Welcome to Forest Lodge, since 1933...
Back in the 1920s, Sam and Anna Asarnow purchased a sprawling and idyllic property located in Somerset County, New Jersey as a summer retreat for their family. This plot of land, you guessed it—is the one that would later become The Forest Lodge. Relatives, who still drop in to visit from time to time, cheerfully speak of its history. The Asarnows enjoyed entertaining and would invite friends to come here for a day of relaxation and fun. Friends enjoyed their time at the Lodge so much, that the word got out, and friends who visited soon became friends-of-friends, and eventually strangers began showing up to enjoy the grounds. By 1933, the grounds had become so popular that the Asarnows made the logical choice to start charging a $.25/person entrance fee to the public. This is what sparked the beginning of a family-owned business that still thrives today under the Forest Lodge name. The first company picnic was one for the Esso Corporation (now Exxon Mobil) in the mid 1930’s.
The Asarnow family sold the property in 1968 to Robert Evans who maintained the business until 1980 by leaving the picnic grounds open to the public at a fee and diversified services by transforming the venue into a Country Rock Bar at night.
In 1980, Charlie Alberto purchased Forest Lodge and restored the original vision of the Asarnow family by offering a place for people to relax and enjoy the country air. He also revitalized the venue by updating the menus, facilities and entertainment to fit the needs of the times.
Shortly after purchasing the business, the Alberto Family made the decision to close their doors to the public. Their corporate events were becoming so popular that there was little room left for guests coming in without a reservation. The Alberto Family also closed the Country Rock Bar in 1981 to create what is now the beautifully appointed Sherwood Chalet, which caters to everything from Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs to Meetings and Seminars. Under the Alberto family management, Forest Lodge has expanded from a picnic site to Full Service Event Coordination, offering all types of Corporate Events including: Seminars, Meetings, Company Picnics, Team Building Events, Morale Boosters, and Elegant Outdoor Events in addition to the social events in The Sherwood Chalet.
Forest Lodge also serves as a first job for many young adults in the surrounding area, proudly employing up to 150 part time staff members. The management team includes Charlie Alberto III, President, along with Vice President Linda A. Taylor, CMP; General Manager Brian Howard; and Assistant Events Manager, Sharon Pier. Combined, we offer years of experience to help you make your event truly spectacular!