The Cambria Hotel in Nashville marks Patel's first upscale hotel with Choice Hotels. He is also signing a new construction franchise agreement for a Comfort Inn & Suites property in New Orleans. Patel has owned Choice branded properties for nearly two decades in several segments, including economy, midscale, upper midscale and now upscale, highlighting the depth and opportunity franchisees have to grow their businesses both in scale and segments with Choice Hotels.
"As customer demand increases and our brands grow, it's vitally important that franchisees grow with us and help us fortify Choice Hotels. Jay is truly a member of the Choice family, and the perfect example of an owner that started with us and continues to expand his portfolio," said Pacious. "I am thrilled to start my tenure as CEO by signing these franchise agreements for the Cambria and Comfort brands. It reinforces my commitment to stay focused on franchisee profitability and work with them to continue to fuel our strong development pipeline, especially our momentum in the upscale segment and our strong core brands."
Patel grew up in the hotel industry and started his own business Athena Hospitality Group in Nashville, when he was 23 years old. He currently owns six open Choice properties, with another five hotels under development. His portfolio of open properties includes Comfort Inn hotels in Antioch(Nashville), Tenn., Lima, Ohio and Zachary, La.; a Comfort Suites hotel in Nashville; a MainStay Suites hotel in Brentwood, Tenn.; and a Quality Inn hotel in Franklin, Tenn. Patel was awarded Choice's prestigious Premier Legacy award in 2013, recognizing his commitment to enhancing the company's family of brands. He also is an active member in the community, including being involved with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.
"After having worked with Choice Hotels for many years, it truly is an honor to take part in this momentous occasion as Pat begins his new role as CEO," said Patel. "Choice offers a tremendous value proposition to franchisees and equips us with all of the tools and resources to be successful so that we can provide guests with the best possible experience and product. This includes brands in many different segments, including midscale and upscale, which I'm thrilled to own for the first time. I look forward to continuing to strengthen my relationship with the company, beginning with these two, new great Cambria and Comfort hotels in Nashville and New Orleans."
Cambria Hotel Nashville International Airport
Set to open in 2019, the 124-room property will be a short distance from Nashville International Airport and is located within one of the largest business parks in the area. Companies in the area include Dex Imaging, Apria Healthcare and the headquarters of Bridgestone Americas. The hotel, which will be the second Cambria property in the market, is also a short drive from downtown Nashville, "home of country music." The Cambria Hotel Nashville International Airport will include flexible meeting space, a business center, lobby lounge and state-of-the-art fitness center.
Comfort Inn & Suites – New Orleans Arts District
The 104-room hotel with 40 suites and three floors will be located in the Arts District of New Orleans and less than a mile from the French Quarter. The Arts District sits next to the Central Business District of the city and is walkable to many tourist attractions, including the Mercedes Superdome, National WWII Museum, Convention Center, Harrah's Casino, and Cruise Port.