My Life, My Words: Kris Patel — Offering a home away from home
Owner of Rocky Mountain Inn
“This place used to be a Super 8, and that’s what it was when I bought it in 2003. Then, because of the economy in 2008, I just changed. It’s pretty much the same as Rocky Mountain Inn. As the owner, I pretty much take care of the front desk, me and my wife. I worked in the hotel industry before in California and I worked as a bellhop at a hotel in Florida.
“When I came out here in 2003 from California, I was looking around for a hotel and I saw that Craig was a small town that’d be good for my kids and perfect for starting a business. I used to work at a small hotel and I was hoping to move up to a bigger one, so Super 8 worked out for me perfect.
“There can be some competitiveness (being located around numerous other hotels). I think we keep up pretty good. Some of my rooms are between $59 and $79 and some of the other places are between $99 and $120. I see a lot of people come from California and Pennsylvania for the hunting season. I have some customers from Pennsylvania, they come from third generation.
“We don’t see lot of people for Thanksgiving. In Craig, whenever it’s a long weekend or something like that, things pretty much slow down and we don’t see very much business. People come into town and stay with their families instead of a hotel. It’s the same thing for Christmas. I had one family from Arizona when I was in California, they stayed for only one night and then they just stayed with their family there.
“I came (to the U.S.) from India in 1993. I came here with a visitor’s visa, and I saw my country and what was going on there, and it was different than it is now.
“For the last 10 or 12 years, it’s been going up. But, I saw a lot of opportunities over here, so I worked for places like UPS for two years, and I met my wife. I was living in Florida until 1998, and then I moved to California.
“I used to live in Sacramento, so I have a lot of experience with big cities. My kids are doing really good here in Craig. I have two kids, my daughter Sonia, and my son Shiva.
“They get straight A’s, and that’s what I want for them, to get a good education and stay out of trouble.
“Me and my son play baseball. He likes football, sometimes we’ll throw it around. He plays soccer, too. He’s the one who’s interested in sports. I came from India, so I don’t really know a lot of them here, but I like going to his games.”
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