Strike while Irons is hot: Wyndham Hotel and Resorts gets BOLD with Black hoteliers

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  • Published on December 21, 2023
  • Last Updated January 2, 2024
  • In People

DETOUR Editor Ron Stodghill interviews Vaughn Irons, Atlanta-based hotel owner, about hotel ownership and old-fashioned ‘Southern Hospitality’.

 

 

Vaughn Irons, Principal of Stonecrest Resorts and CEO of APD Solutions, sat down with DETOUR founder Ron Stodghill to speak about his philanthropic work, near Atlanta, Georgia, to reinvest in the economy of the largely African American city Stonecrest. 

“The elements that it takes in order to have a great hospitality experience is ingrained in the African American community. Unfortunately we haven’t had the same opportunities to take advantage of the entrepreneurship and the economic options available to other communities,” Irons said.

Irons and his wife Cassandra have lived in Stonecrest and experienced for themselves the need for innovation in the community. Together with Irons’ community and economic development firm, they worked to elevate the economy by creating a cultural lifestyle center in place of an old mall. What was once a 144,000-square-foot Sears Building at the Mall at Stonecrest, Priví now stands. It is a unique gathering spot, blending a food hall with a cultural community vibe with the fits floor open since this past summer and the rest of the building set to open in spring of 2024. 

“We needed to do it in order to kind of save ourselves; we couldn’t continue to wait for someone else to bring us the things we wanted in the community.” 

Irons’ work did not stop with Priví. Irons has a goal to build a utopia in Stonecrest by bringing resources into the city. The next step: a full-service hotel to enhance Stonecrest Resorts’ current $17 million adaptive reuse project. The hotel is slated to break ground this year and open in 2025.

Watch the interview on DETOUR’s YouTube channel to learn how Irons was able to use BOLD by Wyndham to build the first full-service hotel in a new 110-room TRYP by Wyndham franchise and help black entrepreneurs succeed in the hotel industry. 

 

 

 

Campbell Hamai is a journalist and associate producer with Detour through the Meredith-McClatchy Scholarship sponsored by the University of Missouri-Columbia, Missouri. She is passionate about elevating the work and voices of POC authors and creators. Hamai can be reached through email at campbellhamai@detourxp.com. 

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