COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Chamber member Fairfield Hotel brings heart and determination to League City
That is one word hotel manager Tejal Patel would use to describe her family’s Fairfield Hotel. It’s mission: “to enhance the lives of its guests by creating a comforting experience.”
“And we mean that with the utmost sincerity and conviction,” Patel says.
Serving a purposeful community
League City is an ever growing community. As this Texas town gets through a pandemic and hurricane season, its businesses are not letting such things bring them down. The show must go on and League City Regional Chamber of Commerce (LCRCC) member Tejal Patel knows this well.
Tejal is the Community Relations Manager for the League City Fairfield hotel, which opened in late July. Patel, who enjoys binge-watching Marvel films and traveling, is part of running the only Marriott-affiliated hotel in the city. Patel did not shy away from this fact being one of the things that is unique about her family’s hotel.
“We also have a full-service bar which is not typical to find in other Fairfield Inns and we are the only hotel in the area that has one,” Patel said. “However, this isn’t just a hotel with a popular name on it.”
Patel went on to explain what else she feels makes her hotel unique compared to other hotels.
“When we decided to build the hotel in League City, we had no intention of stepping away after it opened,” Patel said. “We had the intention of being part of this community.”
Patel said how the hotel’s ownership team is made up of small-business owners who have been hoteliers in the Greater Houston area (which includes League City) for more than 20 years.
“We’re all hands-on and we don’t serve just our guests, but we serve our communities as well,” Patel said. “This community is so diverse and supportive. We’re able to work together through our differences and uplift each other in good times and bad.”
When asked what word she would use to describe League City and its community, Patel chose the word “purposeful.”
“I’ve been here since I was eight, so I have seen how this city and community has displayed strength and determination over and over again,” Patel said. “This is a purposeful community that has a lot to offer. It gets better and better because of the people.”
Patel’s family used to own and operate the League City Super 8, and she spoke on how the city’s citizens and businesses came together to help donate to hotel guests who had suffered greatly from Hurricane Harvey.
“That’s something I cannot be thankful enough for.” Patel said.
Being part of the chamber
The mission of the League City Regional Chamber of Commerce is to promote the League City area's economic growth through partnership between community, business and government. When one joins a chamber, there are many benefits to being a member, something Fairfield’s owners are very aware of. The hotel is one of the chamber’s five star members and joined earlier this year.
“We’ve been members through other businesses, so we know the value of being a part of this particular chamber,” Patel said. “When we joined as Fairfield Inn, the chamber was going through a transition period and felt it was the perfect time to join as a Five Star member. We continue to believe in the vision and leadership.”
When asked about what she feels is the greatest benefit to being a chamber member, Patel said the chamber “provides so many opportunities to network, meet other business owners, and gain knowledge.”
“It is an incredible outlet to build professional, and even personal, relationships, which is one of the best benefits,” Patel said. “If you want to make more business contacts, gain referrals, increase visibility, or become more active in the community you serve, then this is why you should join your local chamber of commerce. At the same time, you have to understand that what you put in is what you put out. Sure, you can pay your membership dues but the effort can’t stop there. When you show up and become engaged with your chamber, you’ll get more than a return on your investment.”
Advice to aspiring and current business owners
Of course, every business or aspiring business owner now has to deal with running (or starting) their business in the middle of a global pandemic. Nevertheless, Patel does not think this should be discouraging.
“If you’ve been thinking about starting a business, now is the time to do it,” Patel said. “However, it’s important to be aware that it’s not going to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. The starting line is different for everyone.”
Patel said aspiring business owners have already failed if you hold on to limiting beliefs and think thoughts such as “Oh I’m not educated enough” or “Man, I don’t know the right people.”
“You don’t have to be highly educated, but you have to be resourceful,” Patel said. “You don’t have to be born into the right circle, but you can build your network. Take control of what you want to achieve because no one else is going to do it for you.”
When Patel was asked what advice she has for business owners in regard to running a business amidst a pandemic, she said (meaning it “in the nicest way possible”) you have to check your ego and bias.
“Try to look at things through a different lens and see where you can possibly innovate,” Patel said. “Revisit the core values of your company or your industry and attempt to bring them back into focus when it comes to the service you provide. Also, please don’t be ashamed to ask for help or advice. No one knew this was going to happen and that it would affect every single industry so you never know what you can learn from someone else.”