Wyndham’s “Women Own the Room” program signs on first member

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has received its first signed agreement as part of its “Women Own the Room” program. Trusha Patel, founder/CEO, Platinum Holdings, becomes the program’s first member with two new-construction La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites dual-branded hotels (rendering shown above).

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.

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:

1. Delivering comprehensive financial solutions

  • Enhanced capital support
  • Reduced initial franchise fee
  • Available for new construction and conversion projects

2. Offering personalized and complimentary operational guidance & support

  • Personalized opening support
  • Best-in-class training
  • Complimentary services designed to help maximize revenue

3. 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,” said Patel. “When embarking on owning a hotel of my own, it was helpful to have access to the resources that Wyndham provides. 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
Patel will open La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites dual-branded hotels in the 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 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, according to the company.

La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites Austin Airport will be located less than a mile from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and four miles from downtown Austin, and will be one of the closest hotels to the new Tesla headquarters and Gigafactory. Nearby attractions include the Texas State Capitol, Austin360 Amphitheater, the Paramount Theatre and the Circuit of Americas racing facility.

La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites Georgetown will be located 30 miles north of Austin. The 3.3-acre hotel will be part of Longhorn Junction, the 190-acre mixed-use development, which will also include a brewery and a variety of restaurants and retail outlets.

“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,” said Chip Ohlsson, chief development officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “The program is designed to clear the path for women who are eager to make their mark in the hospitality industry.”