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Owners plan to open Clinton Fairfield Inn near I-75 in late May

  • Workers on a scafford put finishing touches on part of the exterior of the new Clinton Fairfield Inn and Suites on Monday, March 1. - G. Chambers Williams III

  • The buildng is nearly completed for the new Fairfield Inn and Suites off Interstate 75 at Exit 122 in Clinton. - G. Chambers Williams III

The exterior has mostly been completed and the interior work is being finalized on the new Fairfield Inn and Suites on the northwest side of Interstate 75 at Exit 122, with a late-May opening planned, its owners say.

Construction began on the four-story, 80-room hotel and conference center about this time last year, and in February, the developers got a permit from the city of Clinton to build a $50,000 swimming pool on the property.

“We’re already started work on the pool,” Victor Patel, a partner in VRL Hotels LLC. of Jacksboro, said this week. VRL is the owner and developer of the facility, which sits just behind the new Taco Bell restaurant, toward Tanner Lane and Walmart.

The $9 million hotel, being built on the site of a hotel that was torn down about four years ago, will have about 20 employees, Patel said.

Knoxville-based Turnkey Construction LLC. is building the hotel and the swimming pool. Turnkey Construction is owned by Dennis Patel.

The hotel will be operated by Gibson Hotel Management, Inc., of Knoxville, Victor Patel said.

Gibson Hotel Management was founded by its CEO, Michael Gibson, and now operates a variety of hotel brands in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina and the Cayman Islands. Those include several Fairfield Inn & Suites locations, including some in the Knoxville area.

“We are looking forward to having a property in Clinton,” Joe Grieco, Gibson’s vice president of operations and development, said earlier. “We also have a property in Powell [a Holiday Inn Express].”

Site preparation began in November 2019 for the Fairfield Inn, which will have about 3,000 square feet of meeting space. Fairfield Inn & Suites is a brand of the hotel conglomerate Marriott International, Inc.

“Clinton is a great place for us, and there is no other property there with the Marriott flag,” Patel said last year as the project got underway. “The only meeting space available now is at the Holiday Inn Express [at Exit 122], but it has only about 600 square feet. Our meeting space will be able to accommodate from 125 to 150 people.”

He said the new inn will have the same amount of meeting space as a similar Marriott property in Oak Ridge that is used by some of the Clinton businesses.

Besides business meetings, the inn will also be able to host other, non-business events, including parties, Patel said.

Other partners in VRL Hotels include Vic Patel and Kenny Patel, he said. VRL Hotels already has hospitality properties in North Carolina, Georgia and Middle and West Tennessee, Victor Patel said.

Victor Patel, who’s been living in Caryville for more than four years, said his company chose Clinton for the Fairfield Inn because some manufacturing plants here have been seeking a higher-end hotel with meeting facilities, and because Exit 122 is a popular stopping place for through traffic using Interstate 75.

Patel’s company also owns and operates a liquor store on Andersonville Highway in Andersonville, the Liquor Depot. But Patel said Monday that VRL is in the process of selling the liquor store, and plans to concentrate on hotels from now on.

Although the Fairfield Inn will have meeting facilities, it will not have a restaurant, Patel said. But it will have a catering kitchen so those holding meetings there can bring in catering services to prepare and serve food for their events.

“We will have a breakfast room,” he said.