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Published: Tuesday, 11/27/2001

`Hare Krishna' buys area motel

Cross Country Inn has a new owner. Cross Country Inn has a new owner.

Have the Hare Krishnas, a Hindu religious sect that gained notoriety in the 1970s for soliciting donations from airport visitors, entered the motel business in Toledo?

The newly formed Hare Krishna LLC bought the Cross Country Inn in Maumee near Exit 4 of the Ohio Turnpike from a Columbus real estate developer on Nov. 20.

But people affiliated with the company said the firm is not related to the religious sect.

“There is no relation,” said Nita Patel, motel manager

Suresh N. “Sinbad” Patel, a motel owner, picked the name because he liked its sound, explained Norman Rubinoff, a Toledo attorney who represents Mr. Patel.

“He picks names that have significance for him.”

But while Mr. Patel is a native of India, he is not a member of the nation's dominant Hindu faith, the lawyer added.

A spokesman for the Hare Karishna movement said she wasn't necessarily pleased that Mr. Patel appropriated the movement's name.

“I don't think it's OK,” said Tijana Stipcic, of Krishna House in Columbus.

“We have certain rules ... If a person picks up our name and uses it for something that doesn't go along with them, people could get a wrong picture of us.”

Mr. Patel is the only principal mentioned in records on Hare Karishna LLC at the Ohio Secretary of State's office.

The firm was formed Oct. 1 to engage in the motel business, records state.

Hare Krishna LLC bought the motel at 1704 Tollgate Dr. for $2.5 million from Donald R. Kenney, of Westerville, Ohio.

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