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.
Lodging Econometrics has tracked the hotel industry since 1998. Its global database includes new-hotel pipelines as well as renovations and brand conversions. Hotel franchisers once eager to launch new brands are focused on converting existing hotels because it’s a faster way to recover revenue lost to the COVID-19 pandemic than through new construction. In Episode 346, Lodging Leaders explores the increasing number of conversions in the U.S. hotel industry and what owners and operators need to consider before repositioning an asset.
In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., financiers anticipated a swell of distressed hotel businesses. Some raised rescue funds to respond to what they thought was a pending crisis. Though there are financial rescues taking place, the level of such activity is far below what industry advisers and fund managers expected. Commercial real estate investors positioned to act in the early days of the pandemic held off and are now just beginning to unleash their cash hoards totaling billions of dollars. Episode 345 of Lodging Leaders podcast explores the state of capital investment in the hotel industry.