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In New London, Arrow Paper closed, preparing for Oct. 20 auction

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New London — Arrow Paper Party Rental, a venerable Colman Street supplier of tents, tables, chairs, linens and just about anything else one possibly could need for a celebration, has closed, its inventory to be made available in an online auction in less than three weeks.

Arrow’s owners, Janet and Garry Weiss of Waterford, are retiring, according to the firm conducting the auction, Capital Recovery Group, which has posted information about the Oct. 20 event at crgllc.com/auctions/arrow-party-rental. Items will be available for inspection at 567 Colman St. on Oct. 19, followed by online bidding starting at 10 a.m. the next day.

The available merchandise includes “assorted China, bounce houses, concession and party equipment, contractors tools and rolling stock," the site says.

Janet Weiss, contacted Wednesday, declined to comment.

Felix Reyes, New London's director of planning and development, said the city had not been officially notified of Arrow’s closing but that it would be “a terrible loss to our business community.” He said the business has been in the city for generations.

Arrow was spun off decades ago from the Arrow Paper Supply & Food Co., which Janet Weiss’s father, Donald Daren, acquired in 1974, moving it from Groton to New London. Daren, a New London native, grew the paper and cleaning supplies company into a major food distributor, opening a warehouse facility in Norwich in 1981.

In 1996, JP Foodservice, then one of the largest food distributors in the country, purchased Arrow Paper & Supply.

By then, Daren had introduced equipment rentals and a party-supplies division with retail stores in New London and Norwich. The operation moved from a Garfield Street location in New London to 567 Colman St. in 1992.

In 2017, Arrow Paper Equipment Rental & Sales announced on the company website that it was expanding Arrow Paper Party Rental, “a full service tent, table, chair, dishware, glassware, flatware, décor and linen rental company” serving southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island. It would no longer rent or sell tools and construction equipment in order to make room for the party-supplies division to expand its showroom, retail store and warehouse.

For more than 30 years, the company has supplied equipment and products for civic events and social occasions throughout the region. Earlier this year, it provided tents for the COVID-19 drive-thru testing stations at Lawrence + Memorial and Westerly hospitals.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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