By Sarah Robinson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Construction is progressing as planned on the pair of hotels being financed by developer Bruce Patel of Fusion Hospitality.
The two North Gloster properties will add another 200 hotel rooms to the Tupelo market.
The site that was most recently occupied by a Howard Johnson Inn will now hold two hotels. Slated to open in June, the Candlewood Suites will offer 79 suits each equipped with a kitchenette for extended stay travelers. The full service Holiday Inn next door should open in late September or early October. Built on the footprint of the old Holiday Inn, the new facility will have 121 rooms and suites.
Patel said the state-of-the art hotel will have a number of high end features including 2,800 square feet of meeting space, an indoor pool, lobby atrium and a new bar and restaurant.
The Holiday Inn also will feature a full service restaurant. The Grata Gill, according to Patel, is “going to be nice, upper scale.”
The Old Venice Tupelo owner said he hired consultants to help with the design as well as the menu. The bar will extend into the lobby atrium. Patel hopes the restaurant will draw street traffic as well as serve hotel guests.
“When you build, you build the best,” Patel said. The two new hotels will be the the fifth and sixth owned by Patel in Tupelo.
He said much of his success at other properties is driven by businesses like North Mississippi Medical Center and the successful efforts of the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau to bring in overnight guests.
Patel opened the Comfort Inn on McCullough Boulevard on Jan. 30. The 50-room hotel is on the site formerly occupied by Microtel.
Patel said his next big project will be a 121-room Courtyard by Marriott in Oxford. He plans to break ground in June of this year and complete the project in June 2014. Barry Patel with Shanti Construction is building the two Tupelo hotels. Tupelo has approximately 1,900 hotel rooms.
According to Tupelo CVB, the city’s average hotel occupancy rate is 58.7 percent from March 2011 to February 2012.