The Hampton Inn at 4355 Frontage Road is the second hotel owned by Vision Hospitality Group Inc., of Chattanooga.
The hotel development and management company opened Fairfield Inn & Suites on Westside Drive in 2008 and manages Comfort Inn & Suites on Interstate Drive N.W.
Scott Taylor is the general manager of the 97-room hotel. He moved to Cleveland in 1997 and has been employed with Vision Hospitality Group for five years as manager of the Fairfield. He transferred to the Hampton Inn in October while it was still under construction.
He said staff opened the hotel six days after it was turned over to them in January. In the first month, the hotel finished ninth in occupancy and customer service among 1,883 Hampton Inns and Hampton Inns & Suites in the world.
Steve Crabill, Hampton Inn vice president of Franchise Development for the Southeast Region, said each property Vision Hospitality Group builds is better than the one before.
“They are my favorite franchise group of all the ones I work with,” he said. “The first month, this hotel exceeded 100 percent of fair market share in Cleveland and last week, I think it was 122 percent. If anybody here wants to get into the hotel business, these guys can teach you how to do it.”
Taylor said, “We put the hotel together in six days. It was a quick turnaround and what you see today is what they did behind the scenes,” he said. “Before the evening is over, you’ll know what ‘Hamptonality’ is all about.”
The $8.5 million Hampton Inn increases the number of hotel rooms in the city to about 1,830, according to figures from the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. Eighteen hotels hold membership in the business organization. The new hotel follows less than a year behind the new Holiday Inn Express, which opened in June 2012.
Ish Patel opened one family-owned hotel in Cleveland in the late 1970s.
Vision Hospitality Group was formed in 1995 with his two sons, Mitchell and Aman. Since then, the company has grown to more than 700 employees. The new hotel increases the company’s portfolio to 20 properties from Indiana to Atlanta, with six more in the pipeline.
Southeast Bank and Southern Heritage Bank provided financing for the local hotel.
Sandra Gurgone, corporate director of sales and marketing, presented a $5,000 check to the Rotary Club of Cleveland and a check for $1,300 to Kristy Smith, the wife of an assistant general manager.
“Vision Hospitality Group celebrates the opening of each hotel with a tradition of giving back to the community. We select a cause and make a donation to that organization,” she said. “Kristy has an opportunity to go on a mission to Honduras with her church. She really wanted to do this, and felt very strong about helping an orphanage in rural Honduras. There are about 600 children living in this facility. They are orphaned by parents who have succumbed to horrible diseases such as AIDS or who have fallen victim to the ever growing violence plaguing that region.”
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said, “When I knew the Patels were involved in the beautiful new Hampton Inn, I knew it would be first quality,” he said. “Everybody knows everything thing they’ve done is first quality — not just what they produce, but the family as well.”
Rowland said Ish Patel called him when he and his wife, Sandra, were involved in a serious car accident.
“That meant so much to me because you called just to hear my voice, as you said, and to see how I was. On a personal note, I appreciate you and your entire family.”
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis also welcomed the Patel family again to the community.
“Ish, Mitchell, Aman and all the family, thank you for your continued commitment to Cleveland and Bradley County,” he said. Then in jest, he said, “I’m sorry the city of Cleveland’s weather is so inclement, but just across the hill, outside the city limits, the sun is still shining.”