Inverness Hotel delayed due to many challenges

Construction for Inverness’s first franchise hotel started more than two years ago, and today crews are still building.

What You Need To Know

  • Hotel expected to have about 72 rooms, but it’s only about 70 percent complete
  • Shortage of material, labor, supply chain problems cited
  • Dr. Paresh Desai said they are hoping to finish the project by “July or first week of August.”
  • More Citrus County headlines

According to officials with the hotel — which is expected to have 72 rooms — it is only about 70% complete.

While his family is already in the business, Dr. Paresh Desai said he has had an eye on the hotel industry since 2018.

He purchased the two-acre property on South Seminole Avenue in early 2020, not far from the hospital where he works his day job.

“The hospital does not have any hotel in the nearby where the residents, doctors, health care workers and the patients can stay and take care of their patients,” he said.

He said that he’s faced quite a number of challenges that have pushed production on the project back.

“Shortage of material, labor, supply chain problems — so we were delivered and persistent that it would be done,” he said.

Project Manager John Dungan said the price increase of materials is hurting them

“The cost of drywall has doubled since the beginning,” he said. “Just two years ago, this use to be $10 for one sheet of drywall and it’s now 20 bucks.”

Most of his materials were coming from overseas, but now he’s having to look for alternate items to stay on this new schedule.

“Right now we’re into the rough ends,” Dungan said. “We got the plumbing rough end so I’m one-siding all the walls inside the building now, I got one more inspection for the water test, we’ll insulate and soundproofing and we’ll close the walls up and start the texture and painting here in the next three weeks.”

Desai said they are hoping to finish the project by “July or first week of August.”

Despite the challenges, he said he is still anticipating the city’s soon-to-be only franchise hotel will be what Inverness is missing to attract more visitors to the area.

While walking the property, Inverness Mayor Bob Plaisted said it’s come a long way, despite the delays. Once complete, he said the hotel would be great for the city.

“We have a plan,” he said. “To go ahead and make this a big campus for the hotel and doctor’s medical centers and things like that, so that going to be great and this hotel.

“We couldn’t have done all that without Dr. Desai putting up his money to get this whole thing going. He’s done a wonderful job with this.”

Desai said he has other projects he started working on in the county but had to put those on hold due to the general uncertainty.