City officials express optimism on hotel

Tony Parra

“It’s okay I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night,” is a popular advertising tool for Holiday Inn and soon you may be hearing it more often in Portales.
The wheels are in motion and the preliminary stages are being made to bring in a Holiday Inn Express (prototype), developer Tushar Patel said in a phone interview on Monday.
Patel said that they haven’t signed a contract with the city over purchasing the Hillcrest Hotel site location off Highway 70, but they plan on doing it in the next few weeks.
“We don’t have the process worked out yet and we haven’t come up with an exact time frame (on building the hotel),” Patel said. “We’re in the first stages right now.”
The Portales City Council agreed last week to allocate $61,000 toward the construction to the proposed 65-room hotel. At first Patel and other officials with TNJ Management/Inducement requested $124,000 to demolish and erect site utilities.
Patel and Mayor Orlando Ortega are in agreement that the city has completed its process; it’s now in the hands of Patel and TNJ Management/Inducement to get the logistics straightened out.
“At this time the developer is just tying up some loose ends,” Ortega said. “I think he felt comfortable (with) our offer.”
Patel would like to have the process of acquiring a franchise tag for Holiday Inn Express underway before the acceptance of the project becomes formal.
“We’ve already made our preliminary agreement (about the project) with the city,” Patel said. “We have to meet with our attorneys tomorrow about acquiring the Holiday Inn franchise tag.”
Patel said the company chose the Holiday Inn label because he had heard of the success Holiday Inn Express hotels have had in towns the size of Portales. He also said that in the next 60 days they (Patel and TNJ Management/Inducement) will be gathering information, such as the size of the property, utilities and architectural designs.
The early indications are that the Holiday Inn Express will have an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and exercise room.
Patel and city officials feel the hotel will flourish.
“We felt like a nice, quality property can be a successful business in Portales,” Patel said. “It will keep people in Portales instead of going to Clovis to look for a hotel.”