Group of men throwing shovelfuls of dirt in the air
Officials celebrate breaking ground for a Hampton Inn by Hilton on Oct. 5, 2023, in Mount Vernon. The hotel is expected to open the first quarter of 2025. Credit: Cheryl Splain

MOUNT VERNON — Hampton Inn broke ground Thursday for a 103-room hotel on Venture Drive.

While Thursday’s groundbreaking was ceremonial, Vaibhav Patel, president of developer Rama Tika Management (RTM), said earth-moving equipment will begin construction in the next two to three weeks.

Patel said plans are to open in the first quarter of 2025. If the weather cooperates, the opening could be as early as the fourth quarter of 2024.

“We’ve been looking at this site give or take for about five or six years now,” Gunj Chandat of RTM said. “Mount Vernon is needing more rooms. We like the appeal of getting the Columbus market and the I-71 market.”

Chandat said another appeal is the proximity of the county’s bike trails and the visitors they attract.

Local officials say the hotel is much needed.

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“When Kenyon College and Mount Vernon Nazarene University have Parents Weekend, they are going as far as Mansfield and Columbus for hotel rooms,” Debbie Ruggles, program coordinator for the Knox County Chamber of Commerce, said. “With having two universities in the area, it’s definitely needed.

“On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, we are pleased to welcome the Hampton Inn to Knox County. It is a wonderful addition to our community.”

City Engineer Brian Ball echoed Ruggles’ sentiment.

He noted the benefits of having a place to stay for construction workers and people visiting local parks, using the bike trail, or visiting patients in Knox Community Hospital.

“We have a shortage of places for people to stay. We appreciate a quality brand coming to town,” he said. “This is a key part of economic development and sustainability.”

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The 57,000-square-foot Hampton Inn by Hilton will sit on 2.1 acres at 1560 Venture Drive. The main entrance faces west toward the shopping plaza.

Vaibhav Patel and Jeff Gottke standing in a field
Vaibhav Patel, president of Rama Tika Management, left, and Jeff Gottke, president of the Knox County Area Development Foundation, at the groundbreaking ceremony for a Hampton Inn by Hilton on Oct. 5, 2023. Credit: Cheryl Splain

The four-story hotel features a fitness center, pool, and meeting room. Other amenities include a mini-fridge and microwave in each room and a guest laundry.

The dining room, for which Hampton Inn is known, will serve breakfast to guests from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

A TREATS shop featuring frozen meals and various other options caters to late arrivals or guests who need a midnight snack.

“We are looking to do the latest and greatest Hampton Inn by Hilton,” Gunj Chandat said.

R Chandat LLC bought the parcel in 2018. Raj Chandat is the owner, president, and CEO of the LLC.

Mansfield-based Rama Tika Management is the development arm of R Chandat LLC.

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