As part of Marriott International’s (Nasdaq: MAR) ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, the company today announced that the first 19 projects receiving financial support and other incentives through “Marriott’s Bridging the Gap” program will include the company’s Aloft Hotels, Autograph Collection, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, TownePlace Suites and Tribute Portfolio brands. The program, announced in 2022 with a $50 million initial investment from Marriott, aims to build a more diverse Marriott owner and franchisee community by addressing barriers to entry in hotel ownership among historically underrepresented groups including Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American/First Nation and Women owners. In addition to providing access to valuable capital, Marriott is utilizing its extensive relationships with seasoned hotel developers, operators and lenders to assist and support eligible owners’ hotel projects.

“We see hotel ownership as a powerful economic generator – creating good jobs and revenue in the community and an on-ramp to prosperity and inter-generational wealth for hotel owners. Today’s announcement is all about creating opportunity – and as the name of this program suggests – bridging the gap to hotel ownership that too often exists for underrepresented groups,” said Anthony Capuano, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International. “I want to congratulate all of these future hotel owners and thank them for working with us to realize their dreams and ours.”

Said Arzu Molubhoy, Managing Partner, Alpha 3 Hotels, whose company is developing a Residence Inn in Texas under the program, “Marriott’s Bridging the Gap has been the most beneficial by opening doors. It has given opportunities that you dream of, and you hope that one day comes to fruition.”

In total, development projects under Marriott’s Bridging the Gap program are expected to reach $1 billion in total asset value for their ownership groups within three years. To qualify for the program, development projects may be new-build, relicenses or conversion projects in the U.S. and Canada under one of the company’s 30 brands.

“These 19 projects not only demonstrate progress in Marriott’s goal to diversify its ownership community but also growing momentum in expanding hotel ownership opportunities among historically underrepresented groups well into the future,” said Noah Silverman, Global Development Officer, U.S. and Canada, Marriott International.

For more information about Marriott’s Bridging the Gap, please visit Marriott Development.

She Has a Deal Pitch Competition and Awards Luncheon
Marriott is a founding sponsor of She Has a Deal (SHaD) launched in 2019 by Tracy Prigmore, a hotel investor and founder of real estate investment company TLTsolutions. SHaD is a real estate investment platform that creates new pathways to hotel ownership and development for women. Marriott will host the organization’s fourth annual pitch competition at the company’s new global headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. Attendees will include leaders in the hotel and lending industries as well as competition participants, current and aspiring hotel owners and women seeking to expand career opportunities.

“I am on a mission to increase the number of women and people of color owning and developing hotels, and SHaDPitch is just one of my strategies to create new pathways that open the door to building wealth through hotel real estate development,” said Tracy Prigmore. “Marriott collaborated with us from the beginning when She Has a Deal was just a concept and their leadership has been instrumental in furthering the mission, so we are elated that Marriott wanted to host SHaDPitch at their new headquarters this year.”

SHaDPitch includes two days of competition pitches culminating with an award luncheon. The event will open with welcome remarks on April 27 at 1 pm by David Marriott, Chairman of the Board, Marriott International. The following day, April 28, Marriott senior leaders including Anthony Capuano, President and Chief Executive Officer; Leeny Oberg, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, Development; and Noah Silverman, Global Development Officer, U.S. and Canada will be giving remarks.

Participants in the SHaD competition are focused in two tracks: Early Careerist and Today’s Woman. As part of the competition, the participants completed more than 40 hours of intensive hotel investment education to learn how to source, evaluate, and raise capital for a real hotel deal. The 2023 Early Career track is comprised of 16 women either pursuing college and graduate degrees or who are recent graduates. The Today’s Woman track includes 10 women who are established in their careers. The finalists for both tracks will participate in the final pitch and competition judged by industry leaders and will vie for $50,000 in deal equity through the She Has a Deal Prosperity Fund, which is a vehicle for investing in women-led hotel projects.