Room with a view Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009
Finalist
Master

When a contractor walked off a job site in the early ’90s, leaving Bharat Patel with a partially finished hotel, unpaid subcontractors and liens, he could have let that stop him. But he didn’t; instead, he learned to read blueprints and took over the project himself.

Shortly thereafter, Patel founded Sun Development and Management Corp., intent on using his new skills to grow his company.

With the help of satisfied lenders and hotel guests from coast to coast, Sun has weathered the storms throughout the years, including three major recessions, and has emerged as a leader in its industry with 26 hotels and 2,800 rooms, and another 11 hotels and 1,650 rooms in development.

To be successful in the hospitality business, guest preferences must be incorporated into the engineering of new facilities, something Patel has found a way to do at a cost that is 15 to 20 percent below that of the competition.

By treating his employees as real assets of the company, he has put together a dedicated work force and management team that has the company positioned to capitalize on development opportunities in the upper tiers of its industry. Patel is convinced that by sticking to these ideals, he can continue to build quality hotels in high-barrier-to-entry markets while maintaining a strong balance sheet.

Patel is also quick to share his success with others, and he sponsors a child in Cry America and another in ChildReach. He has also become a major donor to Gram Seva, a child help organization that is based in Northbrook, Ill., but attends to the nutritional, medical and educational needs of impoverished children worldwide. He has also directed and paid for the renovation of his former high school in India and spent time helping the Peace Corps.

For More Information: Sun Development & Management Corp., www.sun-companies.com