By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader
In the middle of a struggling economy, three brothers will be bringing a new business to town that will not only offer visitors a place to lay their heads at night, but up to 20 jobs for locals to consider.
Ken Bhakta, owner of the Rodeway Inn at 488 East Pancake Blvd., and his two brothers, Prites and Peresh Bhakta, are currently in the process of bringing the popular Hampton Inn to Liberal. Construction has already begun not even a block away from Bhakta’s current business.
Bhakta said Hampton Inn representatives made a trip to Liberal and quickly gave him and his brothers the go ahead to build it – and they would come.
“The Hampton guys started everything,” Bhakta said. “They came down and saw the location and said it was OK to go ahead. It is a perfect location, in the middle of town with restaurants and everything nearby.”
Rumors have been circulating that a restaurant will accompany the Hampton Inn in joining the local economy, but at this time, Bhakta said, that is false.
However, Bhakta said, if the Hampton Inn fares well in Liberal, a Best Western may soon spring up in the same vicinity as well.
“Best Western is probably coming, but later on,” he said. “It depends on the economy, after everything is done, we will see. We just don’t know. We have to see how the Hampton goes first, the economy is very important. If the Hampton is always full, then they will build a Best Western.”
The Bhakta brothers only got the OK to build the motel in Liberal, the funding they had to come up with on their own. Bhakta added construction is likely to wrap up shortly after the beginning of 2011.
“It cost more than $6 million to bring it here,” he said. “So far, it will be next year, about this time next year.”
Bhakta was proud to announce the addition of new job opportunities to the community.
“We will need around like 15 to 20 people with housekeepers and front desk staff,” he said.
Bhakta, who has been in Liberal since 2005, said even with the Hampton Inn just down the road, his Rodeway Inn is not going anywhere.