Since launching last summer, Wyndham’s BOLD by Wyndham program has signed nearly 20 hotels across the United States, including 10 under its newly launched ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham brand.
BOLD, which stands for Black Owners and Lodging Developers, was established to engage and advance Black hoteliers by addressing the unique challenges faced by Black entrepreneurs through the scale, relationships, and resources of Wyndham. (Wyndham is the largest hotel franchising company in the world with approximately 9,100 hotels in over 95 countries.)
Based on data provided by the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers (NABHOOD), Black employment in the hotel industry represents nearly 20% of all team members in the industry, but less than 2% of hotel owners are Black.
“There’s an immense gap when it comes to the representation of Black hotel owners, which is why it’s crucial that players like Wyndham find and champion new opportunities to drive diversity,” said Galen Barrett, vice president, of strategic development at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. With agreements for nearly 20 hotels in our pipeline, BOLD by Wyndham is proving there is opportunity in our industry for Black entrepreneurs and that our industry will be all the better for it.”
ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham
Among the hotels currently in the BOLD by Wyndham pipeline, 10 are affiliated with the hotelier’s newly launched ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham brand. Twin brothers Dubi and Chuchu Ajukwu, co-managing partners of VANA Partners and graduates of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, and Harvard Business School, respectively, are the developers behind the deal.
“Chuchu and I are well-versed in the worlds of residential and commercial real estate and for years, our vision was to build a company leveraging our institutional experience in those sectors,” said Dubi Ajukwu. “That vision still holds true but has since evolved to have extended stay and hospitality at its center. Participating in BOLD by Wyndham has not only enabled us to break into competitive markets with immense growth potential but also allowed us to leverage the scale and resources of the world’s largest hotel franchising company.”
Working toward a long-term goal of an established footprint throughout Florida and beyond, the brothers anticipate breaking ground on their first hotel in Daytona Beach later this year.