Posted 7/26/2012 - 7:55:40 AM
MIAMI–Opening its annual conference here, the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers celebrated a significant increase in African-American ownership of U.S. hotels.
Where in 2002, only a handful of U.S. hotels were owned by African-Americans, that number now approaches 500 hotels, according to NABHOOD president & CEO Andy Ingraham. Ingraham and other speakers at the three-day conference, which is being held at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, said they believed that the number of owned hotels could grow to 5,000 in the next decade.
Present and future NABHOOD members need to make a real commitment to understanding the fundamentals of the cyclical lodging industry, with special attention to financing issues, if they ultimately are going to be successful, Ingraham explained.
NABHOOD continues to nurture its partnership with the Asian-American Hotel Owners Association, a group whose members have achieved significant success in the industry in recent years. Among the speakers on the NABHOOD conference agenda are Alkesh Patel, current AAHOA chairman.
As veteran hotel owners themselves, Michael Roberts, chairman of Roberts Hotels and chairman of the NABHOOD board, and Kenneth Fearn, managing partner of Integrated Capital, LLC, and a NABHOOD board member, described the responsibility they felt to mentor young African-Americans interested in entering the industry. It's important to celebrate those who have succeeded, Roberts and Fearn pointed out, because they become symbols people in African-American communities can look up to and emulate.