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Bryant turns dirt at new Oxford hotel groundbreaking ceremony

Charter Road Hospitality, headed by Chan Patel, has partnered with Hilton to build a 104-room Tru by Hilton hotel that will be located in front of Malco Oxford Commons Cinema and Premier Lanes.

On Tuesday, Gov. Phil Bryant, along with city and county leaders and citizens, gathered in front of the future site of Patel’s fifth hotel in Oxford for a groundbreaking ceremony.

With the hum of large machinery and the sounds of construction workers doing site work behind him, Bryant congratulated Patel and his father, MV Patel, and thanked them for their investment in Oxford and Mississippi.

“Here we are investing, growing, determined to make sure to add to the great team members who work with Charter Road Hospitality,” Bryant said.

Bryant said he attended a meeting Monday with the Mississippi Development Authority and an overseas company that was looking to locate in Mississippi and bring 150 jobs to the state.

“They wanted a large amount of incentives from the state of Mississippi, and I reminded them that I would be in Oxford today where this great Patel family has a 120 Mississippians working and, to the best of my knowledge, have never asked for anything from Mississippi but perhaps to have the governor come and help turn the first soil of a new development,” Bryant said. “We’re very proud of this $11 million investment.”

Tru by Hilton Oxford will provide guests with smart and efficiently designed guest rooms and re-imagined public spaces, including an open lobby, called “the hive,” with four distinct zones for lounging, working, eating or playing.

The new hotel will be the fifth hotel managed by CRH since MV Patel purchased the Ole Miss Motel in 1990 after moving his family from Zimbabwe.

Tru by Hilton will be the third CRH hotel in the Oxford Commons area. The Hampton Inn and Suites was opened across from the Oxford Conference Center in 2009 and in December 2014 CRH opened TownePlace Suites by Marriott, which is geared toward extended stay, next door to the OCC.

In 2000, they opened their first new hotel property with the Holiday Inn Express and Suites on Heritage Drive, followed in 2004 by the Hampton Inn and Suites located next to the Holiday Inn.

Tru by Hilton will bring the number of rooms in CRH’s hotels to 448 and the number of employees from 120 to about 150 after it’s opened.

Patel thanked his employees for all their hard work.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today if not for you,” he said.

Also speaking at the event was Jon Maynard, president and CEO Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation and Oxford Aldermen Ulysses “Coach” Howell. An invocation was given by Jimmie Smith, retired CRH team member.