Guests at the Supertel Inn and Conference Center can expect to see some changes in the near future as new owners, Jalpesh “Jay” Patel, and his wife, Sonal, make adjustments and updates to amenities.
But not too soon, said Patel. He’s working on updating website information with sites like Expedia and Priceline, as well as setting the hotel up on social media before addressing updates to amenities like the hotel’s continental breakfast offerings.
“I’m hoping within a month or two I’ll be settled down,” said Patel, “then I’ll have enough time to look around and change things.”
He is also testing the waters and will be adjusting the room rates because he said he feels $100 a night is too high for a hotel in this area, and he’ll be working with Susan Miller on coming up with a reasonable rate for events in the conference hall.
He is grateful for Miller, he said, who has taken over as a manager of sorts because of her experience and added she has helped him get through the trials and bumps of taking over and running a hotel.
Patel, who is originally from India, has been living in the United States for 17 years. He has a master’s degree in electrical engineering. When he moved to America and started a family, he gave up engineering and went into business in Tennessee, where he owns some retail business and other income properties.
He said he decided about a year ago that he wanted to get into the hospitality business. After looking at the numbers and seeing the potential, they purchased the Supertel Inn and Conference Center in October, packed up their two daughters, Ami and Mahi (Ah-me and Mah-he), and moved to Creston.
“People are so nice and so friendly and so helpful, too,” Patel said about the people he has met in Creston.
Unfortunately, he lost some employees when he took over, but said he understands that sometimes happens with changes in ownership.
“I told my employees, ‘I’m not going to change anything because you’re used to doing things the way old management told you to do it. I’m learning too. I want to be with you, so I’m learning how you guys are doing it. I’m not going to make a change until I understand the whole system,’” Patel said.
Among the changes he has planned is a remodel slated to begin in early 2019. If, after two or three years, the hotel is doing well, he would like to bring in a franchise such as AmericInn.
“If I try to talk to the AmericInn to come into this location, they’re going to require a lot of updates. That’s my plan. To keep my property updated so when they come, there’s not a lot left to be done. I know they will want certain stuff a certain way, and we can change it. That’s my plan in two or three years.”
Supertel Inn and Conference Center was built in 2006 and features a large conference hall, 41 guest rooms, a fitness room and other amenities. Patel said the biggest draw for guests to Supertel is that it is quiet and they won’t be disturbed by the early comings and goings of other guests.