Resort Industry Veteran Acquires www.Vacation.Rentals for $500,300
Largest platinum new top-level domain sale to date
Seattle – April 11, 2018 – Donuts Inc., the global leader in high-quality, new top-level Internet domains, today announced that the platinum name Vacation.Rentals was acquired for $500,300. It is believed to be the largest recorded sale of a new top-level domain (TLD).
The sale was brokered by Brooke Hernandez, senior domain broker at Uniregistry.
Vacation.Rentals was acquired by Michael and Handan Kugler, longtime resort owners and entrepreneurs. The Kuglers, along with Marshall Hart, William Whelpley, ITM Investments, Kalus Enterprises, and Jim and Wendy Sherrill, founded Vacarent, LLC, the parent company of the Vacation.Rentals website.
Leveraging their experience as resort owners and entrepreneurs in digital commerce, the Kuglers created the Vacation.Rentals website with several objectives. First, they wanted to offer property owners a more responsive online experience from a trusted provider with direct understanding of their needs, and a business model that was based on annual subscriptions – not on bookings transaction fees. Second, they wanted to empower vacationers with the ability to easily find what they need and interact directly with property owners.
“While online rentals are well established, there is a growing unfulfilled need with property owners,” said Michael Kugler, founder and CEO of Vacarent, LLC, the parent company of the Vacation.Rentals website. “We aim to give owners the best online destination for them to easily market their properties. The term “vacation rentals” is THE most frequently searched term online for vacation properties; it’s a name I’ve had my eye on for a while and finally it’s our brand. We’re excited to leverage our name and our website to benefit both property owners and vacationers.”
“The travel and vacations category is huge and growing rapidly,” said Matt Overman, senior vice president of sales, Donuts. “We are delighted that Michael and Handan Kugler and the Vacation.Rentals team are offering an exciting, differentiated solution for property owners and vacationers. Vacation.rentals is a terrific domain name and already has “page one” ranking on popular search engines. We look forward to following the growth of Vacation.Rentals and supporting its success.”
The Vacation.Rentals sale comes on the heels of Donuts’ announcement that is has acquired the .TRAVEL top-level domain.
“This record-breaking sale further supports the rising value and demand for new TLDS,” said Brooke Hernandez, senior domain broker at Uniregistry. “This is only the beginning, and we are excited to be a part of it. Congratulations to Donuts and to the Kuglers!”
Donuts premium domain consultants work closely with registrar customers to help them find the optimal domain names for their clients. The Donuts premium team has a proven track record, and deep industry experience and insights. Donuts data scientists maintain a living database of high-quality names which is thoroughly researched and analyzed using, among other things, domain industry data, social and economic market trends, and global search engine behavior. The Donuts premium database is continually augmented and updated to reflect real-world changes in inventory, SEO/SEM activity, and transactions. For more information, visit www.great.domains.
Donuts simplifies and connects a fragmented online world with domain names and related technologies that allow people and businesses to build, market and own their digital identities. Donuts holds the world’s largest portfolio of new top-level domains, and offers a wide variety of clear and meaningful names for use as business identifiers (such as .ltd, .company), navigation (such as .careers, .support), in vertical markets (such as .photography, .cafe, or .builders) or in broad-based generics (such as .life, .world or .live). Donuts provides its registrar / reseller customers with innovative services for the discovery, registration, usage and monetization of high-quality domain names. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Donuts, the registrar Name.com is one of the most admired brands in the industry. In 2017, Donuts was named Number 1 in the Deloitte Fast 500. Donuts’ headquarters are in Kirkland, WA; it has offices in Denver, CO; Washington, DC; Dublin, Ireland and Beijing, China.
About Vacarent, LLC
Vacation.Rentals is a project that has been pursued for the past three years by the owner and developer of the site, Mike Kugler. Mike and his wife Handan own Hunters Friend Resort in Branson, MO. and have been in the short-term rental market for 14 years. During this time, they noticed a strong trend towards taking more of the owner/property managers’ revenue from listing sites, while giving less in return for owners who did not pay for premium listing services. In August of 2015, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) released new gTLDs to the marketplace in the hopes of spreading out some of the competition for highly lucrative domains. For the past three years, we have pursued and finally won the right of ownership for Vacation.Rentals. Vacation.Rentals launched live to the internet on the 30th of March, 2018 with the desire to bring a more affordable, user-friendly experience to the short-term, nightly rental market. This effort took months of hard work and commitment from a dedicated staff, along with a sizeable commitment in investment. It is our strongest desire to grow this site to over a million listings worldwide, and we will not stop until we have achieved this. We will accomplish this by demonstrating a commitment to owners as well as travelers. We do not collect any fees or commissions on bookings, just a simple annual membership fee for each home listed. We will not strike out contact information from either side, and encourage our owners to interact with us directly, to let us know what other features they would like to see added. With this, we will launch a forum for https://vacation.rentals and encourage everyone to use it.
Uniregistry lets you buy, sell, and manage your domain names like never before. We make the whole experience effortless and delightful. We are an ICANN-accredited registrar, and pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity and transparency. To learn more, visit www.uniregistry.com.