What: BOLD by Wyndham Aims to Accelerate the Career Path of Black Hotel Owners
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced a new program designed to engage and advance Black entrepreneurs on the path to hotel ownership, particularly through franchising opportunities with the brand. Called BOLD by Wyndham — which stands for “Black Owners and Lodging Developers” — the program was developed with assistance from existing and aspiring Black hoteliers.
Why It Matters: Black Entrepreneurs Face Unique Challenges That Must Be Addressed
According to the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers, Black employment in the hotel industry accounts for nearly 20% of all team members; however, less than 2% of hotel owners are Black. BOLD by Wyndham is a step toward recognizing and addressing the challenges that Black entrepreneurs face in the travel industry, and this new initiative will help to create a more equitable and accessible workplace.
In combination with the company’s Women Own the Room program for female advancement in hotel ownership, the brand is doubling down on its commitment to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion across the travel industry.
Fast Facts: How BOLD Will Advance Black Hotel Owners
- The BOLD program has two fundamental goals: To attract more Black entrepreneurs to the hospitality industry, and to accelerate the path to hotel ownership.
- Through the program, Black entrepreneurs can participate in Wyndham-sponsored networking and education events, as well as receive resources to help them explore whether hotel ownership is right for them. Participants will learn about hotel ownership, common barriers (and how to overcome them), tips for securing financing and more.
- For those who already know they want to become hotel owners, BOLD is designed to accelerate their career path. Wyndham will offer qualified members access to enhanced capital and operational support, as well as financing opportunities and discounts with preferred suppliers. Signature BOLD Incubator events will also connect potential owners with committed lenders and brokers.
- BOLD’s inaugural member, Vaughn Irons, principal of Stonecrest Resorts, was recently awarded a new-construction, 110-room Tryp by Wyndham franchise in Stonecrest, Ga. The hotel is expected to break ground in early 2023.
What They Are Saying: Wyndham Is Committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Travel Industry
"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 of Wyndham. "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 the 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."
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.
"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," added Galen Barrett, vice president of strategic development for Wyndham. "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."