By Arnie Gonzalez
The Brownsville Herald
Dan Patel, a resident of South Padre Island for two years, is no stranger to
the hotel business, being involved in it for 20 years.
He has successfully run the Howard Johnson Inn & resort, 1709 Padre Blvd,
South Padre Island, since 1999, along with Paul Desai and Ramachandran Raju.
Patel, has currently branched out into the Brownsville area, recently
finishing the construction of the Palace Inn Motel, 7364 Padre Island Highway,
in Brownsville, in December. The motel opened on June 3.
The motel has a 44-room capacity, including handicap facilities and eight of
the rooms are Jacuzzi suites.
Because Patel has been in the hotel/motel business, people may wonder, what is
it about this particular industry that keeps his interest.
It is a family business, and I enjoy being involved in public relations. You
are able to see people from all over the world, Patel said.
Patel is originally from Gujarat, India. He then ventured off, and spent seven
years in London, England, where he finished his high school and college
Patel continued his education, receiving his Bachelors of Finance in East
Texas, at the Texas A&M University, in Commerce, and then moved to a suburb on
the outskirts of Dallas, where he opened up some of his first motels.
Since 1985, on and off, the summers have brought Patel to South Padre Island
to enjoy the warm climate and the friendly company of the locals, trying to
take a break from a sometimes rigorous schedule.
People are more friendly here. This is the ideal weather its sometimes
hot, but it is better to have the warm weather than the cold, Patel said.
That is what got Patel to eventually bring his business down to South Padre
Island, and now Brownsville.
The main reasons for choosing that particular location in Brownsville, was
that the area is developing very well, and there were no other hotels there,
Opening a Motel in Brownsville has not been difficult. We have experience in
this type of business, and it wasnt that bad. Our biggest challenge is
maintaining the quality of the property. We like to have nice clean facilities
for our guests, Patel continued.
Patels current project is a new Palace Inn motel, that is going to be located
right across from the new Sams Wholesale Club off Alton Gloor Blvd.