Denver-based travel club Inspirato, which has struggled since going public last year, appointed a new CEO this week after co-founder Brent Handler resigned from the role.
Eric Grosse, a former Expedia executive who has been on Inspirato’s board, assumed the top job on Monday, the company said.
Inspirato leases high-end vacation homes and makes them available to its members, who pay $650 to $2,550 a month. The company went public at $10 a share through a SPAC deal in February 2022. After a brief surge, shares have steadily declined since then, closing around 60 cents on Wednesday.
According to financial statements published in August, the company expects to do $320 million to $340 million in revenue this year, with a loss between $30 million and $45 million. That compares to $346 million in 2022.
According to the August statement, Inspirato has 663 leased properties, which is down about 10 percent from earlier this year. Inspirato has 15,200 active members – Club subscriptions ($650 a month) are up about 1 percent from last year, while Pass subscriptions ($2,550 a month) are down about 18 percent.
In March, the company put some of its homes on third-party sites, like Airbnb, after it saw trips decline after building up its real estate portfolio. Webster Neighbor, formerly Inspirato’s chief financial officer and chief strategy officer, also recently left the company.
Handler had served as CEO since he and his brother Brad founded Inspirato in 2011. Handler, who will remain on the company’s board, is the company’s largest shareholder.
“I have the utmost confidence in Eric, the Board and the rest of the management team to guide Inspirato into its next phase, while remaining committed to its founding principles,” Handler said in a statement.
In 2000, Grosse co-founded Hotwire, which sells airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars and vacation packages. IAC, the parent company of Expedia, acquired Hotwire in 2003 and Grosse served as Expedia Worldwide’s president until 2010. He’s founded and worked as an executive for a slew of companies since then, including TaskRabbit and Chairish, according to his LinkedIn profile.
At Inspirato, Grosse will receive a base salary of $550,000 and a sign-on bonus of $150,000, according to an SEC filing. His initial annual target bonus will be 100 percent of his base salary, depending on his performance, according to an SEC filing. He is also being given $4 million in stock that will vest over the next five years and may be granted more stock annually starting in 2025.
“I’m confident in our ability to not only return to a period of profitable growth, but to do so while maintaining and enhancing our luxury brand and value proposition to both our members and shareholders,” Grosse, 54, said in a statement.
Handler will receive $515,000 in severance pay, according to the announcement, in addition to health care for up to two years. He has $95,433 in travel allowance credit that can be used until Feb. 1. Handler and his brother also have Inspirato membership for life with no annual dues, according to SEC filings.