Ramesh Gokal is a 39-year veteran of the hospitality industry, with a recognized reputation in the areas of entrepreneurship, franchise leadership and mediation expertise. His diverse industry experience includes being an entrepreneur, owning developing and managing a diverse hotel portfolio, working as a brand president for the world’s largest hotel franchise company, Cendant, and selling commercial real estate as a licensed real estate broker in the southeast.
Mr. Gokal is certified as a mediator and listed on the franchising Panel of Neutrals of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution. Most recently he currently served as the Senior Vice President, Lodging & Franchising, for Kapoor and Kapoor Hospitality Consultants, Inc. and provided expertise in corporate and association transformation through strategic planning and supportive governance. Mr. Gokal also owns Plan B Solutions, a company offering mediation services to the lodging and franchising industry. He currently serves as President of PeachState Hospitality, LLC, a rapidly growing hotel management company.
A year ago, Darshan Patel, CEO of Hotel Investment Group in San Diego, California, was one of the first hoteliers in the U.S. to step up and offer properties to overwhelmed hospitals seeking places to care for COVID and non-COVID patients as well as vulnerable populations. As the crisis eases and Hotel Investment Group works to return the hotels to business, Patel is negotiating with local governments to pay for the wear and tear on the properties. Patel is not alone as many hoteliers are unexpectedly dealing with problems that state and local governments’ urgent decisions have created, including property damage, increased costs and eviction bans. This report is the second in a two-part series examining the pros and cons of opening hotels to alternative uses during the pandemic. It is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
Dhruv Patel, president of Ridgemont Hospitality, in October shared a bittersweet moment with his parents, Pravin and Sima Patel, when the family business sold the first motel that Pravin had built from the ground up more than 30 years ago. But they rest assured knowing it was the right decision because the 22-room property is being converted into affordable housing for military veterans at risk of homelessness. The transaction is among hundreds taking place across the U.S. as state and local governments work with non-profit agencies to create affordable housing solutions for vulnerable populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In Episode 310 Long Live Lodging reports on the financial and legal aspects of what it takes to convert a hotel into long-term housing. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.