Reston hospitality firm links up with Airbnb

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Print this page by Veronica Garabelli
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BridgeStreet plans to offer some of its apartments on the new Airbnb for Business product suit.

A Reston-based hospitality company now refers some of its customers to Airbnb, the San Francisco-based alternative lodging website that boasts more than 2 million listings.

If that move sounds like a mistake — it’s not. In October, BridgeStreet Global Hospitality announced a partnership that will offer customers Airbnb properties along with its apartment offerings.

BridgeStreet provides more than 50,000 serviced apartments in 60 countries. Serviced apartments are described as combining the comforts of home with the amenities of a hotel.

Airbnb allows customers to list and book a variety of accommodations — ranging from homes to rooms for rent — around the world.

“Long-term travelers want more than just access to a place to lay their head. They want to get to know their city [and] live like a local, whether that means staying in a Victorian home in San Francisco or a loft in Paris,” Chip Conley, head of Airbnb hospitality, said in a statement at the time of the announcement. “BridgeStreet is an incredible company to work with to help give any person from any company a truly unique experience when they are traveling for business.”

BridgeStreet plans to offer some of its apartments on the new Airbnb for Business product suite, which aims to make its services easier for business travelers to use. The partnership, however, is mostly focused on “expanding what we offer our customer more … than putting our inventory on Airbnb,” says BridgeStreet CEO Sean Worker.

Worker says BridgeStreet customers come from a wide range of fields, from banking to the entertainment industry. They are people who typically stay in hotels but may need a different length of stay.

Worker offers the example of someone involved in filming for a television series who “may be around for six weeks … We are an ideal solution to have all the hospitality services while still having a home to live in.”

Although Worker declined to share BridgeStreet’s revenue figures, he says the company’s compounded revenue per available room (RevPAR) is growing more than 7 percent yearly. RevPAR is a performance metric calculated by dividing a hotel’s total guest room revenue by the room count and the number of days in the period being measured.

While expanding its offerings to customers, Bridge­Street also has moved and enlarged its headquarters. In July, the company shifted its offices from Herndon to Reston, doubling its space to 18,000 square feet. The company expects to add more space in the first three months of next year.

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