekend of the Pan-Mass Challenge.

To help combat the doldrums of a poor economy, and rather than relying on the tourist draw of Old Sturbridge Village throughout the remained of the year, Loin said the motel is looking to convert four of its guest rooms into a conference center.

To accommodate conference-goers the move hopes to attract, Loin said a mobile kitchen trailer will take up a position in the rear of the Travelodge, in which staff can prepare hot meals for guests.

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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