NEW YORK, June 30 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Inspirato wants to shift travel – and subscription-based business models – up a notch. The elite vacations firm has agreed to merge with special purpose acquisition company Thayer Ventures Acquisition (TVAC.O) in a deal valuing it at $1.1 billion. Subscriptions are in vogue, but this takes the idea to a new level.
Think of Inspirato as a cross between Airbnb (ABNB.O), Soho House read more , and Expedia (EXPE.O). Its 12,500-ish customers pay memberships for access to swanky hotels, resorts and residences – either $600 a month plus the price of each stay, or $2,500 all-inclusive. Luxury hotels can sell empty rooms to Inspirato at a discount, without having to publicly cut their rates. Customers get variety and luxury at a predictable price.