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Hotel registers change

January 23, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- A Hagerstown hotel purchased at a foreclosure auction last summer has changed to a lower-priced franchise affiliation.

The hotel at 1101 Dual Highway had been a Quality Inn. This month, it became an Econo Lodge Inn & Suites.

Choice Hotels International owns both of those hotel brands and several others.

Raj Patel of Hagerstown said Wednesday that he and his brother-in-law, Bipin Patel, bought the Quality Inn at a foreclosure auction in July 2008.

They paid $1,712,500 and the deed was transferred on Aug. 13, 2008, according to Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation records.

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Raj Patel, who also owns the Microtel Inn and Suites hotel off Maugans Avenue, said he and his brother-in-law are investing about $500,000 to revamp the Econo Lodge.

If the hotel had stayed a Quality Inn, which has different standards, the renovations would have cost at least $1 million, Patel said.

Choice Hotels International spokesman Rocco Loverro described Quality Inn as a "mid-market brand," while Econo Lodge is more economical.

In the first three quarters of 2008, the average room rate was $72.08 for a Quality Inn and $55.65 for an Econo Lodge, Loverro said.

Raj Patel said he's making the Dual Highway hotel more affordable because of the difficult economy.

As part of the renovations, the number of rooms was cut from 76 to 70. Two rooms were turned into jacuzzi suites, he said.

Patel said the Microtel Inn, which he built eight years ago, has 53 rooms.

He said he kept his eye on the Quality Inn over the years as he rode past on the way to karate classes.

When the property went up for auction, he and his brother outbid other prospective buyers. He said they relied on financing from Adams County National Bank.

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