Many hotels in the state of Washington are owned by a member of the Patel family from India. This family is tight-knit. They have a book that tells them who than can marry. Except for children born here, the parents and grandparents are alien residents of the United States. Put another way, the Patels are guests in America. Naturally we expect them to act in the best interests of the community. The question is: do they?
I have recently had bad experiences in Patel owned Hotels. While waiting to check in today at the Best West Hotel in Battle Ground, I was kicked out while eating breakfast. Normally when I am about to check in –in this instance waiting for authorization from WPR — the front desk allows me to use the computer and eat breakfast. Today one of the Patel family was quite angry that I was there. “That breakfast costs us money,” she said. Never mind that I’ve spent quite a lot of money at Best Western Hotels. On this morning it was hit the road.
A more troubling event happened to me in Walla Walla. The Patel-owned hotel there seems to be a different one each time I get into town. Yet each is run by a manager named Danny Patel.
In the course of events, this Danny Fellow was quite rude to me, even when told that I was to be late because of car trouble in a rented vehicle. He insisted that I pay for an extra day because I was missing the check-out time.
First off, “Danny” refused to tell me his last name. He had a card that said he was the manager – it read just “Danny.” He told me that everyone in Walla Walla knows hims as just “Danny.”
I said that I thought managers of hotels should put their full names on their card. Why wouldn’t he?
I found out more as I started investigating the “Patel” empire. Here’s what SOME sources say. The Patels start with a hotel and let it go bankrupt. Then they change the name of the hotel and start over again. This may be “legal” but it’s still a scam to me. Using the American system to make money at the expense of taxpayers.
Danny called the police on me. Said I was being rude. The sad policeman gave me a look, “here goes Danny again….” and nicely told me to leave.
Well. I imagine there’s going to more to this story. I’ll certainly visit the hotels, and have other journalists from WPR visit too. Maybe there’s nothing wrong going on here. But….a hotel manager who doesn’t print his real name?
MUCH MORE to follow. Tom Manoff and other reporters from WPR will be visiting hotels throughout the Northwest.