RIT Inn & Conference Center Banquet and Meeting Room Renovations Complete

Modern furnishings, lighting and technology systems added to enhance event site

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The Iroquois Ballroom was only one of the banquet and meeting spaces renovated at the RIT Inn & Conference Center this past summer. The inn remained open despite the work, and staff alternated events through its two ballrooms through the summer, one of the busiest seasons for events.

The RIT Inn & Conference Center didn’t miss a single “Here Comes the Bride” moment this summer during one of its biggest renovation projects in several years.

The inn, located in Henrietta, underwent considerable renovations to its 12,000 square feet of conference and hospitality space. Work began in June and was completed mid-August.

From contemporary carpeting and furnishings to the installation of energy-efficient lighting and a modern sound system, the inn has a fresh look, says Tori Budgeon-Baker, the project architect/designer.

“We were trying to bring it into this century, to make it lighter and brighter, more friendly, and not so much like a library or a men’s club,” she says. “I think the two things that stand out the most are the change in the color palette and the minimizing or reduction of the amount of dark wood.”

The walnut trim, paneling and some ceiling beams were removed or painted ivory. All light fixtures were updated, incorporating LED lamps for the ballroom chandeliers and compact florescent lights were installed in the corridors, replacing old incandescent lighting. Carpeting throughout the area was replaced with a more modern look in colors of steel grey and red accents.

“We wanted to add things that would be most noticeable to our guests and potential clients,” says Budgeon-Baker, from the Facilities Management Services department at Rochester Institute of Technology, owners of the inn. The university’s facilities team planned, designed and managed the construction. “The finishes are appropriate of a hospitality setting without being distracting from an event taking place there. It has breathed new life into the inn space, and I think it will attract a whole new set of clients. ”

Hosting nearly 40 weddings per year, as well as large conferences, business meetings and trade shows, the inn is one of the largest catering and conference spaces in the Rochester area, according to Vanessa Greene, the inn’s director of sales. The project was phased, and staff alternated use of the two main ballroom areas throughout the renovation. The entire facility is open as of Aug. 20.

“The work was done on an aggressive timetable, but it was necessary,” Greene says. “It’s been go, go, go on the renovations since June, but we’ve also been able to keep up with our clients and events. We were really able to see it all come together over the last few weeks as they put in new furnishings. Every day was like Christmas.”

About the RIT Inn & Conference Center: The inn is located at 5257 West Henrietta Road. It has 304 guest rooms and amenities, in addition to the more than 12,000 square feet of conference and meeting space. In 2011, the inn received a 3-Green Leaf rating from Audubon International’s Eco-rating program and the Good Earthkeeping Award from the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association.