Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Patel

Shreyas "JR" Patel

President & Chief Operating Officer, Helix Hospitality

Shreyas "JR" Patel, is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Helix Hospitality, a multi-faceted hospitality company. Its primary services include hotel investment, ownership, management, and construction / renovation, and represents many of the top hotel brands in the country.

Founded by Mr. Patel in 2012, the Chicago-based company has seen impressive growth under his leadership with extensive plans for further expansion and acquisitions. In less than 10 years the investment portfolio has grown from $1M to over $100M and the property portfolio has grown from 1 property to 11 total with over 300 employees.

Mr. Patel began operating and managing a single property in Montgomery, Alabama after graduating from DePaul University with a dual degree in Finance and Management. Still on shaky ground after 2008's economic crash, the hospitality industry was ripe with properties under high risk. Where others saw troubled deals, he spotted opportunity. With an urge to innovate, he set up this small, agile company - Helix Hospitality - to revive properties through large-scale renovation vs. new construction.

Mr. Patel removed geographic restraints by pursuing properties nationwide, strategically positioning Helix for optimal growth. His intentional focus-renovation vs. rebuilds; national vs. local-both stop-gapped an unnecessary trend for wasteful new construction and offered Helix the competitive edge of access to exclusive, existing properties already familiar to loyal consumers.

Mr. Patel serves as a board member for the DePaul University School of Hospitality Leadership and co-chairs the Academic Program sub-committee to grow DePaul's Hospitality program and empower the next generation of hospitality professionals.

Additionally, Mr. Patel is a regular contributor to trade publications and a member of AAHOA (Asian American Hotel Owners Association).

Please visit http://www.helixhotels.com/ for more information.

Mr. Patel can be contacted at +1 630-519-3025 or jr@helixhotels.com

Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.