■ By Kyle Selby / Reporter
The Days Inn, formerly known as America’s Best Value Inn at 800 Florida Ave., is just one of many motels that inhabit our cozy little town. However, “cozy” seemed to be the last term anybody would use to describe the new establishment, as passersby noticed the poorly scrawled graffiti painted over the blank sign space.
People began to notice the eyesore last week, as the old America’s Best Value sign suddenly read “DAYS INN HEMET” in crooked blue spray painted letters over a white sign.
“I cannot believe that anyone trying to run a business would think that the spray painted sign was acceptable,” said one Hemet resident who preferred not to be named.
Last Friday Jan. 6, Hemet City Councilwoman Karlee Meyer took matters into her own hands when she made a visit to the location and reportedly would not leave until they “fixed” their sign. That is when Days Inn owner Suman Patel brought out his “Days Inn” banners, adorned with the new establishment’s logo of a bright blue and yellow sun, and hung them on either side of the sign.
Councilwoman Meyer responded to the praises left by locals in the comments section on a Facebook post later that evening: “You’re welcome and anytime! Your entire city council is dedicated to getting Hemet back on track. I just happened to be the one available this morning. We thank you all for your support.”
While her efforts received mostly positive reception, some Hemet citizens felt that spearheading the sign replacement was a waste of a City Council member’s time and that the newly-hired city prosecutor should be the one to handle these code violations.
“Now if we can get the City Council to help the homeless and hire more law enforcement to prevent crime…at that point they would deserve our thanks,” said another Hemet resident on Facebook. “But this was just a stupid sign that really doesn’t matter in the big picture.”
Owner Suman Patel ensures that he was “embarrassed” by the atrocious sign that stood for the couple days that it did, and that it does not reflect the hotel conditions at all.
According to Patel, the name change happened after the hotel owner’s contract with America’s Best Value ended at the end of the year. That’s when the owner decided to adopt the Days Inn franchise; meaning the sign out front had to go.
“It’s a bigger franchise,” Patel explained. The owner elaborated that while America’s Best Value Inn was around a 2- or 3-star establishment, Days Inn holds its locations to higher standards, and he ensures that the Hemet location will live up to that.
“We’re going to be the best Inn in town,” said Patel. He wants his establishment to rival that of Best Western Plus and Quality Inn, two of the finer hotel establishments in the Hemet area.
Patel also ensures that the permanent sign has been ordered and he is expecting it to arrive in about three weeks, right around the time of their grand re-opening.