GLEN ELLYN – The current owners of the Budgetel Inn and Suites complex in the 600 block of Roosevelt Road in Glen Ellyn want to rid the complex of its checkered past.
"Our goal is to give this town a very good hotel," said co-owner Dennis Chitnis, who also is the hotel's general manager. "That's our goal."
Chitnis and co-owner Raj Patel purchased the complex in November 2016 from previous owners Kamlesh and Shreya Sheth. The Sheths had owned the complex since 1997.
Prior to Chitnis and Patel purchasing the hotel, there had been a long list of criminal activities at the complex, which previously had operated extended-stay and transient rooms. In 2017, a jury found a 27-year-old Glen Ellyn man guilty of aggravated domestic battery against his 61-year-old father but acquitted him of attempted first-degree murder stemming from a June 2016 incident at the hotel.
Village of Glen Ellyn trustees in 2013 passed an ordinance regulating hotels. The ordinance prevents guests from staying in transient rooms for a period longer than 60 days and extended-stay rooms for longer than 365 days.
The ordinance also requires that hotel owners must not knowingly allow illegal acts, including prostitution, gambling or any drug activity, to occur on their property. Hotels also must undergo annual inspections by village staff to ensure units are being kept in clean and safe conditions.
In response, the Sheths in September 2015 filed a federal lawsuit against the village regarding the ordinance, which they claim was passed to drive them out of business. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2017 after a confidential settlement was reached between the village and the Sheths.
After Chitnis and Patel purchased the hotel, they instituted new policies regarding how long a person could stay at the hotel.
"The maximum they can stay is nine days, and then they have to leave," Chitnis said. "We don't let anybody walk in and get a room. We grill them, and we check them."
The complex has been in the spotlight lately as demolition is finishing up on one of the three buildings that comprise the complex. Plans are to raze a second building next year, he said, and then the owners want to get a "high-end" franchise for the hotel.
"Something like maybe Holiday Inn or maybe Hampton, name brands," Chitnis said.
The building that was torn down had 34 units, and the building that will be torn down next year has 30 units, he said. The hotel will then be left with 60 units in one building.
Since purchasing the Budgetel Inn, Chitnis and Patel have been busy refurbishing the units in the 60-unit building, including replacing furniture and carpeting and installing new television sets.
"We put almost $5,000 in each room," Chitnis said.
Glen Ellyn Village Manager Mark Franz said he was happy to see the direction the hotel is going.
"I think the investment is certainly the sign that we wanted to see, that they are putting some money into it and trying to get it renovated, and that's great," he said.