Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest hotel franchising company with more than 8,900 hotels in 95+ countries. They recently announced BOLD by Wyndham, a new program to advance more Black entrepreneurs on their path to hotel ownership. Developed with insight from existing Black hoteliers, BOLD stands for Black Owners and Lodging Developers. It aims to expand awareness of the unique challenges faced by Black entrepreneurs while using the scale and resources of Wyndham to help address those challenges and increase the number of Black hoteliers.
Diversity, equity and inclusion at Wyndham
“Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has always championed diversity, equity and inclusion both within our Company and throughout the greater travel industry,” said Geoff Ballotti, President and CEO, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “Earlier this year we launched Women Own the Room—the industry’s first-ever program targeting women’s advancement in hotel ownership. Now have more than a dozen by-Wyndham hotels under development with women owners. With today’s debut of BOLD by Wyndham, we’re looking to further leverage the power of Wyndham. We want to create even more development opportunities for underrepresented ownership groups.”
The National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD) reports that Black employment in the hotel industry represents nearly 20 percent of all team members in the industry. Yet, less than two percent of hotel owners are Black. Meanwhile, McKinsey reports 20 percent of Black Americans are starting or currently running businesses—more than any other ethnic group. BOLD is Wyndham’s approach to attract more Black entrepreneurs to hospitality. They will also accelerate those already familiar with the significant opportunities hotel ownership provides. BOLD is offering the tools and guidance needed to achieve success.
Addressing unique challenges
“Combine the natural challenges of entrepreneurship with the lasting effects of systemic racism, and the result is that Black entrepreneurs are woefully underrepresented in hotel ownership,” said Galen Barrett, vice president, Strategic Development for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “It’s why we connected directly with existing and aspiring Black hoteliers to help us create BOLD by Wyndham. Understanding their unique needs—and how they differ from other underrepresented groups—was critical for building a program that can help overcome barriers and put the keys to hotel ownership in their hands.”
Engaging and empowering Black hotel ownership
BOLD is founded on two key building blocks. The first is attracting more Black entrepreneurs to hospitality by promoting hotel ownership as a vehicle for potential wealth creation. The second is accelerating the path to hotel ownership.
- Laying the Foundation—Opening the doors to hospitality through education and outreach is essential to advancing Black hotel ownership. Through BOLD, Black entrepreneurs can participate in Wyndham-sponsored networking and educational events. They can receive resources designed to help explore if hotel ownership is right for them and find success. Participants will have the chance to learn more about ownership, overcoming barriers, tips for securing financing and more.
- Accelerating the Path to Ownership—For Black entrepreneurs who already know that hotel ownership is the right choice, BOLD exists to eliminate barriers and help expedite the route to ownership. Wyndham will provide qualified members with access to enhanced capital and operational support; financing opportunities, including lender introductions; and discounts with preferred suppliers. Qualified members will also be invited to participate in signature BOLD Incubator events. Events will connect them with committed lenders and brokers and offer the opportunity to explore partner/joint venture opportunities.
Vaughn Irons’ BOLD Vision for Priví Stonecrest
Vaughn Irons, Principal, Stonecrest Resorts, is the inaugural member of BOLD by Wyndham. They were recently awarded a new construction 110-room TRYP by Wyndham franchise in the Atlanta suburb of Stonecrest, Ga. The hotel will enhance Stonecrest Resorts’ current $17 million adaptive reuse project, Priví. The project is transforming The Mall at Stonecrest into a family destination. Stonecrest Resorts has already successfully developed the SeaQuest Aquarium in the first phase of their Priví Stonecrest project, which opened November 2021. They will soon add a health & wellness complex, fine art gallery, bookstore, coffee shop, incubator for creatives and events facility. The new construction hotel is a cornerstone of the project’s next phase, introducing new elements, including a food hall, history museum, fashion emporium and expanded family entertainment. These elements will increase the total investment of the Privi project to $35 million with the hotel expected to break ground in early 2023.
“We’re not just creating a new one-of-a-kind gathering place for those in east metro Atlanta,” said first-time hotelier, Irons. “Priví is an economic development project solidifying Stonecrest as a tourism destination and drawing visitors from all around the Southeast and eventually internationally. Throughout each and every interaction Wyndham has been a true partner in listening to fully understand our tourism potential and delivering on our needs to offer a lifestyle brand experience in Stonecrest.”
Having the backing of Wyndham, means having the support and resources of the world’s largest hotel franchising company. Our community desires to be a safe haven for Black excellence and wealth creation.”
To learn more about BOLD by Wyndham, including details about upcoming events, visit BoldbyWyndham.com. For additional details on franchising opportunities, visit www.wyndhamdevelopment.com. For more information about Priví please visit www.StonecrestResorts.com
About Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest hotel franchising company by the number of properties. They own more than 8,900 hotels in 95+ countries on six continents. Through its network of over 813,000 rooms appealing to the everyday traveler, Wyndham commands a leading presence in the economy and midscale segments of the lodging industry. The Company operates a portfolio of 22 hotel brands. These include Super 8, Days Inn, Ramada, Microtel, La Quinta, Baymont, Wingate, AmericInn, Hawthorn Suites, Trademark Collection and Wyndham. The Company’s award-winning Wyndham Rewards loyalty program offers approximately 94 million enrolled members the opportunity to redeem points at thousands of hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rentals globally. For more information, visit www.wyndhamhotels.com.
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