|By Dennis Seid, Northeast Mississippi
Daily Journal, TupeloMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Sept. 07,2011--TUPELO -- Two hotels have chained their doors shut, but there's a plan for at least one of them.
The Howard Johnson and Travelodge at the busy North Gloster Street/McCullough Boulevard interchange closed last week, but the owner of Howard Johnson said its closure was intentional.
Bruce Patel of Fusion Hospitality -- formerly called ABRMP Management in Tupelo -- is going ahead with plans to build a four-story, 80-room Candlewood Suites on the Howard Johnson property.
He's also adding a five-story, 120-room Holiday Inn and Suites.
"The Candlewood is an extended-stay hotel with every room having a kitchenette," Patel said. "It's the first in the area."
It will be built on the smaller portion of Howard Johnson nearest McCullough, while the Holiday Inn & Suites will be built on the footprint of the main building of the Howard Johnson.
Patel said work to dismantle the existing buildings has started, and he said the new hotels are scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2013.
Across North Gloster, however, is a different story.
The Travelodge, once a part of a bigger Ramada Inn complex, shuttered its doors on Thursday with no explanation left behind.
Its California owner could not be reached for comment.
The front doors to the lobby were chained and locked, with no note or message to indicate why the hotel was closed.
The 106-room hotel also had a pool and restaurant, Bogart's.
Formerly the Ramada, it became a Travelodge in 2008.
Two other hotels on the site, a Rodeway Inn and a Clarion Inn, are operated separately and are open.
As for the Candlewood and Holiday Inn projects, Patel said the two hotels should employ about 70 between them when they open.
Another Patel project, the Best Western Plus next to Chili's on North Gloster Street, is scheduled to open Sept. 19, he said.
(c)2011 the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.)
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