In the Hotel Business, Winner Takes All

hotel
Trusha Patel

The first franchisee for “Women Own the Room,” a Wyndham Hotels’ binding contract project to empower women in the hospitality industry, is Trusha Patel, a hotelier and CEO of Platinum Holdings, who will manage the project’s two new construction dual-branded Hawthorn Suites and La Quinta Hotels.

The program was launched as the first major one of its kind, and it aims to help businesswomen enter a male-dominated industry. According to statistics from the hospitality sector, women are discriminated against when it comes to hotel investment and ownership. In the tourist and hospitality industry, women represent a whopping 70 percent of the workforce, but a mere 10 percent of them actually develop hotels.

“Women Own the Room” also helps the 50 percent of women entrepreneurs who seek qualified business advisers by pairing them with seasoned female hotel developer mentors. Wyndham also gives them significant development funding, and offers reduced first fees and free first-year running services.

20+ Years of Experience

Since becoming that first woman franchisee, Patel has developed two Hawthorn Suites and La Quinta hotels in Georgetown and Austin, both in Texas. The room designs include La Quinta’s new Del Sol room design, and Hawthorn’s latest room design with contemporary, well-equipped kitchens for long-stay visitors.

Born into a clan of hoteliers, Patel has been long involved in all aspects of hotel dispositions, ownership, and development. She is also happy to get Wyndam, the globe’s biggest hotel group, supporting her. In a Wyndam press release, Trusha stated, “This is an incredible opportunity to realize my personal hospitality objectives, and also an opportunity to inspire other women to fulfil their entrepreneurship goals.”

Thanks to more than 20 years in the industry, Patel has been a prominent speaker at industry events. At Capital City Hospitality Group, she acts as managing member, and oversees the company’s portfolio. This includes an array of autonomous and branded Texan hotels.

She is a member of the Austin Hotel and Lodging Association’s board of directors and a member of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association’s Ambassador and Advisory Committee for the last 13 years. Besides doing work in various executive roles, Patel is also a registered real estate broker.

Working Her Way Up

Patel earned her BA degree in psychology from the University of Texas and her MA in psychology at Teas Southern University. She shifted from psychology to business in 2008, when she began her work on her executive MBA.

In the 90s, Patel started working with her parents’ autonomous hotel portfolios, before setting up her own hotels. As managing partners of Capital City Hospitality Group LLC, she and her spouse own many branded and non-branded hotels around Texas.

Platinum Holdings, which she founded more than 25 years ago, manages both real estate and hospitality investments in Texas, with plans to grow throughout the US. Platinum Holdings delivers all-inclusive advisory services for hotel owners, and manages property, relying on their own expertise as hotel owners, as well as their contacts in the hospitality sector. The company also specializes in asset management, development, and acquisition services.

A Champion of Human Rights

AAHOA recognizes Patel as a pioneer in the effort to educate hoteliers and their staff about human trafficking, and she conducts seminars on the topic around Texas. The hotelier feels that hotels are attractive to traffickers because of the high level of anonymity and privacy. She feels that it’s imperative for hoteliers to recognize signs of trafficking, so that they can help.