The Days Inn of Newton was outdated and in much need of repair. All of that changed when a new owner took over in June.
Formerly a hospital worker in Des Moines, Jessica Huston, Days Inn front desk manager, started working at the hotel in April 2012. She credits the General Manager Namen Patel for the hotel’s successful transformation.
“He is just the most nice, phenomenal boss that you could ever ask for,” she said. “(He) never asks you to do anything that he is not willing to do himself. (He) works completely around the clock. He is a very, very, very down to earth guy, and he is willing to do anything for his employees.”
Days Inn of the past was dirty. Patel did a total renovation. The rooms have been redone, and he invested a lot of time and money into the hotel. He did not know how bad the place was until completing a full scale investigation.
“It was dilapidated,” Huston said. “They had no clue when they bought it. It doesn’t even phase him that 90 percent of it is coming out of his pocket.”
Patel is on a personal mission to restore the hotel to its former glory. The equipment was outdated when he came in, and floors had not been changed in years. It took two days to clean the furnace room. A group of investors now owns the hotel as well as the Super 8 Hotel.
When Huston originally was hired, she did not plan to stay very long, but things changed.
“I did not anticipate actually staying very long,” she said. “You’d have to take me out kicking and screaming. I love this place. It’s like another family.”
She switched to part-time at her other employer because of the friendliness of the staff at the hotel.
“Even though I make more money doing this I am more satisfied doing this, because of the people who I work with,” Huston said. “I don’t think it would be possible, if I didn’t have the boss that I do.”
Huston has worked in other hotels before and likes Newton because of her boss. She said if Patel does not know how to do something, he will ask to learn. She added that Patel is willing to teach the staff new techniques and that he has worked more than 24 hour shifts just to allow someone to have a day off.
The renovation is still ongoing and some guest were not pleased.
“They have to look at it at the big picture,” Huston said. “When I walked in here, I was kinda scared. Everything was falling apart.”
Some guests were dedicated to the hotel even though the hotel was in need of work. Huston said that they came for the customer service. She was happy they had a dedicated customer base but is glad that improvements are being made.
Apparently, the renovations have paid off, as the Days Inn is completely booked for the upcoming NASCAR season. The Days Inn is located at 1605 W. 19th St. S., Newton and offers affordable room rates.
Matthew Shepard can be contacted at (641) 792-3121 ext. 425 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.