— CUMBERLAND — A ground breaking ceremony was held to mark the beginning of the construction phase for a new $8.5 million Holiday Inn Express in LaVale between Wesley Avenue and National Highway.
The site for the new hotel can also be described as being located beside D’Atri’s Restaurant, a landmark in LaVale since 1976.
The Allegany County commissioners, Del. Kevin Kelly, officials from banking, business and commercial building converged on the site Wednesday to participate in the ground breaking ceremony.
“I’ve always wanted to bring an upper scale hotel here,” said Umesh Patel, owner of the new Holiday Inn Express.
The new hotel will have 60 rooms and 27 suites for a total of 87 rooms. It will also include a pool, fitness center, meeting and board rooms and a great room.
Patel’s journey from India to England, and then the U.S. in 1979, is the classic immigrant’s story. “I had $100 in my pocket when I came here. I started in Kingwood, W.Va. in 1981. I have always loved the area,” said Patel. Patel is also the owner of six businesses in the region, including the Super 8 motel on National Highway and the Days Inn and Suites in Frostburg. “It’s spectacular for the area. Between the county and local government and the business community, a lot of people came together to make it happen,” said Kelly. The road to bring the new Holiday Inn Express has been a long one. Patel has been trying to put the deal together since 2008.
“We were two signatures away from closing the deal in 2008,” said Patel.
Each time the deal didn’t materialize, Patel, his attorney Bill Trozzo, and officials Mark Malec and Sandy Mehalko of Frostburg State University’s Small Business and Technical Development Center continued to work on making the deal happen.