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Kantilal Patel.

Central Arkansas Motel Owner

KANTILAL Patel took advantage of the recession in the early 1980s to make a dramatic career change.

He was an industrial engineer for eight years with oil related companies in Texas. The downturn in the oil industry forced him to look elsewhere for work.

With no previous lodging experience, he bought the Continental Inn in Conway. He increased occupancy by 38 percent.

With the skills and income he acquired with his first motel, Patel built Conway's Economy Inn in 1986. It had a positive cash flow from the first month.

In 1990, he built Conway's Comfort Inn, which had a positive cash flow after two months. He also owns the Budget Inn in Russellville and is one-fourth owner of the Diamond Inn in Little Rock.

He will begin construction on a Days Inn in Conway in November. When the Days Inn opens nextspring, he'll direct ownership of 307 units from his office in Conway.

Patel says his key to success is to hire well-qualified managers for each motel and oversee their work.

Born in India, the 45-year-old Patel immigrated to England at age 12. He came to the United States in 1969 to attend Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where he received a degree in industrial engineering in 1974.

He and his wife have two daughters and a son.
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Title Annotation:Minorities in Leadership; Central Arkansas motel owner
Author:Smith, David (American novelist)
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Aug 16, 1993
Words:223
Previous Article:Deborah Robinson.
Next Article:Ada Hollingsworth.
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