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As part of the hotel franchisor’s development program, an African American entrepreneur will open six new locations.
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Choice Hotels International, Inc.’s emerging markets franchise development program, which has awarded and supported 250 franchise agreements with underrepresented minority and veteran entrepreneurs since its conception, has awarded a contract to African American entrepreneur Fredric Washington to develop six new hotels throughout Florida.
This new agreement marks the largest minority multi-unit franchise deal executed in the development program’s history, and will see new sites open in the following locations:
“Choice Hotels has a longstanding, deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we strive to make every associate, franchisee, and guest feel welcome, wanted, and respected – that’s our brand promise,” said Patrick Pacious, president and chief executive officer, Choice Hotels. “As part of that pledge, our emerging markets franchise development team is constantly working to help extend the opportunity of hotel ownership to those who have historically been less represented in the hospitality industry.”
Choice Hotels’ development program has yielded 17 contracts so far this year, even during the COVID-19 pandemic when the hospitality industry has been hit especially hard. In total, the hotel franchisor has a portfolio of more than 7,100 locations in over 40 countries and territories.
“It’s historically significant that the first hotel in this multi-unit deal is owned by an African American in St. Augustine, where there have been several prominent acts of racial discrimination in this industry,” said Fredric Washington, the brand’s new multi-unit franchisee. “This is a welcomed step forward and I appreciate the sincere collaboration with Choice Hotels to help address the racial divide that exists in our country by promoting African American hotel ownership. Choice leads the industry in creating true equity participation, and now I’ve experienced firsthand why – the company is not satisfied with hanging banners and coming up with logos, but they live inclusiveness and diversity every day.”
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