New owner settles in at Super 8 motel
"I'm connected with the business 24/7, and I'm connected with my family 24/7," says Apurva Thakkar, new owner of the Super 8 Motel in Perham.
He's not exaggerating about the 24/7, either. With his living quarters located right in the back of the motel complex, he's never more than a hallway away from what is going on in the motel. And, when it comes to family, he's happy to share the motel's apartment with not only his wife and son, but his mother and father as well.
In fact, it was family that motivated him to pursue the motel business and make the move to Minnesota. Thakkar's sister owns a Super 8 in Valley City, North Dakota; and he was looking for a way to move his family closer to hers so their children would be able to grow up around each other.
"I love it here," he says of his experience in Perham so far. "It's nice and quiet."
Prior to moving and taking over ownership of the Super 8 on September 25, Thakkar was living in Chicago, working in the retail business.
"I was looking for a new line of business," Thakkar explains. "I was in the retail business for 10 years in the suburbs of Chicago."
Thakkar was born and raised in India, coming to the United States in 1998 at age 20. After his time in Chicago, Thakkar realized that he was ready to go out on his own, and decided that the motel business would be a good fit.
He first discovered that the Perham Super 8 was for sale over the internet, and after discussing the prospect with his wife, Ankita, the couple decided to purchase the business. Thakkar says that former owner Richard Palubicki was selling the motel in order to retire.
With several relatives in the motel business, Thakkar had plenty of help at hand to ease the transition. Two of his uncles are helping him get started in his new role at the Perham motel. His father also helps out with the motel business.
In order to prepare himself for his new ownership position, Thakkar attended some motel management training through Super 8. Right now, the Perham Super 8 employs nine people, all under Thakkar's direction.
"I want to try to improve the business here," Thakkar says. He's already hard at work changing out the old TVs in the rooms, and replacing them with flat screen televisions. He's also planning to put new microwaves and refrigerators in the units.
Thakkar says his goal would be for customers who've stayed at the motel before to notice an improvement upon their return. He explains how important it is to him that his customers have a pleasant experience while staying at his motel. Next year, Thakkar also has plans to change out the beds in the rooms.
Thakkar is looking forward to the future his family will have in Perham. His wife will start helping at the motel in December, once she moves to the area. For the past few months she has been finishing her job working at a courthouse in Chicago. In addition to working closely with his family, Thakkar also anticipates building strong relationships with other businesses in town.
The future in America looks bright for Thakkar as he continues to invest himself in not only his business, but also his family and newfound community.