Bridgeport Conference Center Offers Options for Events

The State Journal

September 1, 2006

By Pam Kasey

Before the Bridgeport Conference Center at Charles Pointe opened April 8, many of its summer Saturdays already were booked for wedding receptions.

"The response to the opening of the facility has been just tremendous," said Mike Hager, director of resort and leisure services for Genesis Partners. The conference center is managed by CP Hospitality, a division of Genesis Partners, in cooperation with the City of Bridgeport.

Located at Exit 124 off Interstate 79, the 15,000-square-foot building can easily accommodate large groups. Its 4,500-square-foot ballroom can accommodate up to 400 for a reception or in theater-style seating, according to a brochure.

It’s also designed for flexibility. The ballroom may be divided into two, three or four rooms for smaller events. Two other 800-square-foot suites each can be separated into two rooms.

Event planners also can schedule the use of a 1,500-square-foot reception area and an outdoor courtyard and patio.

"We’ve had a number of occasions to do events on our outdoor terrace and lawn area," said Scott Duarte, executive chef for CP Hospitality and food and beverage manager for the conference center.

"You get a great view from out there on that side," he said. ‘It should be very pretty this fall."

The facility boasts the latest in audiovisual equipment. That includes, in the ballroom, drop-down LCD projectors with two 8-by-8-foot drop- down media screens that can present simultaneously or separately. Meeting rooms feature LCD projectors with 6-by-6 foot screens.

High speed and wireless internet are available as well as an on-site business center with personal computer, Internet access, printer, copier and fax machine. Flat screen monitors are available with CD, DVD and VHS players for media presentations. An in-house sound system and fiber optic cable accommodate business and entertainment needs.

Created for full-service catering, the kitchen at the conference center was designed by Duarte, who developed his culinary expertise while working at resorts such as The Greenbrier and the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.

Catering options range from $4 per person for coffee and pastry breaks, Duarte said. Sit-down dinners start in the $20s per person for chicken or salmon and the $30s and up for filet mignon.

"There’s a lot of range," he said. "We pride ourselves on customizing the event to meet most anyone’s budget."

For lodging, the conference center adjoins a 116-room Wingate Inn with rooms starting at a government rate of $60; the center also sits adjacent to a soon-to-be-open 86-room Microtel Inn and Suites.

And the central Bridgeport location opens up a lot of options for recreation, Duarte said.