ASPEN, Colo. – The St. Regis Aspen is offering the public an opportunity to own part of the luxury hotel through digital currency
“Four years ago, we decided to innovate in the field of hotel ownership, and we created a digital finance instruments that allows anyone to own a piece of this wonderful property,” St. Regis Aspen owner Stephane De Baets said.
De Baets recently announced he’s releasing 20% of ownership to the public and stock can be purchased using digital tokens called Aspencoins.
“The tokens are currently trading on a private exchange called tZERO,” the hotel owner explained. “You open an account and you decide to buy as a little as $100, $1,000, $10,000, whatever you want, but the beauty is you're actually a true owner in this property.”
That means those who purchase coins can get 20% to 50% cashback on hotel rooms, plus gift bags filled with luxury items, according to De Baets.
“There are over 17,000 different tradeable digital assets right now around the world,” said Josh Finkleman, co-founder and managing partner of BXE Capital, the first digital assets investment firm in Colorado.
He says cryptocurrency can be confusing but certain offerings are worth the risk. For an example, Finkleman used Bitcoin owners who invested in the digital currency years ago.
“Today, the price of a Bitcoin, of a full Bitcoin is… call it somewhere around $45,000," he said. "So owning a portion of that network, a Bitcoin, is really expensive."
While cryptocurrency rates frequently fluctuate, currently 1 Aspencoin (digital token) is equal to $1.07.
Finkleman says what the St. Regis is doing is cutting edge.
“I mean, they're tokenizing the ownership units of physical real estate,” he said.
“I believe the technology that we see, the blockchain technology, enables lots of application that were not possible before,” De Baets said. “I am not a big fan of cryptocurrency that has nothing to back it up. What we believe in is you take existing assets, and you create a digital instrument that gives you ownership of true assets. What we focus at Elevated Returns is only to bring to bring to market currencies of crypto digital assets that are backed up by real tangible utilities or economic assets.”
De Baets says for years, his friends have been asking him how they can become luxury hotel owners.
“The world ownership of hotels is very incestuous, either you have to be a billionaire or you need to be a big corporation,” he said. “Democratization of ownership is something that is bound to happen in the next five to 10 years, and we’re happy to be the leader in that direction.”
De Baets says by offering the public ownership and using digital currency to do it, he hopes to increase diversity in the luxury hotel business, first in Aspen and then at other luxury properties around the world.
For those who are not interested in Aspencoin, stockholders can also get their returns via traditional money.