Danny Patel is founder and CEO of PeachState Hospitality and founder of the American Pride Bank headquartered in Macon, Georgia. He served as the chairman of Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) in 2007 and has developed more than 50 franchised and independent hotels throughout the southeastern U.S.
How did you first get into the hospitality industry, and have there been any struggles along the way?
I kept meeting people who were successful in the hotel industry and so I did some research and decided this was for me. The business appeared to be simple to enter and certainly suited my cultural upbringing of treating guests with reverence. I started by acquiring my first hotel, a 16 room independent property located in Montezuma, Georgia.
Courtyard - Dallas
My focused nature and can do attitude has never allowed me to linger on hurdles or struggles. Like any industry, I have experienced ups and downs, but thanks to my constant family support and participation we have been able to come through unscathed from economic downturns.
What’s in the pipeline for PeachState Hospitality? Do you keep any particular criteria in mind when considering a project?
We start with seeking out good markets and great franchise partners. And we never progress on a project without commissioning, and following the results of, an independent third party feasibility study.
We currently have ten hotels under construction, which is the boldest move in our company’s history. We are working hard and looking forward to opening quality hotels and providing rewarding employment experiences for our associates.
Our 2020 Vision was to have 20 hotels in our portfolio. We will have reached that goal by the end of 2018. We just updated our strategic Vision 2021 which now sets our goal to 25 hotels by year end 2021. Our family’s younger generation is preparing to join our business and I expect that they will take us to even greater heights.
Residence Inn - Augusta
Tell me why community banking is important to you? What other causes are you involved in?
Our growth and success has always been supported by community banks. They have been our financial backbone in good times and not so good times. It just seemed natural that I would start a community bank myself and give back in some way by helping small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Fairfield Inn & Suites, Lithia Springs GA
I have passionately served my time at AAHOA and continue to do so in my capacity as a Past Chairman. I am also very passionate about giving back to my beloved roots in India.
What are your expectations for the market?
The market will be good for another couple of years; who knows after that? I do have confidence that no matter if and when the market slides, it will always come back. We just have to be resilient to ride the ups and the downs.
Do you have any advice you would give to others in the industry. Any secrets to success you’d like to share?
Working smart seems to be the advice of the day. My years have taught me that working hard and persisting in my beliefs have never let me down.
By Ashley Atkins