BY JENNIFER BAILEY
The Danville Inn & Convention Center, formerly Ramada Inn, off Lynch Road is being transformed again.
The hotel at 388 Eastgate Drive is now a Motel 6.
Owner Joe Patel, with his wife Tina, had a grand opening Wednesday for the first phase of hotel renovations. They have owned the hotel for four and a half years.
“We are excited,” Tina said.
They hope future guests at the hotel have a good experience.
“We provide a decent rate to the local community, travelers and visitors,” Joe said about the room rates starting at around $44 a night.
About 38 hotel rooms have been updated of the approximately 120 total rooms
The main building, where the front desk and lobby, bar and banquet space had been, is closed for the time being. Patel hopes to entice a restaurant to come to the property, such as a Denny’s, and he wants to re-open the building again for banquets.
A new office and lobby area is now located in one of the hotel room buildings to the right of the former main building. This is the only renovated building so far, which includes new windows.
“We are doing it in phases,” Joe said about the renovations. “We’ve worked hard to get the job done right.”
The 38 renovated rooms have new bathrooms and shower facilities, in addition to televisions and free WiFi. Some also have king beds and pull-out couches. The indoor pool, with a hot tub, will open soon. There also is a fitness room.
Joe Patel said the couple wanted to be a Motel 6 hotel because Motel 6 has the lowest rates compared to other national franchises.
“I like their concept,” Joe said, about Motel 6 offering good prices for guests.
The hotel has six staff members. They are still hiring more people, Tina Patel said.
Ward 7 Alderman Steve Foster, who set up the business’ website, said the hotel serves a local function including to house construction crews and other business persons.
Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said he was “so excited to see the lights on,” referring to Motel 6’s motto of “We’ll leave the light on for you.”
Chris Bolt, manager, franchise operations for Motel 6, said “we’re excited to have the property join” Motel 6 franchisees. Bolt said it will be a “new adventure,” with the site and Motel 6 working together.
It was just last fall when the city shut down the hotel due to life and safety issues. Danville Urban Services Director David Schnelle said the issue in October was the hotel’s fire alarm system was not working properly.
The hotel complied with all city code requirements last year, Schnelle said.
Joe Patel said the fire alarm system wasn’t hooked up to the fire department.
The hotel property has continued to have problems, and others have also started renovations, on and off for the last several years. Last summer, Eisenhauer said a liquor license was withheld for the Danville Inn & Convention Center pending construction to re-open and the city issuing a certificate of occupancy.
The Danville Inn & Convention Center renewed its liquor license and was approved, but due to recent remodeling and not selling alcohol yet, the license was to be released upon final code enforcement inspection.
Building permits had been issued and window replacements and other work was being completed.
Schnelle said the city conducts annual inspections of hotels and motels in the city with the annual hotel/motel licenses. A city inspection recently occurred.
The hotel can’t have a license to operate until its inspection is passed, Schnelle said. The hotel also now must meet Motel 6 standards and guidelines.
More information about the hotel can be found at the website http://danvilleinncc.com.