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Fairfield Inn set to begin construction

The new Fairfield Inn & Suites being built near Walmart off Interstate 75 Exit 122 in Clinton is expected to look like this generic rendering provided by Marriott.
Construction should begin in February on the new Fairfield Inn & Suites off Interstate 75 Exit 122 in Clinton behind the new Taco Bell, with a planned opening date about a year later, the hotel’s developer said this week.

Grading for site preparation began in November for the 80-room, four-story hotel, which also will have about 3,000 square feet of meeting space, said Victor Patel, a partner in VRL Hotels LLC. of Jacksboro, the owner and developer of the facility.

Cost of the hotel will be about $9 million, and it will have about 20 employees, Patel said.

Knoxville-based Turnkey Construction LLC. will build the hotel, and it will be operated by Gibson Hotel Management, Inc., of Knoxville, he added.

Patel, who’s been living in Caryville for the past three years, said his company chose Clinton for the Fairfield Inn because some of the manufacturing companies with 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.

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 here with the Marriott flag,” Patel said. “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 Fairfield Inn will have the same amount of meeting space as a similar Marriott property in Oak Ridge. Besides business meetings, the new Fairfield Inn will also be able to host other events, including parties, Patel said.

Other partners in VRL Hotels include Vic Patel and Kenny Patel, he said. The construction company for the project is owned by Dennis Patel.

VRL Hotels already has hospitality properties in North Carolina, Georgia, and Middle and West Tennessee, Victor Patel said. The company also has a Hampton Inn now under construction in Paris, Tennessee.

The company also owns and operates a liquor store on Andersonville Highway in Andersonville, the Liquor Depot, Patel said. It’s the only other business the group has in the Clinton area.

Although the new Fairfield Inn will have meeting facilities, it will not have a restaurant, Patel said, adding, “We will have a breakfast room, however.”

VRL Hotels manages all of its other properties, but chose to hire an established hotel operator for the new Clinton facility “because we are a growing company,” Patel said.

Gibson Hotel Management was founded by its CEO, Michael Gibson, and now operates 29 hotels of several brands in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina and the Cayman Islands. Those include several Fairfield Inn & Suites locations, including some in the Knoxville area. The hotels have a total of 3,088 rooms, according to the company’s website.

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