Hotel on schedule

Published 9:14 am Monday, April 18, 2011

Since securing financing earlier this year, the Hampton Inn construction is now on schedule thanks in part to ideal weather. Originally scheduled to open summer 2011, the hotel is now on schedule to open in early November. Above, Lamb Dozer Service owner Chester Lamb speaks with a worker.|Photo by Lisa Tindell

The skyline along U.S. 21 near I-65 continues to change as workers prepare to raise a four-story, 81-room Hampton Inn on two acres of the Rivercane development.

Dipan Patel, owner and partner with Key Hotels of Mobile is serving as overseer of the project owned by his family. He said construction crews are busily working to stay on schedule.

“The weather has been beautiful and we’re right on schedule,” Patel said Thursday. “We’ve only had two days of rain since we started so things are moving along nicely.”

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The property is one of several hotel’s owned by the Patel family throughout the region and will mark the second chain-style hotel in the area near I-65.

If construction stays on schedule Patel said he hoped to see the opening before Thanksgiving.

“We hope we don’t have any problems during the construction,” Patel said. “Hopefully we will be able to see opening before Thanksgiving.”

Patel said an early November opening would allow those coming to the area for the annual Poarch Creek Indians Thanksgiving Pow Wow an option in lodging for that event.

Ground for the facility was broken last month with owners and city dignitaries on hand to throw around some dirt. That groundbreaking event was delayed by as many as eight months due to financing concerns faced by the Patels.

The site for the hotel is situated on just over two acres of the 643-acre Rivercane development near I-65. The property for the newest Hampton Inn for the area was purchased just over two years ago by Raman and Savita Patel at a price tag of $884,000.

Construction for the project is being managed by LandStar Construction of Mississippi. Aaron Kaehr is serving as construction/site manager for the work being done to build the facility.

Kaehr said in an earlier interview that actual framing work for the rising building will begin around June 1, depending on weather conditions. Concrete should begin to be poured sometime during the upcoming couple of weeks.

Lamb’s Dozier Service of Atmore has been working with Kaehr on initial dirt hauling and dozer work during these early phases of the construction process.

The hotel is expected to employ up to 30 workers once operations begin. The facility will have amenities such as meetings rooms and a swimming pool for guests and visitors. The group also expects to offer shuttle services for customers to area points of interest.

Construction cost for the new Hampton Inn including the purchase of land will be approximately $6 million, according to Patel. The operations will see an additional flow of tax revenue to the City of Atmore through lodging and sales taxes since it is situated in the city-owned Rivercane development.