Industry NewsBrandsBOLD by Wyndham Program Debuts to Engage and Advance Black Entrepreneurs

BOLD by Wyndham Program Debuts to Engage and Advance Black Entrepreneurs

PARSIPPANY, New Jersey—Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced BOLD by Wyndham, a new program designed to engage and advance more Black entrepreneurs on their path to hotel ownership. Developed with insight and support from existing and aspiring Black hoteliers, BOLD, which stands for Black Owners and Lodging Developers, aims to expand awareness of the 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.

“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—and 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 and 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 2 percent of hotel owners are Black. Meanwhile, McKinsey reports 20 percent of Black U.S. adults are starting or currently running businesses—more than any other ethnic group. BOLD is Wyndham’s approach to attract more Black entrepreneurs to hospitality as well as help accelerate those already familiar with the opportunities hotel ownership provides, offering the tools and guidance needed for success.

“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.”

BOLD is founded on two key building blocks: Attracting more Black entrepreneurs to hospitality by promoting hotel ownership as a vehicle for potential wealth creation and 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 and receive resources designed to help explore if hotel ownership is right for them and what it takes to be a successful hotelier. During each event, participants will have the chance to learn more about ownership, common barriers and how to overcome them, tips for securing financing, and more.
  • Accelerating the Path to Ownership: For Black entrepreneurs who already know that hotel ownership is the right choice for them, BOLD exists to eliminate barriers and help expedite the route to ownership. Wyndham will provide qualified members with access to capital and operational support; financing opportunities, including lender introductions; and discounts with suppliers. Qualified members will also be invited to participate in signature BOLD Incubator events, connecting them with lenders and brokers and offering the opportunity to explore partner/joint venture opportunities and package development deals that come with additional capital support.

Vaughn Irons, principal, Stonecrest Resorts, is the inaugural member of BOLD by Wyndham having recently been awarded a new construction 110-room TRYP by Wyndham franchise in the Atlanta suburb of Stonecrest, Georgia. The hotel will be welcomed to Stonecrest Resorts’ current $17 million adaptive reuse project, Priví, which is transforming The Mall at Stonecrest into a family entertainment and lifestyle destination. Stonecrest Resorts has already developed the 25,000-square-foot SeaQuest Aquarium in the first phase of their Priví Stonecrest project, which opened November 2021. The second phase is already underway and will soon add a health and wellness complex, fine art gallery, bookstore, coffee shop, incubator for creatives, and 5,000-square-foot events facility. The new construction hotel is a cornerstone of the project’s next phase, which will introduce new lifestyle elements, including a 50,000-square-foot food hall, history museum, fashion designer 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 behind our community’s desire to be a safe haven for Black excellence and wealth creation.”