Brent Handler, CEO of Inspirato with American Express, is an entrepreneur and pioneer of the destination club industry.
In 2002, Brent and his brother Brad founded Exclusive Resorts. He served as the company’s president from 2002 to 2009, during which time Exclusive Resorts amassed more than $1 billion in real estate assets, delivered tens of thousands of vacations to members and set the standard for the burgeoning destination club industry.
In January 2011, convinced he could improve on the model he helped establish, Brent and his partners launched Inspirato, providing luxury travelers the opportunity to enjoy the space and comfort of a private vacation home combined with the five-start service of high-end resorts, but without the six-figure, upfront fees common in the industry. The company’s innovative business model inspired Forbes magazine to name Inspirato one of “America’s Most Promising Companies” in 2011. The company has attracted investments from top venture capital firms including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Institutional Venture Partners and announced a partnership with American Express and the company’s new name “Inspirato with American Express” in March 2013.
In December 2013, Inspirato and Portico Club, a destination club launched by Exclusive Resorts in 2012, announced they had combined. The resulting combined club continues to operate under the name "Inspirato with American Express" and under the leadership of Brent and the Inspirato executive team. As a result of the combination, Exclusive Resorts, and its owner Revolution, acquired a minority stake in Inspirato and a seat on the board and entered into a strategic partnership with Inspirato. The partnership reunited Brent and Brad Handler with Exclusive Resorts' current chairman, Steve Case, who purchased majority ownership of Exclusive Resorts from the Handler brothers in 2003.
- 10/24/11 -techcrunch.com