A Denver-based luxury travel club that leases high-end vacation homes for its members is making some of the properties available to the masses.
Inspirato, which went public last year, is preparing to list some of its properties on sites like Airbnb, where anyone will be able to rent them.
“It’s monetizing those assets without the services and benefits an Inspirato member has,” President David Kallery said.
Kallery said the company increased its properties 30 percent in 2022 after a surge in “revenge vacations” following COVID stay-at-home orders. But now, trip numbers have declined and Inspirato is left with a surplus of homes, he said.
To offset costs, the company will strip about 10 homes of the Inspirato brand and services and list them on third-party sites.
“You wouldn’t be able to tell it’s an Inspirato home,” Kallery said. “That would make members super frustrated – if they can access the same thing without being in Inspirato, that destroys our model.”
Inspirato members get a full-service vacation when they book, meaning their stays come with daily house cleaning, grocery deliveries and even complimentary Cadillacs. Kallery said the homes listed for the general public won’t have any of these amenities and will likely be more expensive than what Inspirato members pay on top of their monthly dues.
According to the company’s annual report, Inspirato expects to spend $90 million on leases for 733 vacation spots this year. The company said it lost $51 million last year on revenue of $350 million, up from a loss of $22 million in 2021. Inspirato also laid off 10 percent of its work force earlier this year. Shares of Inspirato stock are down 90 percent from February 2022, when the company went public through a SPAC deal.
“This is really just being responsible to our employees and the members and also to our shareholders,” Kallery said. “Now that we’re a public company, we need to be conscious of the fact that people are investing.”
Founded in 2011 by brothers Brent and Brad Handler, Inspirato has roughly 15,000 members and offers three types of memberships ranging from $650 a month to $2,000 a month, according to its website.
The company also launched “Inspirato for Good” and “Inspirato for Business” this year to expand revenue. The latter allows companies to purchase Inspirato vacations for their employees. With Inspirato for Good, nonprofits auction off vacation packages and split the profits with the company.
Kallery said Inspirato for Good and Inspirato for Business are permanent features, but listing on third-party sites will be something the company “turns on and off as necessary.”
“I’m not ready to say that this is going to be broad based or a major strategy of ours,” Kallery said. “If we see this works well, it could be a huge advantage to our members. We can capitalize on acquiring (property) even though we don’t have the demand because we can monetize it for a brief period of time.”
Correction: The top cost of an Inspirato membership has been corrected.