If a travel jacket can raise $10 million on Kickstarter, then surely a luxury hotel with its potentially wealthy client base, can do even better. Lets just take Aman Hotels & Resorts as an example. I personally know about five Aman-Junkies who would invest serious money to get their hands on a piece of this dream, particularly if it granted them perks as a result of owning a piece of the hotel. If a luxury hotel uses crowdfunding, this will obviously generate revenue for them but more importantly, buzz and brand or hotel loyalty.
Crowdfunding could evolve into another version of a rewards program. For many years, owning Carnival shares have resulted in shareholder cruise credit when a cruse is booked so this is not a new idea. Hard Rock recently crowdfunded a $1.5 million renovation of its Palm Springs property. For a minimum pledge of $10,000, investors earned better bookings, room-rate discounts and free access to an exclusive poolside cabana.
Synapse Development Group, a real estate investment and development firm headquartered in New York City, and its joint venture partner AQARAT (Kuwait Real Estate Company), have now launched a crowdfunding campaign on the RealCrowd platform to raise 10% to 15% of the equity for its 203-key Yotel development in the Mid-Market neighborhood of San Francisco. “Investors who spend over $250,000 will be able to enjoy the financial benefits of ownership, as well as perks such as discounts, owner-exclusive VIP parties at the rooftop bar, and access to membership benefits at Yotels around the world.” The hotel will be located at the corner of Market Street and 7th Street in San Francisco’s emerging Mid-Market neighborhood, home to tech giants like Twitter and Uber.
So hotel crowdfunding looks set to stay. Lets hope the big boys jump on the bandwagon soon as many of us would love the perks this ownership could offer.
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