Chicago IL: On Thursday morning, April 30th, over 70 people attended the Ground Breaking ceremony for the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Niles (7247 North Waukegan Road). The new four-story hotel, which will be owned and operated by the Skokie-based Lakhani Hospitality, will be built on the former site of the Traveler’s Inn and Ozzie’s Bar and Grill. It is slated to open in April 2016, featuring 100 guest rooms (17 of which will be suites), 1500 square feet of meeting space, a breakfast buffet each morning, a market for snacks, soda, beer and wine, a state-of-the-art business center, a fitness room, and an indoor swimming pool.
With hard hats on their heads and shovels in hand, the Mayor of Niles (Andrew Przybylo) joined Lakhani Hospitality executives Mansoorali Lakhani (company founder), his wife Shamim Lakhani (Vice President of Lakhani Hospitality) and their children Sheila Lakhani Gilani (Director of Operations) and Karim Lakhani (Assistant Director of Operations) for the official ground breaking.
“We were thrilled to have so many of our friends and family members celebrate the ground breaking with us,” said Sheila Lakhani Gilani, who explained that the date was chosen because it coincided with the 11th anniversary of Lakhani Hospitality’s entry into the hospitality industry with the purchase of the Holiday Inn in Skokie. The family also owns the Skokie Banquet and Conference Center, the Holiday Inn Chicago O’Hare, the Holiday Inn Oakbrook, several Bar Louie restaurants, and refueling stations in and around Chicago. “The support we’ve received from the Village of Niles officials and the community itself has been truly incredible, and we are so grateful.”
Her brother Karim (a recent graduate of the prestigious Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, who joined the family business in June 2014), echoed her sentiments, extending his gratitude to the Village of Niles and to those who have supported the project since the announcement was made earlier this year. At the conclusion of his presentation, he called upon Mayor Przybylo to present him with a check for $10,000 from Lakhani Hospitality to be used for the Village of Niles Family Services Food Pantry.
“Above everything else, my parents have always taught us the importance of giving back,” he said. “It was our pleasure to contribute to such an important and worthwhile cause in commemoration of such a significant day for me and my family.”
A hotel like the Holiday Inn Express & Suites is a first for the Village of Niles. While Niles has been home to several motels throughout the years, it has never had a first-rate, business-class hotel like this. “This project is so important for our community,” explained Karim Lakhani, a graduate of Niles West High School, who grew up in Skokie.
“First, if you ask a lot of businesses in the area, a hotel of this caliber is long overdue in Niles,” he said. “And, second, I grew up in the area, and this particular corner of Milwaukee and Waukegan has been an eyesore for a long time,” he adds. “My family and I couldn’t be more excited to bring Holiday Inn’s latest concept to Niles.”
The Mayor of Niles shared Lakhani’s thoughts, “I’ve been living in Niles since 1967, and I’ve passed this corner many times,” he said, addressing the crowd, who gathered to watch the ground breaking. “I’ve seen it at its best and I’ve seen it at its worst, and now, I’m going to see it at its bestest!” Those in attendance nodded their heads in agreement. “On behalf of the Niles family, I’m so pleased to welcome the Lakhani family to our village!”
After the ground breaking, the Lakhani family invited everyone for lunch at the Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore in Skokie.
Source: Asian Media USA
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