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.
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.