Spokane Valley-based Stay Alfred is closing its properties nationwide for eight weeks, beginning April 1, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“While we regret the impact this decision will have on our guests and our teams, we are seeking to minimize that impact in every possible way. All stays booked for this period will be automatically refunded in full,” Jordan Allen, CEO of Stay Alfred, said in a statement. “We at Stay Alfred look forward to serving our guests again in brighter days ahead.”
Through a company spokeswoman, Allen declined to comment on if Stay Alfred would offer refunds to guests who booked reservations prior to the closing date.
He also declined to say how many employees would be affected by the 60-day closure, but indicated the company will continue to provide health benefits during the furlough period.
Stay Alfred has more than 270 employees.
Allen said the company, known for popularizing the concept of upscale travel apartment rentals in walkable downtown locations, plans to rehire employees after the furlough ends.
Stay Alfred, founded by Allen in 2011, operates more than 2,200 units in 32 markets across the country. The company, which launched in a 300-square-foot office in downtown Spokane with three employees, expanded to a 45,000-square-foot campus in Spokane Valley in 2018.
Stay Alfred’s temporary closure comes after several customers lodged complaints last week via the company’s Facebook page about its cancellation and rebooking policy amid the coronavirus outbreak. Points of contention among customers were what they referred to as long wait times to reach a company representative and Stay Alfred’s no-refund policy for canceled reservations.
Stay Alfred amended its rebooking policy last week to include reservations made through third-party websites and is providing customers with a voucher to rebook. The company has also since expanded its 60-day rebooking limitation to any check-in date during 2020.
Other travel rentals have also responded to canceled bookings during the coronavirus outbreak.
Airbnb is offering full refunds to customers for reservations booked on or before March 14. VRBO is requesting property managers issue refunds or credits for future stays for reservations booked before March 13.
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