The two brothers have deep experience in this area since they were the co-founders of destination club Exclusive Resorts, which they successfully grew to become the largest club in the sector. They sold a stake in Exclusive Resorts to AOL founder Steve Case, who increased his share over the years and is now the majority owner.
Member Rental Model
Their new club Inspirato provides the same level of homes and services as a destination club, but with a twist on the model. Members pay a relatively low fee to join and then pay a variable amount for the use of the homes. So essentially paying a rental fee for the homes and this fee varies depending on the size of the home, time of year, and number of nights.
The initiation fee on joining is $15,000 and after this the annual membership is $2,500. The nightly rates vary from as low as $250 and Brent told SherpaReport that the average nightly rate is about $1,000. Here are some examples, drawn from the Inspirato website:
Anguilla, West End, 3 bed, 4 bath 8,500 sq ft, 7 nights from Sunday 12th Feb to Sunday 19th Feb would be $12,359 (or $1,766/night)
New York, Trump SoHo, 2 bed, 2 bath, 1,117 sq ft, 2 nights from Friday 30th march to Sunday 1st April would be $1,835 ($918/night)
Paris, Majestic, 1 bed , 2 bath, 645 sq ft, 4 nights from Wednesday 25th April to Sunday 29th April would be $3,260 ($815/night)
Tuscany. 3 bed, 3.5 bath, 4,800 sq ft, 7 nights from Saturday 4th August to Saturday 11th August would be $5,565 ($795/night)
Hawaii, Kohala Coast, 3 bed, 3 bath, 2,400 sq ft, 7 nights from Saturday 20th October to Saturday 27th October would be $5,565 ($795/night)
The club enters into long-term leases on properties directly with owners. "The average lease is for 3.5 years" said Brent, "this allows us to take full control of the homes and so offer a consistent end-to-end vacation experience for members".
There are now 85 residences in 25 destinations, making up the club-managed portfolio of more than $150 million in vacation homes, with individual homes valued from about $1.5m up to nearly $10m.
"We put in premium linens, standard dishes, flat panel TVs, upgrade appliances if needed and in some cases choose carpet and put in furnishings," added Brent.
With its recent addition of $17.5 million, Inspirato has now taken in over $30 million from investors. Renowned venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, along with Access Venture Partners and Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira were amongst the investors in this latest round of funding.
"KPCB's investment in Inspirato offers further proof that 'smart luxury' is alive and well, and that savvy consumers are looking for a better way to vacation with family and friends," said Brent Handler.
Some of the current member favorites are Vail; Tuscany; Cabo san Lucas; Pelican Hill, California; and Kiawah, South Carolina according to Brent. Other recent additions to the portfolio include:
PuntaCana Resort & Club, Dominican Republic: The two-level home features five bedroom suites, a gourmet kitchen, and multiple expansive communal areas that frame ocean and golf views.
The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, The Bahamas: Two, multi-bedroom cottages are perched on natural bluffs overlooking Winding Bay on the famed island of Abaco in the Out Islands of The Bahamas.
Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago: An unrivaled riverfront location that offers access to the city's famed Magnificent Mile and close proximity to the Chicago Loop.
The Metropolitan, London: Perfectly placed on Park Lane, guests are within walking distance of Piccadilly Circus, Bond Street, Knightsbridge and a throng of restaurants.
Villa & Hôtel Majestic, Paris: The hotel is located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, literally steps away from the landmark Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées.
The company is also building up "Inspirato Experiences", which offer expertly curated vacation adventures. The first two of these locations are a Galapagos cruise and a Kenyan safari. Inspirato Metropolitan, is a collection of select fine hotel and resorts in major cities, which currently includes London, Paris and Chicago as noted above.
Members have a Personal Vacation Advisor to assist in trip planning and have access to a Destination Concierge on every vacation. "We are seeing 94% member satisfaction post trip, on the 1,000's of days our members have travelled so far" Brent told SherpaReport.
"Members can stay as many days as they want, on any days, with no restrictions but the days are priced accordingly" he continued. For instance weekends are priced higher than weekdays, and holidays are also priced at a premium. "We have invested significantly in pricing, to preserve availability and are using revenue management in an elegant way" said Brent. This means that the pricing can be quite dynamic when a member looks through the reservation calendar.
New York Yankees All-Star First Baseman Mark Teixeira, joined Inspirato earlier this year and recently became an investor in the company as well. "After taking my family on an Inspirato vacation, I knew this was a concept that would appeal to so many other families, especially ones with children like mine," Mark said. "The properties are spacious and in the ideal location, the service is proactive, and everything we need to make the trip perfect is at our fingertips. I am thrilled to be a part of it."