Vacasa settles into new, bigger home in downtown Boise

Teya Vitu//October 10, 2018

Vacasa settles into new, bigger home in downtown Boise

Teya Vitu//October 10, 2018

Vacasa’s new Boise headquarters has a dining area that doubles as a meeting space and break room. Photo by Teya Vitu.

Vacation home management leader Vacasa recently had big moving days for its Portland headquarters, as well as its second headquarters in downtown Boise.

Vacasa, the largest U.S. home vacation home management company, in August moved its Portland headquarters with 400 employees across the street in the Pearl District to fill a new five-story office building at the Heartline, which includes a second, 15-story apartment tower with 218 units.

In July and August, Vacasa also moved its downtown Boise office a couple blocks into two floors of the former J.S. Simplot Co. space at One Capital Center on Main Street.

Vacasa occupies 34,000 square feet of the second and third floors with two-thirds of the company’s finance office; the recruiting arm of its human resources department; part of its corporate development/acquisitions; and information technology and technology staff that maintain the website. The Boise office also has agents in Vacasa’s newly established real estate department to work with guests looking to invest in vacation rentals or owners looking to sell vacation rentals.

Vacasa presently has 145 employees in Boise with 20 more job openings now posted and the likely addition of 50 to 80 employees in Boise in the next year, said Ryan Vestal, Vacasa’s chief financial officer, who is based in Boise and a Wendell native.

All 20 tech staff were hired from the Boise area, according to Caleb Donegan, Vacasa’s vice president of digital.

“Last year, we had zero (IT and tech in Boise),” Donegan said. “We should have close to 30 by the end of the year. There’s no sense of stopping hiring. We are able to recruit the same type of talent in Boise that we have in Portland.”

Vacasa decided to expand its headquarters to Boise because CEO Eric Breon lived in Boise on two occasions from 2001 to 2008 and from 2011 to 2015.

“Eric is a lover of Boise,” Donegan said.

“We think Boise is a good talent pool,” Vestal said. “Eric is very committed to both locations. We have a strong leadership presence in both locations.”

Vestal acknowledged that the Boise office costs about half as much to operate as the Portland office, but said that was not the reason to expand in Boise rather than Portland.

Vacasa, founded in 2009, arrived in Boise in April 2013, and until recently occupied about 16,000 square feet on four floors in the Plaza 121 building on Ninth Street, the same building that includes Bacon and the Capital City Development Corp. offices.

The Boise office resembles the Portland office with prominent use of blue and white; open work areas; large, open dining/meeting/ping-pong playing area and various nooks with seating built into walls.

Vacasa did not disclose the tenant improvement costs for the Boise office, but the building permit applications at the city of Boise lists the project valuation at $2.7 million.

Vacasa presently manages 10,600 vacation homes in 23 states and 16 countries. Idaho ranks eighth with 430 homes, 135 of them in the McCall area.

Vacasa books vacation homes but also manages and maintains the vacation properties. In contrast, Airbnb and VRBO are exclusively listing services, which Vacasa also uses to list homes.

Vacasa’s early October acquisition of the Hyatt-backed Oasis Collection allowed Vacasa to surpass Wyndham Vacation Rentals as the largest U.S. vacation rental company, Vacasa officials said.

Vacasa takes a large bite out of the vacancy left when Simplot moved its corporate headquarters a few blocks in February 2017 after being in One Cap. Vacancy at One Cap peaked at 108,904 square feet in April 2017. With Vacasa filling two floors and, by the end of the month, engineering firm Jacobs, formerly known as CH2M Hill, filling nearly two more floors, One Cap vacancies will be down to 18,842 square feet, said Jeremy Malone, vice president at Oppenheimer Development Corp, which owns One Cap.

“We don’t have a lot of space left,” Malone said.