Stay Alfred was founded in Spokane, but the company’s concept of using apartments for vacation rentals debuted in bigger cities – Seattle, Portland, San Diego and Washington, D.C.
Now, Stay Alfred has added its hometown to its rental portfolio.
Starting Friday, the company will begin renting out 15 units at the M Apartments in the former Macy’s building, 612 W. Main St. The rentals are part of a partnership with The M’s owner, Centennial Properties, a subsidiary of Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.
Stay Alfred is known for spacious units and upscale amenities in lively, walkable downtown locations, said Eric Anderson, the company’s vice president of marketing.
Though Spokane is one of the company’s smaller markets, it fits a growing trend toward vacation and leisure travel in midsized cities, he said.
“We believe Spokane meets our criteria for being in great downtown areas that are highly walkable and have interesting attractions,” Anderson said.
Stay Alfred’s decision to offer vacation rentals in Spokane validates long-running efforts to transform the downtown into a live-work-play community, said Elisabeth Hooker, Downtown Spokane Partnership’s marketing and program manager.
“Downtown has shifted from being a commerce and business center to a lifestyle center. That’s what makes it appealing for someone like Stay Alfred,” she said.
After businesses close for the day, there are things to enjoy after hours, Hooker said.
Stay Alfred will lease units on the entire third floor of the 114-unit M building. The one- and two-bedroom units feature full kitchens, washer and dryers, free WiFi and self check-ins.
By the end of July, Stay Alfred will offers rentals in 25 cities, including Spokane. The fast-growing company has staked out a niche between the hotel scene and the vacation rental market.
Stay Alfred was founded in 2011 by Jordan Allen, a Spokane Valley native and former Army Ranger.
Allen got the idea for the company when he was in the military. He had visited Denver with his brother to see a Colorado Rockies game. They stayed in an apartment that offered walking access to downtown and other amenities, and Allen figured travelers would embrace the concept.
Last year, Stay Alfred had revenues of $38 million. More than 200 people work for the company across the U.S., including at the Spokane headquarters at 123 E. Sprague Ave.
With the rapid growth, “we’re busting at the seams,” said Jeanne Ryan, Stay Alfred’s senior director of marketing.
The company has outgrown its 8,000-square-foot headquarters and needs more parking, Ryan said. Later this year, Stay Alfred will be moving into the old Itron building on North Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley.