$54 Million Embassy Suite Breaks Ground: Interview with Mitch Patel

On Monday, executives from Vision Hospitality Group, along with key members of the Chattanooga community — including our Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce — gathered at the intersection of Broad Street and West 4th Street in downtown Chattanooga to celebrate the groundbreaking of Embassy Suites by Hilton Chattanooga Downtown.

The new hotel will feature 184 suites across seven floors and is located just a few blocks away from top attractions including Tennessee Aquarium, Hunter Museum of American Art and Tennessee Riverpark. 

The new Embassy Suites promises to be a beautiful addition to the cityscape that’s set to bring an economic boost to the area by creating more than 100 quality jobs through a $54 million investment — one of the biggest downtown investments in more than a decade.

Looking ahead, the company has plans to open fifteen additional hotels in the next two years. 

Construction led by Humphreys and Associates Contractors is expected to take around two years, with the grand opening scheduled for summer, 2025. 

Mitch Patel, Vision’s President and CEO, spoke with Trend before the groundbreaking: 

Mitch Patel owner of VHG Hotels sits in the Edwin Hotel in Downtown Chattanooga

TREND: How has being headquartered in Chattanooga contributed to Vision’s growth and success? 

Patel: It means a great deal to me personally to be based here, as it’s where I live and where my kids attend school. With so many family members, friends and colleagues also residing here, any project we undertake in our backyard holds a special meaning on so many levels.

Of course, there’s an emotional attachment, but it also needs to make strong business sense too. 

We have experienced immense success in Chattanooga over the years, with some of our most successful hotels not located in larger cities like Nashville or Atlanta, but right here in Chattanooga.

We take great pride in this achievement and continue to have faith in the potential of this city. 

TREND: Some of us who are familiar with your story know you faced many rejections before you found success. What is a specific example and how did you overcome it? 

Patel: Rejection is always a difficult experience, isn’t it? It’s a natural part of being human, and it’s easy to want to avoid it altogether.

Early in our company’s history, it was especially challenging to convince brand companies, equity partners, and lenders that we could successfully execute a Hilton or Marriott product.

When we were developing the Hilton Garden Inn in Chattanooga Downtown, we traveled all over the country looking for financing.  

I remember flying to Chicago for a meeting with a loan officer who had expressed interest in our proposal. After being rejected by several others, I was excited to finally meet with someone who had the capacity to help. However, when I arrived, I learned that he wasn’t even there that day. Despite countless similar hardships and rejections, these experiences only made us stronger.

Storms in our personal lives and in business are inevitable, but it’s how we react to them that determines our success. 

TREND: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners? 

Patel: One of the key factors in entrepreneurial success is finding your passion. When you truly love something, you’ll work harder, overcome obstacles and find greater success.

Even if you fall, you’ll have the drive to get right back up. On the other hand, if you pursue something solely for monetary gain without truly loving it, success will be much harder to achieve. Passion is the number one ingredient for entrepreneurial success. 

Secondly, it’s important to think big. Nothing big has ever happened by thinking small. As Leonard da Vinci once said, “Our greatest danger is aiming too low and reaching it.”

Set your sights high, aim for the sky, and get as close as you can. 

Thirdly, focus on character, which will define your personal legacy — and culture, which will define your company’s legacy. Cultivate your own character by being honest, treating people with respect, and following the golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated.

People want to belong somewhere, and it’s important to create a company culture where everyone feels valued and included. At the end of the day, culture will define your legacy as a company. 

Mitch Patel, President and CEO of Vision Hospitality Group breaks ground with community leaders Barry White, Tim Kelly, Emily Mack, Weston Wamp, and Charles Wood.

TREND: What is something unique or lesser known about Vision Hospitality that you would like to share? 

Patel: Social responsibility has become more important, leading to the fight against human trafficking. About 10 years ago, our company was the only one in the industry promoting awareness of this crime and created the first-of-its-kind training platform in the United States.

We were able to change laws in the state of Tennessee, making it a Class A felony to traffic minors instead of a misdemeanor. We also changed the law to allow abused or trafficked victims to testify on closed-circuit television instead of facing the seller.  

Tennessee went from being one of the worst states with laws against human trafficking to becoming the number one state for laws against human trafficking. Grassroots efforts work, and social responsibility drives passion among employees to make a difference. The fight against human trafficking is personal, and we can make a huge impact.

We have an 800-hotline that people can call for help. There is always a way out, and people should not feel ashamed. We want to help those who have overcome trafficking carry on with a more fulfilling and rewarding life. 

Other Topics

In the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship, navigating the path to success requires more than just a visionary idea and entrepreneurial spirit. The one key element often overlooked?   A well-crafted business plan.   Integral to sustained growth and prosperity, a strategic business…

In the bustling landscape of many cities throughout the United States, innovative solutions are vital to keep traffic flowing safely, yet efficiently. At the forefront of this innovation is Xtelligent, an L.A.-based startup reshaping the way we approach traffic control.  …

Happy 160th Birthday, First Horizon Bank. You've got lots to celebrate.   "March 25, 1864," said Richard Shaffer, regional president. "Our documents go back to 1864."  It was Memphis, 1864. The US government approved bank charters for First National Bank of…

On March 2, 2024, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport marked a significant milestone to celebrate the completion of its $28 million expansion.   For those acquainted with the Chattanooga airport, many remember its compact and intimate layout. Waving off your loved ones…

As a New York University student enrolled in a course on entrepreneurism, Michael Marczi was studying the energy industry when he realized, quite acutely, the very big problem we are all facing.   To provide clean power to electric vehicles, the…

On a recent morning, Abhi Sastri, holding a Mean Mug latte in one hand and his iPhone in the other, makes a bold prediction as he looks across the North Shore landscape.   In the next five to 10 years, Chattanooga…

Sign up for weekly updates.