Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, located in Southbridge, Massachusetts, US, has now been renamed as The Wellsworth Hotel, Worcester Business Journal reported.

The rebranding honours the legacy of George Washington Wells, the founder of the American Optical Company and his contributions to eyeglass manufacturing in the US.

George Washington Wells revolutionised eyeglass manufacturing in the late 1800s by making eyeglasses accessible to all, and not just the elite.

The Wellsworth Hotel occupies the same building that once housed Wells’ optical factory.

The Wellsworth brand began as a lens type in 1911 and then later expanded to include frames.

This rebranding aims to balance the hotel’s aesthetic appeal with its rich historical context.

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Franklin Realty Advisors president and owner and the hotel owner Charles ‘Chip’ Norton said: “As the pandemic changed the way people travel, growing a larger mix of business and leisure travel clientele came into a stronger focus.

“The hotel embodies a distinctive hybrid of hospitality with a storied history, top-notch amenities and a state-of-the-art conference centre. The rebrand better tells this story and carries it forward as we continue to attract new leisure guests and business clients.”  

The hotel features 203 rooms and suites, a fitness centre, an indoor pool, an outdoor courtyard, a restaurant, and a lounge.

It is an accredited member of the International Association of Conference Centers.

The hotel has meeting and event spaces including a ballroom, a 250-seat auditorium, and various breakout rooms, equipped with ergonomic chairs, high-speed Wi-Fi, and advanced audiovisual technology, catering to a range of corporate events.

Later this week, the American Optical Company Historic District will be formally designated to the National Register of Historic Places during a plaque ceremony at the hotel.