Excellent Inn reopens after being destroyed by fire

Published 8:24 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2022

NATCHEZ — Excellent Inn & Suites at 43 Seargent Prentiss Drive reopened Monday after closing for nearly a year because of a fire.

The building lost its roof entirely in an April 20, 2021 fire.

Alex Patel Jr., whose family owns the hotel, said without a roof it was a total loss. The 68-room hotel had to be rebuilt from the bottom floor up.

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“As soon as the firefighters were done, everything started coming down,” he said. “Every room had to be gutted and repainted. New insulation and new sheetrock, the whole nine yards. It wasn’t just the exterior.”

Added to that, worldwide challenges from COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war made reconstruction a difficult and lengthy process.

“As a family, we overcame a lot this past year. We work together every day anyway but overcoming a challenge like this has been extremely hard on us but we also grew a lot because of this devastating thing that happened,” Patel said.

The family has been in business for 26 years and during that time has built community relationships that have helped them a lot during the crisis, he said.

“The community has been fantastic with the countless phone calls and people coming to check up on us. We’re incredibly thankful for that.”

Patel said it’s a relief to be able to get things to normal and give employees back their jobs.

“We had like seven employees working here before the fire,” he said. “All that were gone we’re trying to get everyone to come back and have that family work atmosphere again. Construction comes with a lot of stress. Being able to get back to day-to-day life is relieving.”