Nationwide — Just over a year after acquiring a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, making them the only Black hotel owners in Memphis, power couple Norland and Dr. Amina James are set to do it again. This time the serial entrepreneurs and founders of Duke Ventures are leveling up to a stunning 120-room hotel set on the picturesque backdrop of the Louisiana Bayou. And they’re bringing a whole community with them.
With their acquisition in Memphis, the James couple created 30 Black first-time hotel investors. The impact of this monumental occasion was felt as the investors traveled to Memphis to tour the hotel and connect with local leaders. “We wanted to give our investors a behind-the-scenes look into the hotel industry. We’re happy to report that one of our investors is currently in the process of buying her own hotel and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Norland James. When reflecting on the statistic that less than 2% of hotels in the U.S. are Black-owned, Dr. Amina James added, “this dream is bigger than us. It’s about increasing the number of Black hotel owners and investors through education and opportunity.”
With the success of their first hotel investment, the James couple couldn’t help but feel there was more to be done. This turned into the goal of welcoming three new Black hotel owners and another vast community of investors — at the same time! The James and partners are on their way to closing their biggest deal yet and they want you to join them in making history…again. General partners, Acquania Escarne, Janelle Howard, and Richard Howard share what their participation in the Louisiana hotel acquisition means for them and the Black community at large, “hotel ownership doesn’t just build wealth for the investors it changes the lives of the hotel staff and local community too.” Even more, the partners have hired a Black-owned hotel management company to oversee the operations of the hotel. Reflecting on this decision, Norland James stated, “Building Black generational wealth includes circulating the dollar within in the community and Synergy Hospitality Group is the perfect company to help us achieve just that.”
Knowing that raising the capital needed for their upscale hotel project would be a major undertaking, the group has partnered with well-known hotel consultant, Davonne Reaves, to raise money on her crowdfunding platform Vesterr. In speaking on the power of collective investing, Davonne mentioned, “Crowdfunding turns aspirations of hotel ownership into tangible opportunities. It empowers a diverse range of individuals to become stakeholders in the dynamic hospitality industry, transforming dreams into reality.”
Learn how you can get involved by visiting www.vesterr.com/funderr/deal/LakeCharles
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