Mike and R.C. Patel expect to soon have Budgetel signs on lodging properties across the U.S. The first 15 franchised hotels in the resurrected chain should be open in the next two months, they say.

The brothers launched the chain at last month's Asian American Hotel Owners Association convention in Charlotte, and while it is one of the first brands owned by Indian hoteliers, Mike Patel says Budgetel is not just aimed at the Asian community.

“We believe Budgetel represents an evolution, not a revolution in the lodging industry,” says Mike. “It will be a chain built on transparency and fairness for franchisees. This is a concept that appeals to all owners, not just Asian-Americans.”

Citing the spirit of AAHOA's 12 Points of Fair Franchising, Patel says the system will offer owners the franchise terms they want: low fees (around three to four percent), one-year agreements, no liquidated damages and an opportunity for franchisees to become equity partners in the company.

The Budgetel brand, originally created by Marcus Hotels, has a long history that retains considerable consumer awareness, believes Mike. During the 1990s, Marcus reflagged the chain as Baymont Inns. Two years ago, Marcus sold Baymont and the Budgetel name to The Blackstone Group, which then sold Baymont to Wyndham Hotels and the rights to Budgetel to the Patels.

Mike is chairman of the new company, while R.C. is CEO. Brand company veterans on the team include Carl Newberry, president, and Randy Evanchyk, executive vice president of franchise development.

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