This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ribbon Cutting Comfort Suites

Comfort Suites has been open for business for about two months and on Thursday it had a ceremonial ribbon cutting and open house. A larger than normal group came for the ribbon cutting. It certainly was much larger than the group that posed for the ceremonial groundbreaking in August, 2015.
 After the ribbon was snipped by the owner's four-year-old son, the owner, Jatin Patel, gave a tour to anyone interested. The lobby has distinctive lighting fixtures and unlike many such lobbies, does not have a hallway balcony on the second floor.
 Off the lobby is a large breakfast nook. (The food on the table is for those who came to the ribbon cutting.)
 Off the breakfast area is the kitchen, similar to kitchens in many other hotels.
 Also off the lobby and screened from it is the business center at which people access the Internet and print boarding passes.
 The exercise room is small. This space is designed as a meeting room in many other Comfort Suites.
 Mr Patel wanted a much bigger meeting room that is standard for the franchise. It seats 30 or 40 people and was designed to be ideal for athletic teams that stay overnight before or after competing at SJC. It can be rented by members of the community or, if a group rents enough rooms, is a benefit of staying at the hotel.
 The standard room has two queen-sized beds.
 It also has a sleeper-sofa. I think everyone on the tour was impressed with how nice the rooms are.
 Below is the standard bathroom.
 There are some other room configurations. We were shown one of two rooms that is designed to be handicapped-accessible and one of two rooms that is especially large. Below is its bathroom with two sinks. The thought was that it would be ideal for a bridal room, a room in which a woman could prepare for her big day, perhaps spending the night with the brides-maids. It can also be used by anyone who wants an extra big hotel room.
I asked Mr Patel how does a new hotel get business. How do people know that it is open when it first opens? He said that he spent days on the phone with companies telling them that the hotel was there. The listing in the Comfort Suites website was also extremely important because so many people find rooms by searching the Internet. People also just stop at convenient intersections. Before they opened, they lighted the parking lot and a number of people stopped thinking that it was open. He said that having options at an intersection makes it more attractive for travelers, so his new hotel probably is not having a significant effect on the Holiday Inn Express, also at the intersection. I wondered if lack of options was a reason that businesses kept failing at the US 231/ I-65 intersection, but he said that the main problem there was the bad water. (The Patels at one time owned the Carson Inn at that intersection.)

Here is the hotel's Facebook page, here is the corporate site with info on the Rensselaer hotel, and here are some reviews from tripadvisor.com.

The Patels were their own contractor and did some of the construction work themselves. Because the family has a lot of experience in the hotel business (Jatin likes to tell about how when his parents went out of town when he was eight-years old, they left him with babysitters but he ran the motel, which is now the Interstate Motel a bit to the east), they knew some of the things they wanted to avoid and other things that they wanted to be sure to include. The hotel is a great addition to the intersection and to the Rensselaer community. It currently employs 22 people.

Still to be constructed is an outdoor swimming pool.

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