PARSIPPANY, NJ – January 26, 2022 – Wyndham Hotels & Resorts – the world’s largest hotel franchising company with approximately 9,000 hotels across nearly 95 countries – announced today its first signed agreement as part of its innovative “Women Own the Room” program. Trusha Patel, Founder and CEO, Platinum Holdings, becomes the pioneering program’s first member with two new construction La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites dual-branded hotels. The first-ever program by a major hotel company specifically targeting women’s advancement in hotel ownership, Wyndham’s recently launched “Women Own the Room” is designed to advance and empower women entrepreneurs to break through the predominantly male-dominated hotel industry and is a natural extension of Wyndham’s strong dedication to a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
From Breaking the Glass Ceiling to Breaking Hotel Ground: “Women Own the Room” Supports Advancement of Women-Owned Hotels
Hospitality industry data shows that women are significantly underrepresented in hotel ownership, real estate, and investment funding roles. Research conducted by Castell Project in 2021 found that while the hospitality industry is one of the most diverse, it lags when it comes to diversity in senior positions and ownership. While women make up 70% of the tourism and hospitality workforce, they only make up 10% of hotel development roles. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is committed to gender diversity, women’s economic empowerment, and advancing women entrepreneurs to level the playing field.
“Hospitality is one of the most diverse industries in the world and we should be fostering that diversity at the highest levels including ownership,” said Lisa Checchio, Chief Marketing Officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “While the workforce in the tourism and hospitality industry is comprised of 70% women, only one woman enters hotel development for every 9.6 men. “Women Own the Room” is specifically designed to help overcome the common barriers women face in hotel development and help them open and run their hotels.”
Women Own the Room is built upon the pillars of:
- Delivering comprehensive financial solutions
- Enhanced capital support
- Reduced initial franchise fee
- Available for new construction and conversion projects
- Offering personalized and complimentary operational guidance & support
- Personalized opening support
- Best-in-class training
- Complimentary services designed to help maximize revenue
- Establishing an inclusive community for networking & education
- Event topics to include: Tips on securing financing
- Selecting sites and performing feasibility assessments
- Success stories from women in hotel development
Wyndham’s new program aims to help address the nearly 50% of women in business who lack competent advisors to guide them through entrepreneurship by connecting females interested in the hotel business with established female hotel developers who successfully broke the mold. Additionally, the company offers a development incentive program that provides meaningful Wyndham financing, discounts on initial fees and complimentary first-year operating services to support the success of hotels developed by women.
“I grew up in the hospitality industry and have been involved in every facet of hotel ownership, from development to dispositions. When embarking on owning a hotel of my own, it was helpful to have access to the resources that Wyndham provides,” said Trusha Patel, Founder and CEO, Platinum Holdings. “With the support of Wyndham, I have the backing of the world’s largest hotel company behind me. This is an incredible opportunity to realize my personal hospitality objectives, and also an opportunity to inspire other women to fulfill their entrepreneurship goals.”
Two New La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites Dual-Brand Hotels
Ms. Patel will open two La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites dual-branded hotels in the rapidly growing Texas cities of Austin and Georgetown. Each hotel will offer a combined 125 guestrooms – 75 of which will feature the recently refreshed room design from La Quinta’s sought-after Del Sol prototype, and 50 will feature the updated Hawthorn room design including modern, well-equipped kitchens for extended-stay guests. This pairing of select-service and long-term lodging targets different types of travelers, bringing them together under one roof and allows Wyndham to provide options for travelers looking for extended-stays, especially in the growing midscale space. Background about the new hotels:
- La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites Austin Airport — The hotel will be conveniently situated less than a mile from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, four miles from downtown Austin, and will be one of the closest hotels to the new Tesla Headquarters and Gigafactory. Guests can easily experience all that the city has to offer such as music and local bites on 6th street and Rainey Street, visiting the Texas State Capital, catching a concert at Austin360 Amphitheater, seeing a performance at Paramount Theatre, or visiting Circuit of Americas racing facility, which hosts the Formula One United States Grand Prix, Road Racing World Championship and more.
- La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites Georgetown — Located 30 miles north of Austin along one of central Texas’ largest thoroughfares, Georgetown has experienced explosive growth over the last decade and has transformed into an independent economic hub. The 3.3-acre hotel will be part of Longhorn Junction, the 190-acre mixed use development, which will also welcome a brewery and a variety of restaurants and retail outlets. Guests of the hotel will be able to seamlessly explore the destination and can enjoy boating and fishing excursions on Lake Georgetown in the warmer months.
“Members of ‘Women Own the Room,’ will have access to the tools and support designed to help them achieve success every step of the way, from signing and breaking ground to welcoming their first guests. The program is designed to clear the path for women who are eager to make their mark in the hospitality industry,” said Chip Ohlsson, Chief Development Officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.
As a leading hospitality brand, Wyndham is helping advance and champion diversity within the Company and the greater travel industry. Spanning multiple countries and continents, Wyndham team members are a widespread group of individuals with diverse interests and backgrounds who all come together to further one of the world’s most prominent hotel organizations. For three years in a row, the company received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Index, designating Wyndham as a best place to work as well, as having been named by DiversityInc as a noteworthy company for its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
To get involved and stay up-to-date on Women Own the Room’s upcoming events, visit www.womenowntheroombywyndham.com. Developers interested in collaborating with Wyndham can visit Wyndhamdevelopment.com or contact the Wyndham Franchise Development team by email at [email protected].