Two new hotels coming to LaPlace

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Holiday Inn Express, independent planned near Interstate 10


Editor and Publisher

LAPLACE – Two more hotels near the Interstate 10 exit on Highway 51 are planned for the next year in LaPlace.

Jayce Patel, heading a family group making up Cajun Lodging LLC, currently owns and operates the Hampton Inn in LaPlace, and confirmed to L’Observateur that his group is already beginning the preliminary stages for a Holiday Inn Express, which will be located right behind the Hampton Inn.

Nimesh Hajari confirmed plans for an 80-unit hotel to be built next to the truck stop by Interstate 10 at the first LaPlace exit.

The Holiday Inn Express is already under construction, with fill dirt put on the site and settling.

Patel said it should take until March or April for the settling to finish, and then construction will begin. He expects the five-story, 80-room hotel to take between nine and 12 months to complete, and open for business in early 2008.

Patel operates Cajun Lodging with family members Kilin Patel and B.G. Patel, and this will be their fifth hotel, all in the Southeast Louisiana region.

The family began the Best Western in LaPlace in 1996, added the Hampton Inn in LaPlace in 2000, built a Best Western in Houma in 2001, and constructed a Red Lion hotel in Baton Rouge in 2003.

Patel said the Holiday Inn Express will be a limited service hotel, meaning there will be no restaurant.

&#8220The company contacted us about doing the Holiday Inn Express here since they felt there was a need for one in this market,” he said.

Patel said his company has managed to overcome the labor shortage in the region after Hurricane Katrina by contracting with a New Orleans company that brings Bolivian workers to the area for 11 months at a time.

&#8220We always prefer to hire local help and continue to try and do that,” he said. &#8220But with the labor situation the way it was, we heard about some hotels in New Orleans using this program and it has helped us. We pay the exact same wages and benefits to these workers, but we find that they are very reliable to always be at work since they know they will go back to Bolivia if they are not reliable.”

Hajari operates his business with Naresh Hajari and also is building his fifth hotel. He has other hotels in Houma, Thibodaux, Avondale and Baton Rouge.

He said the hotel may be flagged with a franchise name or may be independent, and will be located on 1.8 acres of land next to the truck stop just as you exit the interstate.

Construction will begin in two weeks and he hopes to be open for business by September or October of 2007.