US: Marriott International has announced plans to expand into the Hamptons, an affluent American vacation area.
Through its short-term rental arm, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, the company has partnered with local rental company StayMarquis to offer hotel-quality properties and concierge services to guests.
The company has been targeting the area for potential expansion due to its lack of major hotel exposure, allowing the company to move into the popular market for the first time. It was also hoping to appeal to the nearby New York market, which has a significant number of Marriott rewards members.
StayMarquis was founded by a pair of Long Island natives who had been managing Hamptons rentals since they were in college. The pair chose to dive in full time when Airbnb acquired management firm Luxury Rentals in 2017.
Their platform consists of over 600 properties, all of which are owned by individuals who pay the company commission. StayMarquis then distributes to other sites, which include Airbnb, HomeAway and Vrbo.
For an additional ten per cent commission fee, StayMarquis provides 24/7 concierge service and outfits the property with premium products. Marriott has thus listed 150 properties using this model on its platform.
The Hamptons are notable for continuing to see demand in spite of the global pandemic. The area’s proximity to New York made it a popular location for those looking to avoid the virus to visit.
Jennifer Hsieh, VP of Marriott Homes & Villas,told The Real Deal that the company is “well positioned to capitalise on the current travel mindset favouring drive-to destinations”.
While much of the world is still in lockdown, some of the United States has been opening up, and seeing a cautious vacation rental recovery. Furthermore, data provider AirDNA has seen a 127 per cent spike worldwide in bookings, projecting revenues may return to normal by May.