A Flemington hotel that was recently sued in connection with the October death of a rapper is under new ownership and management.
Mukesh Patel said he took ownership of the Days Inn at 1024 E. Oglethorpe Highway on July 17.
The hotel and its previous owner, Shyamasanna LLC, were recently named as defendants in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the mother of Macon-area rapper Markese “Paincity” Mahone. That suit was filed Aug. 25 in Liberty County State Court.
Mahone was shot and killed Oct. 3 while he was visiting his girlfriend, Michelle Doyle, who was a registered guest at the hotel. According to the initial incident report, the shooting happened during an armed robbery.
The suit alleges that Days Inn Worldwide and Shyamasanna LLC failed to adequately provide security and security measures and failed in their duty of care, contributing to Mahone’s death.
The suit lists roughly 19 past criminal incidents that occurred on the property or within a one-block radius. Some previous crime reports included allegations of hotel-room burglaries, drug use on the premises and in rooms, fights, death threats, child molestation, prostitution and rape.
Patel acknowledges that the hotel had a seedy past, but he said he plans to run a tight ship. He has invested a significant amount of money into refurbishing the hotel, to include security measures and the closure of Phatt Katz Comedy Club and Lounge.
“I closed that, and we are now renting that to church people,” he said. “It is now a church inside. There is no club on this property anymore.”
Patel installed several light poles throughout the hotel to increase outside lighting. He invested cash into a new state-of-the-art surveillance security system with roughly 50 security cameras keeping a watchful eye on the entire premises.
“He spent $90,000 alone installing brand-new metal doors for each hotel room,” Margit Velasco, Patel’s business associate, said. “The doors also have a new locking system. It is very sophisticated for added security.”
Patel has knocked down several older standalone units and plans to improve the parking lot. He is currently installing a new roof, cleaning and updating the pool area and refurbishing the rooms.
“We are getting new furniture and upgrading every room,” Velasco said.
Waste receptacles were strewn throughout the property as workers tossed out old furnishing and curtains. Many of the carpeted floors will be replaced with hardwood floors. New beds and furnishings are being ordered, walls are being painted and the breakfast room was recently refurbished and painted.
Patel said he wants to offer the best environment for his customers. Rooms are available during the remodeling, and he said all work is done in a manner that will not disrupt the comfort of his guests.
New General Manager Daisy Snow said the hotel is working closely with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office in reporting anything suspicious and doing whatever it can to keep any potential criminal element in check.
“If there is anything suspicious in nature, we give them a call and ask them to look into it,” Snow said. “They have been appreciative of us making the calls and letting them check it out. … We are staying on top of things like that, and they are also appreciative of what we are doing here in making the improvements to the hotel.”
Velasco added that Patel runs an impeccable establishment and does not tolerate troublemakers on his premise.
“I used to own the Hampton Inn in this town and the Holiday Inn Express,” Patel added. “I used to own the Quality Inn in Richmond Hill and now this one. When I had the Hampton Inn, we won awards four times.”
Snow said the customers’ safety, security and comfort are her boss No. 1 priority.
Velasco, Patel and Snow all agree the death that occurred on the property was a tragic event no family should ever have to deal with.
“It was horrible and we definitely understand, and we offer all our condolences to the family,” Velasco said. “But we want people to know the new owner is completely unrelated to the previous owner and is doing what he can to make this a better place.”