Champion Hotels was started by Champ Patel and his wife Bhanu Patel in 1979. Everything started with the purchase of a small motel in Weatherford, OK. Champ and Bhanu worked 24/7 and did every job ,including front desk, housekeeping, laundry, etc. Over time they slowly brought other family members over from India and Zambia to help them get started in the business as well. Now, Champion Hotels owns and manages over 160 properties in the US and continues to grow.
Can you tell us how and why you started your business?
When my family and I migrated to the U.S., we had other family already involved in the hotel industry. We lived in a motel and worked side by side with family to learn the hotel business and that is how we got started in this line of work.
What services do you provide within the film/music industry?
Hospitality Services, Corporate/Project Negotiated Rates, Excellent/Professional Customer Service and properties with fully equipped kitchens.
How has your company grown to meet the needs of Oklahoma’s film and/or music industries over the last 3-5 years?
We have steadily acquired quality leading brand hotels throughout Oklahoma
What are the benefits of basing your company’s operations in Oklahoma?
The people of Oklahoma are very friendly and welcoming. Being from another country, this proved to be a huge benefit for my family. The other big benefits are cost of living as well as the pro-business culture of our state.
What would you consider your business’s greatest accomplishment to date?
The greatest accomplishment of our company is that we have built very strong relationships with our team members as well as the business community. Reputation is everything and we have created a culture that is very family-oriented.
Are there any recent successes your company would like to highlight related to work within the Oklahoma film and music industries?
We have had the honor and privilege of working with several production companies within the last five years. Some of those films include “American Underdog,” “13 Minutes,” “Fancy Dance,” “Tulsa King,” “Reservation Dogs,” “Street Outlaws” and more.
What are you working on now/next?
We are working on buying a 300-room hotel in Tulsa that has 50,000 square feet of conference space. This is going to be a large purchase and remodel, but we plan on this property being the favored hotel in Tulsa for conventions and conferences.
We are also working on building a 216-room Embassy Suites in the Oklahoma City Airport area. This hotel will be a brand new construction project and we look forward to bringing it to OKC.
What is your goal/vision for the future of your company?
Our goal is to continue to foster a family-oriented business culture and to allow that energy to create more growth opportunities.
What advice do you have for others who are considering starting a film or music business in Oklahoma?
Networking and creating business relationships within the film industry and local vendors.
What opportunities do you believe await Oklahoma’s film/music industry in the future?
I believe the Oklahoma film and music industries will continue to grow and expand. Our economy will also continue to grow, and there will be more production companies wanting to film in our state.
Each featured individual or business is given the provided questions to answer in their own voice. Other than formatting and grammar, the answers are personal to each featured voice, and are not provided by the Oklahoma Film + Music Office.