See how one local lady used her business education and background to open a shopping destination and contribute to the economic revival of her hometown of Middletown.
In May of 2016, Ami Vitori purchased a 38,000 square-foot building at 1131 Central Ave. in Middletown to renovate and turn into a shopping destination. Since then, the destination, Torchlight Pass, has grown into a center for all different types of businesses and has contributed to the recent economic revival of Middletown.
Vitori grew up in Middletown, but left the area after high school to receive an education. After attending Georgetown University, Vitori went on to gain experience in investment banking, the film and television business, and branding/communications consulting. “I think in a lot of ways all those different experiences led me to wanting to own and run my own business,” says Vitori.
Vitori and her husband decided it was time to move back home to Middletown after the birth of their third son, and Torchlight Pass fell into place not long after. “When I returned home, I wanted to do yoga, I wanted to take my kids to a play place, I wanted to eat at a great independent restaurant, but none of those things existed in Middletown. I felt like I had an opportunity when I saw this building for sale- it just felt like the right time and place to pull all those things together,” says Vitori.
Torchlight Pass includes all sorts of different businesses that Vitori so desperately wanted in her hometown. Gracie’s, an upscale comfort-food restaurant, sits on the street level of the building and is co-owned by Vitori and Max Comisar. Torchlight Pass is also home to MC Hair Salon, ID Training Academy, and Haven, a yoga, wellness, and play center all in one. Those looking to produce commercials and other advertisements for their company can utilize the 7,000 square-foot TV studio in Torchlight Pass.
Office spaces can also be rented at Torchlight Pass, and there are currently five available spots. On August 1, Escape Room Middletown, a group “breakout” game, will be opening.
Vitori is currently working on bringing non-profit entrepreneur incubator to Torchlight Pass. Extremely committed to the revival and economic growth of her hometown, Vitori aspires to help give resources to build businesses and encourage them to stay and grow in Middletown.
Downtown Middletown is thriving, and Torchlight Pass is a huge contributor. Although Torchlight Pass just recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, the impact it’s having on Middletown is admirable. “It’s been great, it’s been a really fun experience to see the huge change here during these few short years,” says Vitori.
To learn more about the shopping destination, visit www.torchlightpass.com.