It’s not everyday we live out our dreams, especially dreams we may have set as children. Ken Patel seems to be doing just that.  As a teen he had thoughts and ideas of the hospitality industry. Thoughts and ideas that lead him to being a huge staple in the billion dollar hospitality industry. That kind of success doesn’t just happen overnight. Recently SHEEN Magazine had the chance to catch up with Mr. Patel and find out just how he turned dreams into billions. Here’s what he had to say.

SHEEN: What made you decide to get into the hospitality industry?

Ken Patel: It all started at the age of 15, when Ken worked every Saturday and Sunday at a hotel in his Junior and Senior years of high school and later occupied various roles from mid-level management to C Suite.


SHEEN: Let’s circle back for a bit. As a teen you worked with a hotel, at what point did you decide this industry was something you could be a part of? 

Ken Patel: From the time I understood the service component and the many that the industry has to offer.


SHEEN: Starting in the industry or knowing a path you want to take at a young age is very admirable. Sometimes our vision for ourselves is different from that of our family. Did you experience that, or would you say your family and friends were supportive of your career path?

Ken Patel: Yeah, it was a very difficult path because no one in my family is in hospitality, they’re mostly in the medical industry, and I had to create my own avenue and understand what the career path looks like from where I was to where I want to be, and there was not a support system there but you know, I did have to tell people and especially my parents on what I wanted to do and convince them. So, are they convinced now? Absolutely! Were they convinced before? Definitely not.


SHEEN: There’s a lot that goes behind the scenes of being a business owner and sometimes the world isn’t privy to that. With you, your story, your accolades, what kept you grounded and motivated during this journey?

Ken Patel: My motivation really comes from knowing, I would say probably the process of the industry and how stagnant we were with technology, and, as I learned the Tesla Journey and what Elon Musk was doing from the get-go and how people just thought It was never going to be something and it kind of motivated me because I said that I was introducing technology to the industry for the last 7, 8, 9 years, so why not create a technology driven brand, and I knew I was not going to be fail, because I know the process that I was changing was going to be better for the guest experience and better for the employees.


SHEEN: The EV Hotel, the brand that you’ve built, has been compared to “Tesla”. How do you feel about that comparison? 

Ken Patel: Comparing my brand to Tesla and the people that Compare to Elon Musk, it’s unbelievable, never in a million years would I have thought my brand would be compared to tesla or myself being compared to one of the most brilliant men we’ve seen in the world. It’s very humbling and I am very grateful for people thinking like that, I just don’t see myself in the same sentence as Elon Musk. I haven’t done what I have accomplished to do all of it yet. I am still way far away I would probably say, to where I want to accomplish but I do love the compliment and hopefully I can keep up with the compliment.

SHEEN: Technology is always cutting edge. How do you make sure to stay on top of your game and constantly evolve?

Ken Patel: With our brand we have an annual technology property improvement plan instead of the design plan that focuses on furniture of hotels. We have our own Smart devices and technology that constantly are up to date with market conditions.


SHEEN: You have the “Lift You Up” Great Gatsby Gala coming up. You have partnered withare few heavy hitters and this event is dedicated to the fight against human trafficking. What does this cause mean to you personally? 

Ken Patel: It means a lot when you have an eight-year-old daughter, and you know about the children, the women, we’ve seen plenty of movies, currently even the one that’s based on true story, Sound of Freedom, I am sure many of you have seen that already and if you haven’t, please go see it.
 And it means a lot coming from the largest industries in the world, we have not put any deliverable or actionable items in place, all we do is we talk about it. We tell people to go get a certification and then it’s all good, and everything else disappears. Because at the end of the day the industries are concerned about what the bottom line is. We’re not concerned about the well-being of people, the well -being of women, or the well -being of children. We haven’t put in anything that is a piece that tackles it. And that was one of my first things that created this brand. Inside of our technology I put a verification ID system, that does a 2-minute quick background check of every guest and that’s where the hotel gets a green or red flag on that guest.

Now we’re putting the accountability on the hotel as a franchisor, and we have not seen that from any of the top 5 hotel brands in the world. That’s why you don’t see a single brand supporting this charity event. Currently in the state of Ohio there are a thousand women that came in together to file lawsuits against the 5 hotel brands. So, is this a very big issue that we have in hospitality? Absolutely, think about where human trafficking happens? Where does it start? Where does it end? And it’s in hospitality and no one is doing anything, and I thought I had to stand up, for those many women, for the many children, and you look at cases that go up and down globally, look at Atlanta, over 200 billion dollars industry when we talk about human trafficking. Look at Houston, so I mean there are all these cities, and it’s not only the United States, but our example and what we want to do here is create a movement, I think we’re already doing that, look at this Charity event and how successful it’s been.


SHEEN: What can we anticipate from Mr. Patel in the near future?

Ken Patel: I would tell you what my goal is to change lives, do I want to create a better future in hospitality? Absolutely, do I want to change hospitality? Yes. We can’t have the same hospitality, I want to be a change leader, where I want to see change and I want to affect as many lives as I can. With my humble upbringing I feel I grew up with nothing, and I feel what did I have to get there. Now my next step is how can I change many lives and how can I be a role model. You know, me being the youngest chairman in the history of the United States, I felt that now I can help the young minds, I can help many, a lot of different people. What I am doing is not going to be the same, I am going to take this industry to the next level, and it goes back to what Elon Musk and Tesla did. Did we think that Borch was going to make an electric vehicle? Did we think Bently, one the great car makers do an electric vehicle, did we think all these automakers were going to go electric? No, many years the answer would have been no. But what is the answer in 2023? It’s a very simple yes.


SHEEN: How can people get involved with EV Hotel and your other projects?

Ken Patel: The best way to reach us is obviously on social media, people have all my handles on all the social media, Ken Patel and our website is, we love to have influential people be part of it. That is why our brand is all in one solution, that’s why we have the development arm, start to finish construction. We have our management arm after construction is finished. That we manage our properties for the franchisee. So, if you have never been in hospitality and you want to own your own hotel? It’s very easy now with the EV hotel and we have just extra revenue streams that the industry has never ever seen. There was one way to only make money in hotels that was on room revenue. Now I have created the NFT Lobby, NFT guest rooms, and trade floor. So, there are multiple revenue streams that I have created that now you have a better breakeven, where you’re able to break your money and make your money back in a shorter time frame now.


SHEEN: What advice and motivating words would give to young teens out here now who may not be clear and just what career path to take?

Ken Patel: Believe in yourself, and I always say this, don’t ever, ever give up. There is nothing that if anybody tells you that you can’t do it, that means you definitely are doing it. It is because. I have a theory of 80% / 20%. The 80% are always going to believe in your vision but they’re not going to compliment you, and they’re going to say the total opposite of what you’re doing and what you believe in. So, they’re never going to believe it. So that’s why you never ever give up. You want to go out and set this whole path out for you, where once a 10 this is what you’re going to accomplish, and you’re going to go and make sure you accomplish it and don’t let anything get in the way.

What amazing insight. Let this be a lesson to us all that it’s never too soon to go after your dreams and goals, nor is it ever too late to start. With hustle, drive, faith and ambition, there’s always a dream waiting to be embarked upon. Please make sure to follow Ken Patel and if you ever have the opportunity to stay at one of his fine establishments, tell him SHEEN Magazine sent you. 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Ken Patel