033 | Attitude Decides the Latitude in Life with Hemant Patel


Hemant “Henry” Patel CHO CHA was born and raised in India, and he immigrated to the United States in 1986. Within a few short years, he and his wife settled in Miami, Florida, where they invested in their first property – The King Motel – an independent property on Biscayne Blvd. He also has an interest in a franchised property and another one in the pipeline.

Hemant is a very active civic leader and community servant. He served AAHOA for many years, as a regional director, as Chairman in 2011, and on countless committees. He was the first Asian-American to become president of the Greater Biscayne Chamber of Commerce in 1996. In Miami, Hemant has served on many city boards, and he is an active board member of the Upper Eastside Miami Council, a strong and vibrant neighborhood advocacy group. He served as President of “Do the Right Thing,” an association which is part of the Miami Police Department and is designed to encourage leadership and good moral behavior in Dade-County public schools. Along with Mike Patel, Hemant traveled to India with former President Bill Clinton on an earthquake relief mission. In addition, Hemant received a community service award from former Congresswoman Carrie Meek in Miami.

In This Episode, Hemant Reveals:

  • How he bought his first property, and some of the challenges he faced as an hotel owner in that part of town.
  • The criticism he faced as a hotelier, and a Patel
  • How that experience as a hotelier led him to service within his community.
  • His mindset, and the differences he’s experienced running an independent property versus a franchised property.
  • Why it’s so critical for hotel professionals to get involved politically; to educate yourself on issues and legislation that could affect your businesses at a local, state and federal level.
  • His core philosophy of giving back, being of service, and enjoying what you do.

Resources & Links

  • 311 | Shelters From the Norm: Hotels used for hospitals and housing face unexpected problems

    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.

  • 310 | Hotels Convert to Housing: Federal COVID-19-relief funds fuel transactions

    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.

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