Tech-driven aparthotel start-up Mint House is taking over Lyric’s 70 Pine Street location in New York City’s financial district as Lyric exits the short term rental management business to focus on its pricing software, Wheelhouse.
Mint House targets “the modern business traveler” although CEO Will Lucas said the goal is to have a mix of 65% business and 35% leisure travelers.
This diversification is wise since business travel is not expected to rebound anytime soon. According to The Wall Street Journal, “most foresee a lasting decline in business travel, but think leisure travel will bounce back robustly.” So far in 2020, the short term rental market has outperformed hotels due to a faster rebound in the leisure market which has preferred home rentals. Hotels in urban locations, which are highly dependent on business travel, have lagged.
For Mint House, business travelers and remote workers currently account for 80% of its business due to increased bookings from remote workers. This also has contributed to longer stays. Over the past five months, the average occupancy has been around 80%, according to Lucas.
Lucas explained the reasons for the company’s success.
“We’ve been able to do that by leveraging the advantages we have over traditional hotel spaces,” Lucas said. One, the company has always provided a fully contactless experience, he explained, from check-in to the digital concierge to the customized refrigerator stocking prior to arrival. Two, the apartment-style setup is well positioned “for a world when everyone needs to work remotely.” It also is conducive for longer-term stays. “Pre-pandemic, the average nightly stay was three nights,” he said. “Today, it’s more like 16 to 17 nights. Guests are mostly staying for a few weeks and even for a few months.”Business Travel News
It has been quick to adapt during the pandemic. It has been “adding Mirror equipment and rolling out room service powered by ghost kitchens, which are professional food facilities set up for the preparation of deliver-only meals.” It has also instituted a 74-point cleaning and hygiene protocol, which includes “a ‘reactive oxygen species’ technology that should a guest walk into a room with the virus on their jacket, it would clean that off the jacket.”
The company operates in 19 locations across 10 cities, including Denver, Miami, and Nashville. The 70 Pine St location provides entry into the strategically important New York market with 132 units. Mint House has a hotel license that allows the company to rent out units for less than 30-days stays.
Future New York locations could include Midtown and Hudson Yards. It will add 50 units in Austin and about 30 in Columbus, Ohio by the end of the year. The company operates over 800 units and is on track to have 1,500 units by the end of 2021.
The company has partnered with American Express Global Business Travel and has signed on 10 Fortune 200 companies since February.
photo credit: mint house