Stay Alfred eyes August restart
Management studying ‘strategic reductions’May 7th, 2020
Short-term rental company Stay Alfred Inc., of Spokane Valley, plans to continue operating but will do so with a reduced staff and smaller national footprint of units, according to a spokeswoman speaking on the company’s behalf.
In an email response to the Journal’s inquiry into the company’s status, Stay Alfred spokeswoman Elise Szwajkowski says the company has targeted Aug. 1 as the date travelers can begin booking with the company again.
Szwajkowski, an account supervisor with New York-based public-relations firm Marino, says, “We intend to resume normal operations as quickly and safely as possible,” she says.
Company founder and CEO Jordan Allen didn’t respond to inquiries from the Journal about the company’s future.
Like many hospitality companies, Stay Alfred has closed its properties temporarily. The company issued employee furloughs at the beginning of April.
“Our strategic reductions will likely entail a smaller and more efficient national footprint of operating units,” Szwajkowski says. “That does include scaling back both our valued local market staff and central operations team based in Spokane, many of whom are currently on furlough.”
Before furloughs, Stay Alfred had a total of 221 employees, with 146 based here, she says.
Stay Alfred grew to more than 2,500 units in 33 cities by the end of 2019, up from 1,500 units in 32 cities at the beginning of 2019.
In December, Stay Alfred expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of Chicago-based hospitality brand Dormigo. That company was founded in 2015, and its 100 properties were all located in Tennessee and Texas.
A darling of the Spokane startup scene, Stay Alfred has drawn the ire of a Facebook group titled Stay Alfred Complaints Group. With more than 250 members, recent weeks of exchanges among members appear to have helped fuel speculation of the company’s demise.
A particular sore spot among many has been the inability to secure refunds for cancelled trips.
Says Szwajkowski, “Our current and ongoing efforts to reduce our footprint and meet financial obligations will ultimately determine what we are able to do in regard to customer refunds. We’re seeking to minimize the impacts this may have on our guests in every possible way, including identifying reliable partners to honor existing reservations.”
Stay Alfred is headquartered at 2818 N. Sullivan, in part of the former Itron Inc. headquarters building.