Rome hotelier Anil Patel has confirmed plans to build a new 81-room Fairfield Inn and Suites at the intersection of East First Street and Turner McCall Boulevard.
Patel also operates the Country Inn and Suites and Holiday Inn Express hotels off U.S. 411 East in Rome.
Martin Real Estate currently owns the downtown property, and Patel has an option to purchase it.
He hopes to have the property ready by the end of 2013. “We’re still working on the architectural designs,” Patel said. “I’ve got an architect and engineer working on how we can lay that property out to make it fit our needs. We’re still in the very preliminary stages at this moment.”
There had been hushed rumors about the site for several weeks, with speculation that the hotel would be constructed.
The Fairfield Inn and Suites is a limited-service chain owned by the Marriott Corp.
“There would not be a restaurant on site. We would do breakfast in the morning, just like the two we have,” Patel said.
He called the downtown location one of the most visible, busiest intersections in Rome.
“That’s a pretty central location, not too far from downtown. I think people could actually walk to the restaurants if they wished,” Patel said.
Patel said he sought a Fairfield franchise to go with his Holiday Inn and Country Inn& Suites as a result of a feasibility study conducted by Marriott officials in Rome five or six years ago.
“They did not feel like Rome was the market that they were looking for a Courtyard to be built, so that’s why I went with the Fairfield Inn and Suites,” Patel said.
“Having the Marriott Fairfield brand so centrally located will increase travelers who look for Marriott as a destination to visit due to a strong loyalty program,” said Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Lisa Smith.
“Additional rooms will increase our ability to host larger
groups for conferences and sporting events. Many times, we are unable to place a bid due to the room requirements specified in the request for proposal. Product devel-
opment is imperative for Rome and Floyd County in order to remain competitive with other cities in the tourism marketplace.”
Assistant City Manager Sammy Rich said that he thinks Patel’s new property will be a good project for the community.
“The question is, obviously, what impact does this have on our West Third Avenue (hotel) project?” Rich said. “I hope it will complement what we’re trying to do. It certainly puts an underutilized piece of property in a much better place.”
Rich also said that the Fairfield Inn and Suites would be an asset for the effort to improve the appearance of highway corridors coming into downtown Rome.
Rich said the latest data he has indicates the intersection has a traffic count in excess of 32,000 vehicles daily.
Patel said he feels confident that Rome both needs and can handle an 81-unit property in the downtown community.
“I think (the economy) is headed the right direction,” Patel said. “When I approached Marriott several months ago they were very excited to work with me.”
Patel has been active on the Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors and the local Hospitality Association.