051 | Pratik Bhakta for AAHOA Secretary


Pratik Harishchandra Bhakta is a second generation hotelier and multi-property owner.  He has served as a Board Member for the Days Inn Franchise Advisory Committee, AAHOA North Carolina Regional Ambassador, and AAHOA North Carolina Regional Director. Pratik earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1994.

The son of Harishchandra Jivanji Bhakta and Manjula H. Bhakta, Pratik was born in Gujarat, India in 1971 and is from the village of Ghaluda. He immigrated with his family to the United States in 1978, and settled in New Jersey. In 1984, he and his family moved to Candler, NC (a suburb of Asheville). He graduated from Enka High School in 1990 and later graduated in 1994 from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. While working towards his master’s degree in 1995, his father’s health started deteriorating while constructing their 49-unit Days Inn. Pratik left his graduate studies to finish oversee the construction and fulfill his duties to his family by assuming the family business in the hospitality industry.After his father’s death in 2003, Pratik earned his real estate license in North Carolina. His father was an inspiration to him and constantly drove him to succeed. Pratik considers his father his hero and his mentor to this day.

In the spring of 2007, Pratik was elected to the Days Inn Franchise Advisory Committee (FAC). That year, AAHOA also launched the Ambassador program and Pratik was part of the inaugural ambassador class. He would continue his roles with the Days Inn FAC and the AAHOA ambassador program for the next four years.

Pratik is passionate about fairness in the lodging industry. Whether at the local, state, or federal level regarding politics or franchising, he is a big advocate of hoteliers. He feels fairness is a right, and hotel owners need to continue to be vigilant in preserving that right. Pratik was elected to the AAHOA Board in 2012, so he is currently in the fourth year of his 2nd term. He has served on various AAHOA committees including membership, franchise & industry, bylaws-governance, & strategic planning.

He currently resides in Asheville, N.C. with his mother, his wife, Yamini, their daughter, Saajana, and son, Aashiq.

Pratik is one of three candidates running for the AAHOA Secretary position in the upcoming Board of Directors election. I’m featuring interviews with all three candidates, asking each the same questions, to give the Lodging Leader listeners a sneak peak into where they stand on key issues facing our industry, and an opportunity to see a side of them you might not see elsewhere.

In This Episode, Pratik Talks About:

  • His current role on the board, how long he has served, and why AAHOA is important to him.
  • Leadership and what he feels makes an effective leader.
  • Legislative awareness, how laws at the local, state and federal level can drastically impact our businesses, and his plan to encourage proactive participation by our industry professionals.
  • Relationships with franchisors, the need for more balanced franchised agreements, and how he plans to address accountability for the Franchisors.
  • The committees he has served on with AAHOA, which one he is most proud of, and why.
  • Vendors, the integral part they play in AAHOA’s financial stability, and his plan to strengthen relationships with them.
  • The challenges AAHOA has faced over the last couple years that threw the association into the spotlight, and what he did during this time to uncover the truth and make sure that AAHOA was protected.

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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