WFSB & WFSB history

The Channel 3 Family Blizzard Vacation


Word that a giant blizzard was about to blast Connecticut meant it was time for the Channel 3 travel agent to plan a trip for the Eyewitness News family to a resort. Disneyland? Nope. Atlantis in the Bahamas? Uh-uh. Cue up the jealousy folks, we went on vacation to Hartford South.


Hartford South is the name the Sheraton has given to its newly acquired hotel in the capital city suburb of Rocky Hill. Glee and anticipation were palpable among our Channel 3 colleagues as we learned whether they would be the lucky ones to be awarded the vacation of a lifetime.


Channel 3’s Kara Sundlun kicked off our extended coverage of Blizzard Charlotte by anchoring our first two hour special Friday afternoon. Her duty done, Kara was disconsolate when she learned her resort wear would go unused and instead she would get to be home with our children, playing games in front of a fire, cooking and riding out the blizzard in the comfort of a warm home.

More than a dozen of us did make the cut, while others had to stay in other spartan hotels which we later learned would offer such amenities as cold and frigid running water, sporadic plowing, and a hunger-triggering dearth of food.


WFSB Promotion Manager Shelly Smith learned her car was useless in the snow

Truth be told, Hartford South had excellent food, and the service was outrageously above the top. The recently renovated hotel featured copious pillows, treatlets, and impromptu entertainment in the form of a stumbling woman who went on a liquor fueled rant about her apparently inconsiderate boyfriend in the parking lot at the height of the snowstorm.

The sudden booking of the trip sent Denise D’Ascenzo into a tizzy. She went on an urgent shopping trip for new swimsuits. “There is no way I am frolicking in the Hartford South pool with the Eyewitness News team in a bathing suit from 2012,” she bristled with indignation.


The main attribute of the Hartford South getaway is its proximity to the WFSB studios, and work took up most of our time, so regretfully there was no time to take advantage of the local tourist attractions. Instead, the highlight of the trip was a fleeting glance of the Eiffel Tower of high tension wires.


Office park snowshoeing is a popular sport that allows people to marvel at the scenic vistas of I-91 and the architecture fitting of a neighborhood adjacent to an expressway, but our free time was limited. Denise was also distraught over not being able to squeeze in leading a water yoga class for her comrades.


Assistant News Director Patience Hettrick trekked across snow covered road to make sure the news went on

On a serious note, Hartford South was great. The food is excellent..gourmet in fact. I cannot say enough good things about the people there. The workers were beyond helpful, with service that was personalized and heartfelt. Maintenance folks helped us dig out our cars, although some vehicles were beyond hope for a while. Many of of the Channel 3 folks had to hoof it to work, because we want to honor our commitment to our viewers to be on the air when we are needed.

It also gives a chance to bond. I had lunch with some colleagues I don’t ordinarily see because of different schedules.


We also learned all-wheel drive or four wheel-drive is not overrated. Our employees with these types of vehicles fared much better than those who do not. Denise’s Buick Enclave saved the day for us as it sliced through the heavy blizzard snow like “buttah.” I have an Enclave, too, but Kara took it home and sailed effortlessly down a snow covered I-91.

11 replies »

  1. Thanks for the chuckle!! You guys did a great job! we watched most of the coverage, we only took a break to go play in the snow.


  2. They’re determined to keep you working I guess… I work next door at Henkel, don’t think I’ll be getting there anytime soon since I haven’t seen a plow on my street since yesterday around 2pm. I live in Hamden. Hope you’re all having a great time. Thanks for keeping us up to date on the weather.


  3. Glad you all made it and had ‘bonding’ time .. its part of remembering these huge storms.. No fun to be away from your real families to make sure your global family was safe — a hearty Thank You the everyone in the profession.

    We had 32-33″ here in Southington across from Town Hall and the Town Green. So thinking of the Summer ‘Music on the Green’ series.. and Boston Red Sox pitchers and catchers report this week — Spring can’t be far away.

    John West
    Southington CT


  4. Dennis, thank you so much for sharing that. I always love watching you guys when it’s something that matters!! Thanks again!!!


  5. I enjoyed and appreciated your collective coverage from the studio, on the phones and in the parking lot. You kept us informed and amused in a very historic event…did miss Scott though..what was his excuse?


  6. Thank you for being there for us. This time and the storms before, I felt that I was not alone even though it was just TV. Because of your professional yet down home style of broadcasting I have the feeling that all the staff in front and behind the camera do care about the Channel 3 family of Viewers.


  7. Thanks so much for your GREAT coverage of the storm! I enjoyed reading about your escapades at the hotel.Wish I could have been in the pool with you all..


  8. Mr. House – I have a new appreciation for what YOU do!
    Thank you for all you and Mrs. House do for others.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s