‘First class' Holiday Inn scheduled to open in 60 days

August 11, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

A new $7 million hotel that will cater to upscale visitors is scheduled to open its doors in 60 days.

The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites is in the final phases of construction and will offer travelers the same comforts they have at home and have come to expect elsewhere, according to its owner, Nick Patel.

"It's first class," Patel said Friday as he led a tour through the three-story building, as workers installed electrical gear while others polished granite entryways in individual rooms.

The hotel will have 100 rooms, including 40 suites. There will be what Patel called "shotgun suites," meaning one-room suites, along with two-room suites and a presidential suite. The two-room suites will have fireplaces and Jacuzzis. Eleven rooms have balconies. Each suite will include a sofa and desk. Some will have laptop computers if feasible.


The presidential suite includes a big-screen television, a wet bar, a Jacuzzi, two sinks and the ability to use an adjacent room for additional guests.

"What's great about it is it overlooks the pool," Patel said.

All rooms will have a 32-inch television, high-speed Internet access, microwave ovens, a refrigerator, coffee-maker, ironing board and a small safe in each closet. The hotel is equipped with a high-efficiency energy-conservation system that detects the presence of people in the rooms both by motion and body heat. The windows are double-pane and include argon gas for better insulation.

The hotel will include two conference rooms that can be opened into one that accommodate up to 250 people. On the north side of the hotel is a swimming pool and grassy area for outdoor events. The facility includes a business center with Internet access, copy machines, computers and fax machines. A small boardroom houses video-conferencing equipment, and there is a small workout room.

A $20,000, 24-karat gold chandelier will overhang the lobby. Double-vestibule doors will act as an air lock in the lobby for energy efficiency. The hotel's approach has a waterfall.

"We're not cutting corners," Patel said.

He said the design is what one would find in places such as Beverly Hills and Hollywood.

Though the "express" design differs from a regular Holiday Inn in that it does not have a restaurant, Patel said he plans to bring a nationally known restaurant to the adjacent lot to the west of the Smoketree Drive and Fourth Street hotel.

Patel was asked why he would build such a luxurious hotel in this area.

"There's a market for it," he said, referring to a feasibility study conducted prior to construction. "I want to make sure the customer gets what he pays for. It's oriented toward business clients and their needs."

The hotel is expected to draw families and those in the Valley for extended stays.

Patel said the Holiday Inn will not compete with the Motel 6 across the street because they draw different customers.

The average size of the rooms is 400 square feet, with the smallest being 350.

El Centro Mayor Pro Tem Larry Grogan said the new facility will be good for the city and the large conference room will be quite busy.

"It looks like it's an impressive structure," he said. "It'll add to El Centro's skyline."

Grogan said the hotel will provide for those currently not being served.

"I think it's going to be a well-used facility," he said. "It'll be a nice upgrade."

The hotel will create 20 full-time equivalent jobs.

"Our goal is to get as many employed as possible," Patel said.

The facility meets American With Disabilities Act requirements.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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