Inspirato cuts 20% of workforce

Inspirato leases around 400 properties around the world in exclusive travel destinations. (Courtesy Inspirato)

Denver travel club Inspirato last week cut around 130 jobs, or 20 percent of its 600-person workforce.

“This is part of our response to the crisis caused by coronavirus,” company spokesman Jeff Hartman said Friday.

“There’s still a lot of people traveling. Even through yesterday (Thursday), we saw 100 bookings a day. However, the unknown for all of us has become so unknown.”

The LoDo firm, which leases around 400 properties around the world in destinations such as Vail, Aspen and Telluride, and has partnerships with hotels, is back to the size it was this time last year, Hartman said. Inspirato itself does not own any vacation real estate, Hartman said.

CEO Brett Handler

Brett Handler, a Colorado native and CU graduate, founded the company in 2010 to rent out tony homes in sought-after destinations.

Handler, who did not respond to an email seeking comment, co-founded a similar business called Exclusive Resorts in 2002. It’s still based in Denver.

Inspirato has two models for customers.

A traditional membership for a family costs $24,000 for the first year. Members then pay per night for their stays, according to the company’s website.

In 2019, Inspirato added a much-heralded new subscription model. Subscribers pay $2,500 a month, which allows them to book one property at a time. Subscribers don’t pay an additional nightly rate, but they can have only one active booking in the system.

Hartman said the company ramped up hiring last year to accommodate the influx of new business from the subscriber pass product. But now that model is causing worry.

“Like Netflix we have a subscription model, and we have to have customers renew. That’s the unknown,” Hartman said.

Inspirato leases around 70,000 square feet in LoDo, according to a 2016 Denver Post story.

The company has raised $75 million in venture funding, according to a tally of SEC forms.

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