After studying and working in many other hotel chains, Neil Pandya started the planning process to build his hotel in early 1999. He signed a contract with Microtel in early 2000, and was opened and ready for business on March 1, 2001. The hotel contains 11 suites, 30 doubles, and 23 single units.
Before receiving SBA financing, Pandya who was in his mid-20s, was turned down by many banks due to his age. He persevered, believing that if he were self-employed he would not have to work as hard as he had in the past. That did not turn out to be the case in the early days, though.
It has been only recently that he has been able to step back, he said. Even today he does much of the work, including bathroom cleaning. He has no employees, but contracts out for work he does not do himself, Pandya said.
He said the business has not adversely affected his personal life because he has a great wife who has been very supportive. He attributes his success to hard work and doing "whatever it takes."
His advice to someone thinking about going into business: "Have all your ducks lined up, family, financial, etc. Be prepared, it's not as easy as you think."