APN News

  • Thursday, November, 2023| Today's Market | Current Time: 10:37:46
  • Texas is a Relocation Haven, and Hotelier Sunil Wadhwani is Reaping the Benefits

    Published on January 5, 2023

    After the Covid pandemic, several states have seen an influx of businesses and individuals relocating based on economic factors like taxes and lower cost of living. The two states that top the list have been Texas and Florida, attracting a bevy of growing and thriving companies as well as qualified talent that previously preferred large cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

    Because of their much more appealing quality of life, lack of a state income tax, and warm climates, as well as their political freedoms, both states have watched their populations grow by leaps and bounds. Texas in particular has garnered attention based on the affordability and wide open spaces that are both becoming harder to find in Florida.

    Small business owners who have already established themselves in Texas have seen great returns on their investments. Sunil Wadhwani, who owns several hotels throughout the Rio Grande Valley and into San Antonio, is one such entrepreneur.

    The South Texas Population Will Double By 2045

    While the major metropolitan areas of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio may be experiencing the greatest growth of Americans, South Texas including the Rio Grande Valley is also gaining in popularity. With more Mexican immigrants than Americans, a younger overall population than the rest of the state, and a lower median income, South Texas does present unique challenges.

    But with a young, bilingual, motivated workforce, franchises of fast food chains, mid-level restaurant chains, big box stores, hotels, and self-storage facilities are all flourishing in the Rio Grande Valley. Sunil Wadhwani has owned and managed economy and midscale hotels in the cities of McAllen, Mercedes, Mission, Pharr, and Weslaco for the past 20 years. He has watched the market change over time but has continued to invest heavily in real estate in the area, which is now paying off in a big way.

    Small Hotels are a Big Business

    Sunil Wadhwani got his start with a 65-room La Quinta Inn & Suites in Pharr, Texas in 2000. He has continued to purchase franchises with La Quinta, and also expanded his portfolio to include Motel 6 properties. As a diligent and hands-on owner, Wadhwani has been honored with Franchise of the Year multiple times for both La Quinta and Motel 6, along with various other achievements.

    In 2020, Wadhwani’s dedication to maintaining pristine properties and working with his management staff on a daily basis was recognized in a new way. He was finally able to partner with Marriott, paving the way for more prestigious brand partnerships, and increased revenues, in the future. Wadhwani’s Marriott property is the TownePlace Suites San Antonio Northwest at The RIM, a 109-suite extended stay hotel. It is also the only hotel in his portfolio that is located in San Antonio, and not accessible to Wadhwani on a daily basis.

    The TownePlace Suites has a number of amenities, including meeting space, a hotel bar, a complimentary hot breakfast, and an outdoor pool. Well-situated in the heart of Northwest San Antonio, the hotel has created new learning opportunities for Wadhwani, who has fully immersed himself in every aspect of hotel ownership. It also brings his hotel room total to almost 1,000 at his eight properties, across all brands.

    Thanks to his portfolio of small to medium-sized economy and midscale hotels, Wadhwani is able to generate more than $8.5 million in revenue each year, proving that well-managed small hotels are a big business.

    Continuous Success is Hard-Earned

    Although he’s nearing 60, Sunil Wadhwani continues to be extremely hands-on at all of his current properties, and in the current development process of his ninth hotel. He visits each hotel everyday for meetings with his General Managers, staying abreast of any and all issues and concerns. He then spends time at his corporate office in Edinburg, Texas, ensuring that all of his financial obligations to partners and lenders are being met.

    All decisions on management, operations, finances, and employees remain at the sole discretion of Wadhwani. He employs more than 120 people and manages interactions with more than 100 vendors, including all professional services required by his properties, including lawyers, bankers, accountants, insurance brokers, payroll services, and subcontractors.

    In addition to maintaining his current standards at each of his locations, Wadhwani always has an eye on the future. He would like to complete construction on enough new hotels to achieve 1,000 rooms in each brand category before he considers retirement to be an option. By working so closely with his management team, he is confident that he will be able to step away from daily operations at some point – although that day has not yet arrived.

    As Texas continues to be an attractive relocation destination, as well as an appealing vacation spot, the need for hotels and motels will only increase. After positioning himself for this opportunity for more than 20 years, Sunil Wadhwani stands to reap the benefits of getting in early on a growing but complex region.


    Leave a Reply