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.
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing the lodging industry to rethink health and wellness. Designers such as Blanche Garcia of B. Garcia Designs see this as an opportunity for hotels to revise their messaging beyond clean and safe by introducing wellness products and programs they can market and attract guests who want to feel good during their stay and return home feeling better than when they left. Those who promote healthy buildings as well as safe travel are exploring how implementing elements of wellness can be a cure for hotel businesses struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hotel industry.
She Has a Deal, a program that promotes women as hotel owners, last month minted several new investors through its inaugural pitch competition. Long Live Lodging examines what it took for the three women who comprise the team called Datcher to win the top prize of $50,000 in equity in a fund that would include their $27.4 million project proposed for downtown Detroit. Two additional projects proposed during the competition were selected to benefit from She Has a Deal’s first investment fund. Datcher’s winning formula as well as the other project proposals can be emulated as hotel developers and investors search for ways to fund upcoming projects that reduce investors’ risk while delivering a healthy return as the lodging industry navigates its way through the business downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.