Cedar Creek Swiss Chalet

People gather on the patio of Cedar Creek's Swiss Chalet. The Chalet is being converted into a wedding venue as part of a $3 million improvement project at Cedar Creek.

Cedar Creek Hotel and Event Center officials in New Haven announced they are nearing completion on a year-long $3 million improvement project.

The upgrades include six new multi-unit cottages accommodating up to 18 guests, renovations to the Civil War-era Manor House, high-speed internet and fiber optics in the rooms and conference rooms, landscaping to the 1 1/2-mile Blue Bird hiking trail and the nine-hole golf course and a new outdoor stage for concerts and events.

“When COVID hit, we lost our business, … so I told our staff we could crawl in a hole, or we could put our best face forward and be ready for the opportunity,” said Cedar Creek owner John Vatterott, whose family opened Cedar Creek in 1953, later sold it and then bought it back in 1978. “That’s what we did. People thought I was nuts, but our place has been remodeled and now is spectacular.”

Vatterott said the additions, such as 21 screened-in porches, will help people maintain social distancing until the threat of COVID-19 is completely gone. As part of the project, Cedar Creek also expanded its Swiss Chalet with a covered patio to serve as a seasonal biergarten and second wedding venue on the property. This will make it possible to hold two weddings simultaneously without either party crossing paths with the other, he said.

Vatterott said he’s most excited for people to see “the totality” of the improved property, which should be done with the renovations in six weeks.

“(Cedar Creek) has a long history,” Vatterott said. “My father bought this place in the country, took this big white house and brought it up to speed, and we’ve made additional changes as we went. We’ve been working on this since 1978. Today, the whole place is really remarkable.”