By Tony Parra
Tushar Patel of TNJ Management has confirmed on Friday that the new Holiday Inn Express hotel in Portales is still scheduled to open in November despite rains and snow in the area.
Patel said they have encountered weather problems, but they remain on schedule and are currently working on the second story of the hotel.
“The delays haven’t been too bad,” Patel said. “We’ve had to deal with a few delays because of the rain, but nothing major.”
Patel said there had been groundwork for two weeks on the property prior to the ceremonial ground-breaking ceremony on Nov. 10. He said he wanted to have the concrete work finished before colder weather started.
“Luckily we didn’t have to worry about freezing weather while the concrete work was being done,” Patel said.
Patel said construction workers from all over the state have been working on the building. Patel said Portales hotels have been benefiting from the construction of the Holiday Inn Express.
“That’s economic development,” Patel said. “It helps out the other businesses in town.”
Kim Huffman, Community Development Director, said it may even help in the expansion of the Ag Expo. The hotel is scheduled to be open before the 14th Annual Expo in Feb. of 2006.
“We have 30 or 40 occasions being held each year in which all of the rooms in town will be full,” Huffman said. “It will immediately affect Eastern New Mexico University and its fall graduation.”
Huffman said having an extra hotel will help keep sports teams of ENMU’s opponents in Portales instead of going to Clovis to find places to stay.
Patel said his crew has built in almost every city in New Mexico and has developed 40 hotels in three states within the last 10 years. The proposed 65-room hotel will probably have between 15 to 20 employees. Patel said the hotel will contain a conference room and a small meeting room.
Patel said every aspect of the work on the Holiday Inn Express should be completed within the same time, such as landscaping and the exterior and interior of the building.