Two hotels costing a combined $16 million will rise on East Interstate 40 in a market that showed strong, hail-aided occupancy in 2013.
Hoteliers Dipak and Sangita Patel plan construction of a Hampton Inn & Suites and a Holiday Inn with a restaurant and convention space on a 12.5 acre site between The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Auction Drive.
The hotels will cover about half the site, leaving the remaining acreage available for future development.
The Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn properties will be the second and third hotel projects launched since last fall, when another husband-and-wife hotel duo, Jayanti Nathu and Mina Patel, started construction a $6.2 million Home2 Suites by Hilton on West Amarillo Boulevard.
Amarillo’s hotel market sold 1.4 million rooms in 2013, a 7.8 percent increase over 2012, said Jan Freitag, vice president of STR, a travel research firm that tracks the industry.
The market experienced three percent and two percent year-over-year increases in 2012 and 2011, according to STR statistics.
Freitag acknowledged the record May 28 hailstorm that filled rooms with insurance adjusters and roof and construction contractors could skew the figures.
The average occupancy in the Amarillo market last year was 61.7 percent, a 5 percent gain over 2012, Freitag said.
“You’re selling six rooms out of 10 every night,” Freitag said. “And there are some months where it’s really, really strong. In June, (occupancy) was 82 percent; July, 75 percent; August, 72 percent.
“The number hotel developers pay attention to, the revenue per available room, was $43.47 — up 7.4 percent.”
Holiday Inn parent company InterContinental Hotel Group sought a franchisee for a second full-service Holiday Inn in Amarillo after the brand of the former Holiday Inn at Interstate 40 and Ross Street changed to a Clarion Hotel, Dipak Patel said.
A Hampton Inn in the same area also was rebranded, leaving a Hampton franchise available from Hilton Worldwide, he said.
The city of Amarillo is close to issuing a building permit for the four-story, 89,000-square-foot Hampton Inn at 7777 E. Interstate 40, city Building Official Scott McDonald said.
Construction should begin in March, Dipak Patel said.
The 127-room property is slated to open in the first quarter of 2016, Hilton Worldwide spokeswoman Tiffany Wilson said.
The city building safety department also has received preliminary information about the planned Holiday Inn, McDonald said.
Dipak Patel said construction plans still are being finalized for that hotel, which will contain about 130 rooms and a meeting room large enough to accommodate 200 people.
Dipak Patel said he hopes to begin the Holiday Inn construction in April.
Last spring, Dipak and Sangita Patel completed a $16-million hospitality triple-play with the opening of a Candlewood Suites Amarillo, a Staybridge Suites Amarillo and a Comfort Suites — all at the Western Crossing shopping center at Interstate 40 and Western Street.
The couple also owns the Holiday Inn Express Amarillo East Airport on East Interstate 40.
The Home2 Suites in progress will expand the hotel portfolio of Nathu and Patel to four.
The couple has built and opened three hotels in the past six years: A Sleep Inn & Suites at 6915 W. Interstate 40, the Fairfield Inn & Suites Amarillo Airport at East Interstate 40 and Airport Boulevard, and the full-service Holiday Inn West Medical Center at 8231 W. Amarillo Blvd., an Intercontinental Hotels Group property.
The Holiday Inn West Medical Center is adjacent to the Home2 Suites construction site.