ROCKVILLE, Md.—Pat Pacious marked his first day as president and chief executive officer of Choice Hotels International, Inc. by signing franchise agreements with long-time Choice franchisee Jay Patel for a new Cambria Hotels property in Nashville, Tenn., and a Comfort Inn & Suites hotel in New Orleans.
The Cambria Hotel in Nashville will become Patel’s first upscale hotel with Choice. He is also signing a new construction franchise agreement for a Comfort Inn & Suites property in New Orleans. Patel has owned Choice branded properties for nearly two decades in several segments, including economy, midscale, upper midscale, and now upscale.
“As customer demand increases and our brands grow, it’s vitally important that franchisees grow with us and help us fortify Choice Hotels. Jay is truly a member of the Choice family, and the perfect example of an owner that started with us and continues to expand his portfolio,” said Pacious. “I am thrilled to start my tenure as CEO by signing these franchise agreements for the Cambria and Comfort brands. It reinforces my commitment to stay focused on franchisee profitability and work with them to continue to fuel our strong development pipeline, especially our momentum in the upscale segment and our strong core brands.”
Patel grew up in the hotel industry and started his own business—Athena Hospitality Group—in Nashville, when he was 23 years old. He currently owns six open Choice properties, with another five hotels under development. His portfolio of open properties includes Comfort Inn hotels in Antioch (Nashville), Tenn., Lima, Ohio, and Zachary, La.; a Comfort Suites hotel in Nashville; a MainStay Suites hotel in Brentwood, Tenn.; and a Quality Inn hotel in Franklin, Tenn. Patel was awarded Choice’s prestigious Premier Legacy award in 2013, recognizing his commitment to enhancing the company’s family of brands, and is a member of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.
“After having worked with Choice Hotels for many years, it truly is an honor to take part in this momentous occasion as Pat begins his new role as CEO,” said Patel. “Choice offers a tremendous value proposition to franchisees and equips us with all of the tools and resources to be successful so that we can provide guests with the best possible experience and product. This includes brands in many different segments, including midscale and upscale, which I’m thrilled to own for the first time. I look forward to continuing to strengthen my relationship with the company, beginning with these two, new great Cambria and Comfort hotels in Nashville and New Orleans.”
Photo (from left to right): David Pepper, chief development officer, Choice; Pat Pacious, president and CEO, Choice; Jay Patel, owner, Athena Hospitality Group; and Reena Patel (Credit: Tony Powell)