Friday, the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut held a grand opening ceremony for GEICO’s new location at Route 85.
GEICO moved its office from Groton to Waterford about three weeks ago, moving its six employees with it. Why?
“Waterford is the center of the universe,” branch manager Mark Nickerson said. “This is the center of commerce in this area. This is the spot.”
The location is just one of 150 GEICO local branches in the country. And now, more Connecticut drivers have GEICO insurance than any other, with 30 percent of Connecticut drivers GEICO-insured, Nickerson said.
At the grand opening, First Selectman Dan Steward, State Sen. Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford, State Rep. Betsy Ritter, D-Waterford, and Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut President Tony Sheridan all gave speeches congratulating GEICO on the new spot. Sheridan said holding a grand opening ceremony is one of the chamber’s “most fun activies,” and Steward said he was glad the spot was developed.
““It has been a challenge I think for this whole site (before GEICO came in),” Steward said. “We are thrilled that it got through successfully.”
About the Spot
Ironically, the spot GEICO is located in is owned by Paul Illiano, who owns Illiano’s restaurant across the street. Illiano rents his restaurant from the owners of Supreme Pizza, and decided to buy the property originally to build his own restaurant.
But after Illiano built the building, many people began asking if he would rent it out. So he decided to stay where he was in the spot across the street and rent the spot out.
“Everybody wins,” Illiano said.