Ground work has begun on the first of three well-known chain hotels on the west side of Highway 41 between the Glass Hut and the Oakhurst Fruit Stand.
The first hotel to be build is a 108-room Holiday Inn Express Inn & Suites, that is expected to be open in time for this summer's busy tourist season.
Plans call for two additional hotels, a 108-room Fairfield Inn & Suites and a 108-room Hampton Inn by Marriott, to be built adjacent to the Holiday Inn Express on the same six-acre lot.
The hotels are being developed by the Patel family and Paul Patel is the general contractor for the three properties.
All three of the four-story hotels will feature a fitness room, a meeting room and a swimming pool.
Patel estimates that when all three hotels are complete, they will provide 100-plus jobs for area residents.
When the three hotels open, the 324 rooms will increase the number of hotel rooms currently in Oakhurst (534) by about 60%.
Patel said when the hotels open, they will generate a combined $1.2 million in Transient Occupancy Tax (bed tax) for Madera County.
"Additional people will travel to Oakhurst because they are very loyal to these brand names," Patel said. "During the busy season, about 1,000 people will be staying in the three hotels."
Patel said the average family spends about $100 a day while on vacation in goods and services above and beyond what they pay for their hotel room.
"Many businesses in Oakhurst, especially restaurants, will feel the positive financial impact the people staying in these hotels will bring them," Patel said.
The Patel family is not new to the hotel business. They have owned two Highway 41 properties the 117-room Comfort Inn (adjacent to H & L Lumber) for nine years, and the 14-room Hounds Tooth Inn (just south of the Golden Chain Theatre) for two years.
The family also owns three hotels in Mariposa the 27-room Yosemite Inn for eight years, the 78-room Best Western Hotel at the corner of Highways 49 and 140 since 2008, the refurbished 48-room Monarch Inn in Mariposa since 2012.
"Pending the continued cooperation of county officials, our plan is to have all three hotels completed by the end of the year," Patel said.