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 Ground Broken for African American-Owned Wingate Inn® Hotel in Weldon Springs, Missouri
PARSIPPANY, N.J. (Nov 9, 2004) — Wingate Inns International today announced the groundbreaking ceremony of a Wingate Inn hotel in Weldon Springs, Mo., owned exclusively by African Americans.

The 100-room property, located at 18 Research Park Circle on the University of Missouri’s Research Park campus, is scheduled to open by the second quarter of 2005.  The hotel is owned by Inn at Missouri Bluff LLLP.  Leisure Hotels & Resorts of Kansas City, Kan., has been selected to manage the operations of the hotel.

“St. Charles County is ideal for a Wingate Inn hotel,” said Harold Whitfield, spokesman for the Inn at Missouri Bluff LLLP.  “Wingate Inn hotels provide travelers with high-tech amenities and top-notch service and the brand’s all-inclusive pricing delivers everything at an incredible value.”

Nicole Johnson-Reece, vice president of diversity and community involvement for Cendant’s Hotel Group, said development of this hotel represents a significant step forward for African American entrepreneurs.  She noted that there is great opportunity for African American, Hispanic and Native American entrepreneurs to become actively involved in hotel ownership.

“We congratulate the Inn at Missouri Bluff LLLP on their entry into the lodging industry and welcome them into the Cendant family,” said Johnson-Reece.  She added that the Inn at Missouri Bluff LLLP’s decision to build a Wingate Inn hotel is significant because it represents a growing trend of African American investment in lodging products.  This past April, ground was broken on the first African American-owned Wingate Inn in Mobile, Ala.

To encourage hotel development by minority franchisees, Cendant offers a program called Keys to Success that provides minority franchisees with a variety of specialized incentives, including a development allowance.  Johnson-Reece noted that the Inn at Missouri Bluff LLLP’s project represents a breakthrough because it did not require franchisor financial support.

Although focused on providing efficient working conditions for the business traveler, Wingate Inn hotels also provide amenities for leisure travelers.  They can benefit from larger-than-average guest rooms (12 by 28 feet), continental breakfast, a whirlpool, exercise facilities, free accommodations for children 18 and under when accompanied by an adult family member, a 100 percent guest satisfaction guarantee and in-room safes, coffee makers, hair dryers and ironing boards with irons.

Wingate Inns International opened its first franchised hotel in July 1996.  Its focused service, upper mid-market franchised hotels feature sophisticated, consumer-based technology and comfortable, oversized rooms that were created in response to business travelers’ needs.  All Wingate Inn hotels are independently owned and operated under franchise agreements with Wingate Inns International.  Wingate Inns International is a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation (NYSE: CD).

Leisure Hotels & Resorts is a third-party management group that operates as a division of Kansas-based Leisure Group of Companies, which specializes in hotel and convention center development, construction management, brokerage services, and hotel management of hotels in the resort, extended stay, and full service markets.  Currently the company manages twenty-four (24) hotels in Kansas, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, and Texas. 


Emanuel Naim
Manager, Consumer Media Relations
Cendant Corporation, Hotel Group
(973) 496-0750
Also See: Nicole Johnson-Reece Named Vice President, Diversity and Community Involvement for Cendant Corporation’s Hotel Group / October 2003
NAACP Lodging Industry Report Card 2003; Foremost Problem Facing African-Americans: Property Ownership / July 2003

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