ANOTHER ASIAN AMERICAN developer has signed on to build two properties under Choice Hotels International’s upscale Cambria brand. VRL Hotels, led by Victor Patel as president, has signed on to build a Cambria in Gatlinburg and another in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
The 140-room Cambria Hotel Gatlinburg hotel is expected to open in 2022. It will feature a rooftop bar and restaurant overlooking the tourist town in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Local attractions include Ober Gatlinburg ski resort, the Gatlinburg SkyLift, which carries passengers 1,800 feet up to the top of Crockett Mountain, and the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Also nearby are Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and Haunted Adventure, the Rocky Top Sports complex, several bourbon distilleries, breweries and wineries and the Gatlinburg Convention Center.
The 140-room Cambria Hotel Pigeon Forge is expected to open in 2024. Nearby attractions include Dollywood amusement park, the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame and Museum, the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, Titanic Museum Attraction, NASCAR SpeedPark Smoky Mountains and seasonal outdoor events throughout the year, such as Winterfest.
Both hotels will have multi-function meeting and event spaces and fitness centers among other amenities.
Patel has more than 15 years of experience building hotels, including additional Choice-branded properties. Other Cambria hotels in Tennessee include the already open Cambria Hotel Nashville Downtown as well as soon-to-open Cambria Hotel Nashville Airport and a future property in Nashville’s West End neighborhood.
“The Cambria Hotels brand had robust development activity heading into the recent downturn, and we continue to grow despite the current challenging landscape,” said Mark Shalala, Choice’s senior vice president of development, upscale brands. “Since June, we’ve added five new hotels coast to coast — from Madeira Beach, Florida to Sonoma, California — and our developers continue to be heavily invested in the growth of the brand, as evidenced by these new franchise agreements in two highly sought-after leisure markets in Tennessee.”
There are currently more than 50 Cambria hotels open across the U.S., including the Cambria Hotel Ocean City – Bayfront in Ocean City, Maryland, developed by Mihir Wankawala of The Wankawala Organization.