Corporate Partner Spotlight: Concept Hotels
Concept Hotels bought the Sage Inn in Santa Fe seven years ago. They knew they were coming into a bustling tourist economy—as well as a small town with a long history.
“As a California-based company, we didn’t want to give the impression we were coming to do things ‘our way,’” says Tushar Patel, director of sales, marketing and revenue (also known as the “S&M&R Maestro”). “We wanted to build upon the work of the previous ownership groups and make community involvement a priority.”
The hotel group didn’t anticipate how easy it would be to make important local connections. “The Santa Fe hospitality community is supportive, and when the opportunity came up to partner with the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, we were honored,” Patel says. “The Foundation is deeply rooted and committed to the rich history of the state, and we are here to support that. We want to be associated with and contribute to arts and culture in Santa Fe.”
The first Concept Hotel opened in 1967 in Menlo Park, California—now the heart of Silicon Valley. Concept’s CEO, Bimal Patel, grew up living on- site with his family. Now, he's grown the group’s portfolio to include 10 hotels in California and New Mexico.
In 2016, when Concept purchased The Sage at the corner of Cerrillos Road and Guadalupe Street, it had long been a conveniently located choice for travelers, poised at the intersection of downtown and the Railyard District. Concept has since purchased two more local properties: Coyote South (formerly Super 8) in the Midtown District, and the Inn at Santa Fe, a Best Western-branded hotel on the city’s south side.
If Concept’s business model sounds a bit like the popular comedy series Schitt’s Creek, in which the Rose family refurbishes mom-and-pop motels, S&M&R Maestro Patel says that’s accurate, though he distinguishes between motels and hotels. “Motels are places to sleep. Hotels and inns provide a full residential experience, with on-site restaurants and bars. But, yes, what we’re doing is similar to Schitt’s Creek in that we take away the cookie-cutter conformity and give you something a little out of the box.”
The company’s philanthropic commitment varies by property, always connected to the nature of the community and size of the hotel. The Sage is just a few blocks from the new Vladem Contemporary, and Patel says they look forward to developing packages for guests around this new attraction. But he insists the benefit of these partnerships is really about being connected to what’s important.
“The way that Santa Fe has embraced us has made us feel officially accepted in the town," he says. "So being a corporate partner is just a reciprocation of that energy.”
To learn more about becoming a Corporate Partner, contact Mariann Lovato at Mariann@museumfoundation.org or 505.216.0849.
This article and images are from the Museum of New Mexico Foundation’s Member News Summer 2023.