By Erin Steele and Jeff Williams
Killeen Daily Herald
Faced with a growing local economy, Sam Patel saw an opportunity for another top-tier hotel in Killeen.
I wanted to build the best, said Patel, one of three partners in the new venture. It is a different caliber hotel than what we have in Killeen right now.
Patel and his partners, Nick Patel his brother and Kam Patel no relation will build a Hilton Garden Inn after receiving a $3 million building permit last week from the city of Killeen for the construction of the hotel.
The hotel will have shotgun suites oversized rooms like two-bedroom suites, he said. It will have a full-size bar, restaurant and meeting facility.
Patel added that half the hotel will have the larger suites.
The new hotel will be at 2704 O.W. Curry Drive, next to the Hampton Inn at 2702 O.W. Curry Drive and behind the Applebees on Central Texas Expressway.
Sam Patel, a Killeen resident since 1980, said the plans are identical to the Garden Inn in Temple, but the Killeen version will have 102 rooms, compared to the 130-room, $12 million project in Temple at 1749 Scott Blvd., which opened in early 2004.
Sam Patel and his partners also own the Hampton Inn at 2702 O.W. Curry Drive and the Comfort Inn at 2506 Trimmier Road.
The Hilton Hotels Corp. develops, owns, manages or franchises approximately 2,300 hotels, resorts and vacation ownership properties around the world, including both the Garden Inn and Hampton brands.
The Killeen area has seen plans for several new hotels over the past few months.
Among the hotels under construction are a three-story Sleep Inn at Central Texas Expressway and Gateway Drive in Killeen, a Best Western in Salado, and a La Quinta Inn in Belton.
The city is booming right now, Sam Patel said.
Killeen needed another No. 1 hotel.
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