Have you ever looked longingly at the website of a swanky hotel or resort and thought, “Man, I wish I could hang out there.”
Well, thanks to the startup ResortPassthat may not be as out of reach as you might think.
The six-year-old company allows people to purchase day passes to more than 900 hotels and resorts — think Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, W Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Fairmont and Westin — around the world. The passes allow users to access amenities such as pools, spas, and fitness centers without having to spend the big bucks to actually stay overnight.
ResortPass itself serves as a marketplace, merging users with hotels and paying for a portion of each booking. With COVID-19 pandemic restrictions eased and people eager to make up for lost time, the company says it has seen a surge in revenue with a 100% increase in gross booking volume to date in 2022 in compared to 2021. In other words, it has doubled its number of users.
The startup works with the properties to help set prices, which generally reflect the level of service and amenities a hotel offers. For example, a day pass for swimming pool access can range from $25 to $100 per adult, depending on the hotel. Children generally pay less or are free.
In addition to the market offerings, ResortPass has also built SaaS software to make it easier for the hotel industry to support day guest access. The rationale is that ResortPass provides a new revenue stream for these hotels by giving them a way to admit more guests – per day. In fact, ResortPass claims to have delivered more than $1 million in new booking revenue to “many” of its individual hotel partners. Since its inception, the startup says it has brought together 1.6 million guests at its partner hotels. While it’s free for hotels to join ResortPass, many subscribe to its access management tools and booking software, which can also give overnight guests the option to book on-site amenities.
ResortPass currently operates primarily in the United States, including 35 states Florida, California, New York, Hawaii, Oklahoma and Arizona. But it’s seeing such good traction in recently entered markets outside the US, such as the Caribbean, Mexico and Puerto Rico that it plans to eventually expand further into new geographies such as Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. To fuel that geographic expansion, ResortPass today announced it has raised $26 million in a Series B funding round co-led by Declaration Partners and 14W, bringing the total amount to $37 million. Early backer CRV also participated in the financing along with new investors such as William Morris Endeavour, Adam Grantcelebrity entrepreneurs Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba and Brian Kelly, also known as The Points Guy.
AirAngels, the Airbnb syndicate, also invested. This makes sense considering that both Airbnb and ResortPass have strived to create new markets from underutilized stock.
New York-based ResortPass also announced today that Michael Wolf – who previously worked at ClassPass, Supernatural and Lululemon – has assumed the role of CEO. Amanda Szabo founded ResortPass in 2016 and served as CEO until late in the third quarter. As the company grew, Szabo decided it would benefit from a leader with extensive experience working with marketplaces to help it scale. She will play an advisory role in the future.
“She [Amanda] was a 0 to 1 person,” Wolf told businessupdates.org. “I am a one-to-many person. And I was impressed with how the company had built a very strong business without a lot of capital.”
He added: “It’s really the most excited I’ve been about a company that’s worked for dozens of startups.”
Geographically, ResortPass aims to expand “more fully” in the US and Caribbean in the near future.
“We are seeing incredibly strong performance from our hotels outside the US,” Wolf told businessupdates.org in an interview. “Some properties in Puerto Rico are among the best performing hotels in the entire system.”
Longer term, ResortPass will add additional overseas markets, such as Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as more hotel partners.
Interestingly, the majority of ResortPass users are locals who want to experience the amenities of hotels in their home town or nearby town. “Our local users have never had the opportunity to access the hospitality industry locally,” said Wolf. “They thought they had to get on a plane to enjoy that kind of amenity.”
Travelers who stay in a city for the extra space on an Airbnb, but still want access to amenities such as a nice pool or fitness center, represent a different segment of ResortPass customers. Another popular use case is cruise ship passengers who dock in a city and want access to a nice property for a day only, or get off a cruise ship well before their flight and don’t want to sit in an airport all day. .
When booking users, Wolf says ResortPass aims to “mimicate the normal workflow of a hotel” so that guests simply immerse themselves in it.
According to Wolf, the “vast majority” of ResortPass users come into contact with the offerings through word of mouth.
With its new capital, the company plans to strengthen its team across all departments, including sales, marketing, product and operations. At present, it has about 50 employees, 20 of whom are engineers. ResortPass is currently not profitable, but Wolf says the company’s user growth is reflected in almost all company metrics.
The company had previously raised about $11 million, including $9 million in a Series A announced in August 2019. Wolf declined to reveal what valuation this last round was raised at, saying only that it was done “at more than 2.5x the valuation of the last round. ”
Via email, CRV General Partner Saar Gur noted that his company led ResortPass’ seed and Series A rounds based on a belief that the company “provides a unique and delightful experience to consumers, while generating significant profits at no additional cost.” for their hotel partners. ”
14W’s Ryan Ackell is also bullish, of course. “ResortPass is pioneering an entirely new segment of the global lodging industry with $1.5 trillion in revenue,” he said in a written statement. “By creating this opportunity for hotels and guests, ResortPass aligns the industry with how people choose to take time off with shorter, more frequent experiences closer to home.”