Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
The Colony, popular banquet hall, and restaurant close

By Jason Rowe
Journal Inquirer
March 7, 2006

VERNON - The Colony, a landmark banquet hall on Hartford Turnpike, apparently has closed its doors.

The banquet hall and the adjacent George's Seafood-Prime Rib restaurant shut their doors last week.

A man who answered the telephone at George's Tuesday confirmed the restaurant and the banquet facility's closing and said existing bookings at The Colony would be handled by the adjacent Quality Inn.

The man, who would identify himself only as Bill, said the Quality Inn would honor all deposits left with the banquet hall and that caterers would be brought in if needed to prepare food for scheduled banquets.

"We're kind of taking on the lead role here," said the man who referred additional questions to the Quality Inn's general manager.

A phone message left today with the hotel general manager's office was not returned.

The reasons for the restaurant and banquet facility's closing were not known Tuesday.

The Colony and the adjacent George's restaurant have operated on the site for many years.

Candice Corcione, executive director of the Tolland County Chamber of Commerce, said her organization learned of the facility's pending closing in late February.

The chamber had been scheduled to hold a "Business After Hours Showcase" at the facility on March 14, but after learning of the closing, officials decided to cancel the event.

Still, Corcione said, hotel officials were accommodating to the chamber and are doing their best to work with people who had booked events at the facility.

"They are working with people to make their events successful," said Corcione, who added that the chamber would miss the facility.

As for the reasons for the The Colony's closure, Corcione said she heard that the facility's owner, George Catsavas, was looking to retire.

Mayor Ellen L. Marmer said Tuesday that she was shocked to hear of the closures.

Marmer said the Fire Department booked The Colony for March 25 for its annual banquet.

Marmer also said she was hopeful that a new operator would come in and reopen the local landmark business.

"It's important that they do continue to function as a catering hall," Marmer said. "There isn't a place in town that can absorb lots of people. It is our only asset for large parties."

©Journal Inquirer 2006