Ashwin “Ash” Patel entered the lodging industry in 1992 as a resident-manager and partner of a 54-unit Econo Lodge in Flagstaff, AZ. In 2004, he started Southwest Hospitality Management, LLC, with ownership interest in hotels that have affiliations with a variety of national chains, including Marriott, La Quinta Hotels, Choice Hotels, Wyndham Worldwide Hotels, Hilton Hotels, InterContinental Hotels, and Best Western International. Headquartered in Mesa, AZ, Southwest Hospitality Management provides both third-party and distressed-hotel management services, as well as investment opportunities through syndication.
Ash served as the President of the Flagstaff Innkeepers Association from December 1999 to June 2003. In 2003, he also became a member of the Franchise Advisory Committee for Days Inns of America, which represents 2,000 hotels and franchisees within the brand.
Ash has also served in various leadership roles within the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA). Beginning in 2003, he was elected as the Southwest Regional Director. In 2005, he was elected as an Officer and began a four-year succession to Chairman of the Board, beginning with Treasurer in 2005, Secretary in 2006, Vice Chairman in 2007, and Chairman in 2008/09. He also served as Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee and Chairman of the AAHOA PAC.
Southwest Hospitality Management Inc.
More than 1,700 hotels in the U.S. closed in spring 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of August, 1,200 were closed, reported Kalibri Labs. Meantime, 840 new hotels opened last year and 900 are on track to open this year, according to Lodging Econometrics. Episode 337 of Lodging Leaders explores the challenges owners faced in reopening closed hotels as well as what owners and operators did to ramp up business at hotels that were at such low levels of occupancy, they might as well have been closed. We also feature owners who opened new properties during the pandemic. One owner we interviewed opened two new hotels while doing what it took to keep his existing properties in business. This report is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
As America approaches the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on its homeland, Lodging Leaders explores the impact 9/11 had on the U.S. travel sector. We feature hotel industry leaders who were on duty that fateful day and can recall the shock of the attacks, how they cared for frightened guests and how the event changed hotel operations. They also draw parallels to the coronavirus crisis and remind listeners of the resiliency of the nation’s hospitality industry.