Each year nominations are received from chambers of commerce and cities across the Rio Grande Valley for recognition in the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame at State Farm Arena, sponsored by the City of Hidalgo in conjunction with BorderFest.

Nominees are considered for induction based on their life achievements and significant civic contributions.

The South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce nominated longtime chamber member and Island business owner Barry Patel to the RGV Walk of Fame for 2018. Patel was selected for this great honor and was recognized at the official induction ceremonies last month at State Farm Arena.

The building of seven hotels on South Padre Island, and a total of 22 in the Valley by Barry Patel has resulted in a $400 million economic impact, and the employment of 500 to 600 people in the ongoing operation of the hotels.

In addition to being a widely recognized leading hotel developer and respected businessman, Patel is a dedicated South Padre Island community leader serving on numerous committees over the years including the past three years as Mayor for South Padre Island.

He continues to share his vision for the future of South Padre, and is currently constructing a new Marriot Hotel on the Island.

The economic impact of Patel’s hotel developments has been extraordinary, and as public servant he has initiated and carried out a significant number of projects important to the continuing development of South Padre Island as a premier tourism destination, and as home to Island residents.

During his public service to South Padre Island, Patel has accomplished and/or laid the ground Convention Centre renovation; Queen Isabella Memorial Bridge boardwalk repairs; sidewalks on Padre Blvd.; Gulf Blvd reconstruction and improvements; extension of the Padre Blvd. median project; establishment of a venue tax and proposed improvement projects; legislation to generate tax funds earmarked to improve Laguna Madre Bay accessibility; received three major grants for parks, Padre Blvd. and Corral Street ramps; 1st phase construction of Tompkins Park; improvement plan and start of improvements to all side streets with curbs and gutters; improved working relationship with Cameron County Commissioners; and helped win approval of the TERS designation for South Padre.

While serving on the SPI Convention and Visitors Authority, Patel was instrumental in crafting legislation, and advocating with State legislators and State Tourism Officials, for a half percent increase in the hotel tax specifically for Island beach renourishment.

Because of these efforts, monies for maintaining the beautiful South Padre Island beaches are secured for the foreseeable future.

Barry Patel has consistently been committed in his support of local non-profit organizations, community events and public organizations, including South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce, South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, Sea Turtle Inc, Friends of Animal Rescue, U.S. Border Patrol, El Paseo Arts Foundation, and most all area events from walks, runs, fishing tournaments, Laguna Madre Education Foundation Scholarships, hospital fundraisers, and the list goes on. Without hesitation, Patel offers financial support, venues, support services and his personal time and energy for the benefit of our community.

Patel currently serves as Chairman on the Cameron County Beach & Dune Protection Committee and is an active member of the Asian American Hotel Owner’s Association. His past service on South Padre Island includes: Convention and Visitors Authority; Shoreline Taskforce; Chamber of Commerce; City Council; and City Mayor. For Cameron County he has served on the Appraisal Review Board, and on the Appraisal District Board of Directors.

Patel has been recognized by the RGV Hispanic Chamber; Indian Association of the RGV; Gujarati Samaj RGV; South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce as a Community Partner; and by the RGV Partnership.

With Bachelors Degree in Pharmacy from the University of Bradford in England and from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Patel began his career as a pharmacist, and was registered in Texas, Florida and New York.

Patel’s family includes five brothers and one sister, all in Texas. Together they have 11 children and six grand children. Barry is married to Jayshree Patel.