066/17/2011 – Tony Britt, Lake City Reporter
Comfort Suites Hotel of Lake City is the recipient of the APEX Award for property excellence as the 2010 Rookie of the Year Award by Choice Hotels.
The hotels co-owners, Nick Patel and PJ Patel, and staff received the award Tuesday evening from a Choice Hotelsrepresentative.
We are proud of this hotel,Nick Patel said. When we created this hotel in 2009 we definitely wanted to create a different type of hotel very upscale and contemporary in design. I think the award speaks for itself. The customers have spoken and after almost a year in operation, we can see that the guest satisfaction scores have gone really high. Receiving this award simply makes me feel proud that we did the right thing. Definitely we’re proud of our employees and the performance of the hotel./p>
Patrick Lewis, Choice Hotels and Brand Performance consultant for Florida, said the award recognizes new properties in the Choice Hotels group. He also noted that there are 700 Comfort Suites hotels that are active, and the Lake City Comfort Suites ranked in the top-10 nationally.
This hotel in Lake City won for the Southeastern United States for a new construction build,he said, noting the local hotel was competing against more than 200 hotels in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. The award is for hotels that have had a fantastic start, gotten involved in the community and performed well in their market. They were able to score some of the highest guest satisfaction scores that our industry is measuring. This is by far one of the nicest Comfort Suites we have in our system nationwide./p>
Comfort Suites will be two-years old in January.
Data from January to June was used as award criteria, with guest satisfaction surveys, revenue per available rooms, training and certification requirements tabulated into the scores.
The award was initially given to Choice Hotels Intl group representatives at the company’s regional meeting in Jacksonville a few weeks ago. Lewis accepted the award on behalf of the local hotel.
Nick Patel said he and PJ Patel never thought the hotel would be listed in the top-10 Comfort Suites nationally as a rookie hotel.
We never thought we would do this good,he said. In fact, we always underestimated ourselves and we thought there were others that do a better job than us, but hey it’s always good to see that we’ve done a very good job. I think the hotel definitely has changed the landscape of the exit and I think when customers speak they are right. We are definitely proud of this.»