Marriott International announced the launch of a multi-year $50 million development program, ‘Marriott’s Bridging The Gap’. This announcement was made at the 44th Annual NYU International Hospitality Investment Conference.
The program by Marriott aims to address the barriers to entry that historically underrepresented groups face in owning and developing hotels in the United States and Canada. Since lack of sufficient capital is a critical barrier to market entry, Marriott will offer financial and other incentives to qualified historically underrepresented owners and franchisees that will have a controlling equity interest in select branded projects.
The incentives will apply to new franchise applications submitted after June 1, 2022. Over three years, qualifying development projects built or converted under Marriott’s Bridging The Gap are expected to reach $1 billion in total asset value for historically underrepresented ownership groups.
Besides providing access to valuable capital, Marriott plans to utilize its extensive relationships with seasoned hotel developers, operators and lenders to assist and support eligible owners’ hotel projects. Marriott’s $50 million program aims to increase development and ownership of Marriott properties among historically underrepresented groups Including black, Hispanic/Latino, Native Americans and women.
“With the establishment of Marriott’s Bridging The Gap, we are creating an on-ramp to help propel historically underrepresented groups in the journey to hotel ownership more frequently and more successfully. We are excited to launch Marriott’s Bridging The Gap and to continue building a more diverse owner and franchisee community,” said Anthony Capuano, CEO, Marriott International.
Bridging The Gap program is a significant step by Marriott’s towards increasing the ranks of diverse owners and franchisees. The company has a longstanding history of building a highly diverse owner and franchisee community. The company is a founding sponsor of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD), She Has a Deal (SHaD) and the Latino Hotel Association. Through its engagement with these organizations as well as the National Black MBA Association, Marriott has conducted outreach and educational seminars on the path to hotel ownership. In addition, Marriott regularly hosts a Diverse Owner Summit at its headquarters to identify and recruit investors with interest in hotel ownership.
“A hotel is an economic engine for a community,” noted Stephanie Linnartz, President, Marriott International. “We believe our guests, our associates, our hotels and the communities we serve will benefit from the full participation of underrepresented groups in this extraordinary industry. Marriott’s Bridging The Gap program directly addresses some of the most critical barriers to entry, with a comprehensive approach designed to enable historically underrepresented groups to enter our ownership ranks or to expand their current holdings.”